Basics of Public Speaking
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Lesson 7 - Memorable Conclusions

Working often with speakers from other countries, I often hear students end a speech with "That's all". Even many native-English speakers end with a simple "Thank you". Ending your speech in such ways is a big missed opportunity! Most people forget the main points of a speech within hours of hearing it. How will they remember your message? They key is to end with a good conclusion.

The first thing you can do is to give a very general summary of your speech, then end by emphasizing the main point. Below are some more specific ways you can do that.

A very common approach is to end your speech with a "call to action". A simple example would be to say something like, "Consider my suggestion to learn more about alternative energies and how we can harness them in our daily lives". You could also do this as a challenge. For example, "Do you have the courage to try different ideas such as this?", would get the audience to really think about, and therefore remember, your message.

Here are some "quick conclusions" you can try:

    * As with openings, you can end with a question that challenges the audience to think.

    * Another good idea is to end with a quotation. It's easy to find good inspirational quotes on or Alternatively, you can search for a topic plus the word "quotes".

    * Describe your vision or hope for the future and, of course, suggest that the audience takes action to bring that future about.

    * Sometimes a negative approach can work - remind the audience of the negative consequences if they do not take action.

    * Or you can take the balanced approach - remind the audience of the choice between failure and success.

The conclusion should be the strongest part of your speech. Use these tips to plan well and your audience will be much more likely to remember your message.

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