Concluding a presentation
The end is the new beginning
There will always be that last slide. You’ve given your presentation and you can relax now, it’s over. Or is it? In many cases it isn’t really. That’s why it’s worth giving some proper attention to “the very last slide.”
Thank you for your time …
This last slide is one we’re all familiar with, and it holds a few disadvantages. “Thank you for your time” will drop a curtain of concluding boredom on your otherwise wonderful and compelling presentation. Why? Because this overused phrase closes hearts and minds to all that’s yet to come. Your audience think you’re finished and switch their thoughts to which pastry to pick at the next coffee break instead. Is that what you really want? We don’t think so.
At the end of your presentation, as a rule, your goal is to discuss the next steps with your audience or even prepare your offer ready for signatures. You don’t want to have to bring everybody back on track after that final slide made them switch off their attention.
Paint a bright future
No matter what your goal was, your last slide picks up on it, juggles it and points to the future. Your last slide rounds off your presentation, makes it valuable and demonstrates to your listeners once more what a wonderful time they’ve just spent with you, learning about the wonderful prospects that will open up. Your purpose is to point the way to further cooperation or actions, to forge new paths. For example:
- If your objective was to impart knowledge, summarize your key message and open up a Q&A session.
- Take the image, message, statement or title of your very first slide or presentation opening and conclude it on the last slide.
- If you grabbed your listeners using a metaphor out of the corporate environment, then take that metaphor to its conclusion at this point. Play on the images, statements or slogans of the business you’re addressing. Dare to be different to your competition. One example: You’re giving a presentation to a client whose company uses the marketing slogan “It’s time to change.” You can transfer this slogan beautifully to your meeting with this company. Begin and end your presentation with this slogan, and coin it to what you are presenting. You can then ask, with a little smile, “When, if not now, is it time to change and use us as your service provider?”
That’s it for now, thank you for your time!