Close with a BANG!
Remember the advice? Close with a bang, not a whimper. Have you ever seen, heard, or delivered a presentation which closed with a whimper? Let’s fix that!
In my last post I recommended the waltz principle (1, 2, 3). To start a presentation the model is this: the most important idea is the ONE, the next important idea is the TWO, and the idea after that is the THREE. So, you begin a presentation with a ONE. Now when you get to the end of a presentation, you reverse that principle. You end with a ONE!
What to DO. For audiences of all sizes there are two critical moments - the opening and the close. The purpose of the close is to give a clear and confident statement of what you want us to DO! Even presentations which are updates or progress reports are rarely just the giving of information. What action do you want us to take? What changes do you want us to make?
Plan the words. When you have the close figured out, arrange the thoughts into a clear, strong, and confident statement. Salespeople “Ask for the order.” A project leader will ask for budget approval. A coach will send his team out with a confident direct statement “You’re the better team: go out there and beat them!”
The Reverse Waltz Principle is Three, Two, One. The Three is the summarizing, recapping phase. e.g. “we have talked about the need for a new program. You have heard the possibilities…” The Two narrows and focuses the ideas and possible plans. And finally the One….I’ll leave the exact words to you, but be sure you end with a Bang!