You’ve just delivered a captivating presentation that had people hanging on your every word. Now you need to wrap it up and leave a lasting impression. After all, studies show people have an easier time recalling information presented at the beginning and end.
It’s common to field questions at the end, but this can make your presentation less memorable and derail your message. If you’re wondering how to end a presentation in a way that will engage your audience, try one of these options.
1. Tell a compelling story
Offering a compelling story is a powerful way to end your presentation, especially if it’s a personal one. Personal stories help create empathy with the audience, which makes it easier to get your key message across. As an example, health and wellness presenters will often wrap up presentations with a story about a personal health scare and how a change in their lifestyle helped them live a better life.
Try using Prezi — and in particular, the animations — to create a presentation that promotes storytelling and keeps your audience interested. By zooming in and out at specific points, you can visualize your story as you tell it, which will help people remember your presentation. Check out our previous Prezi Awards winners for great examples of visual storytelling in action.
2. Add a call to action
It’s not enough to assume your presentation will make people want to do something. Instead, you should be clear by including a call to action (CTA) at the end. Keep in mind that the CTA needs to be easily achievable and also relevant to your content. If people need to jump through hoops to do the action, then nobody will bother. Similarly, if you spent the entire time sharing a deeply personal story, then it wouldn’t be appropriate to ask people to buy your product.
3. Drop a surprising fact
You’ve followed the science behind good public speaking and have been able to maintain eye contact with your audience during your presentation. Now consider finishing your presentation with a surprising fact. Facts with statistical numbers work well to engage your audience, and you’ll likely find a variety of facts related to your presentation topic if you search online.
Be careful not to dump a bunch of numbers on the screen, though. Use the power of visuals to convey complex information in a way that’s impactful.
4. Share a quote
Using an interesting and relevant quote is a great way to end your presentation. However, to make sure the quote stays with your audience long after they leave the room, choose one they don’t hear all the time. You can ensure your quote is fresh by looking for one from a modern leader or personality rather than one from a historical figure.
Just make sure your quote goes with the theme of your presentation. Additionally, if you can tie the quote back to a personal story, you’ll leave your audience with a better grasp of the key points of your presentation.
5. Use the rule of three
The rule of three is a simple and powerful way of communicating. The idea behind the rule of three is that it’s easier for the audience to remember concepts, ideas, and beliefs when they’re presented in patterns of three. You can find the rule of three almost everywhere you look.
As a real-life example of ending a presentation with the rule of three, Dianna Cohen, co-founder of the Plastic Pollution Coalition, wraps up her speeches on plastic pollution by stating, “We can save our oceans, save our planet, and save ourselves.”
6. Refer back to your opening statement
If you’re wondering how to end a presentation that’s long or includes complicated information, try referencing your opening statement. This is also a good way to signal to your audience that things are coming to a close. To make it more interesting, you can also try injecting some humor or adding some extra insight to your message.
7. Ask a rhetorical question
Just because you don’t want to end your presentation by asking your audience if they have any questions doesn’t mean you can’t finish your speech without any questions at all. Instead, consider wrapping things up by asking your audience a rhetorical question. The key thing is to make sure the question is a strong one, as you want your audience to think about the question after they leave.
8. Sum it up with a short, memorable statement
Sometimes the best way to end your presentation is with one statement that pulls everything together. To make sure the main points from your presentation stay with your audience, consider how you can condense everything into a short and memorable statement that will stick with people once they leave the room.
No matter how you conclude your presentation, the end goal is to have your audience remember your message. Use Prezi’s visual presentation format to your advantage, and emphasize the importance of your message when you choose how to end a presentation.