Tuesday, August 25, 2009

End It with A Bang, Not a Whimper

Yesterday I got to hear several presentations at the college's Convocation for the new freshman class. The speakers came from quite an assortment of backgrounds, each giving good advice to the new students.

While all gave truly interesting content, only one of the speakers ended with some excitement. Only one gave some form of call to action. And his ending made his presentation stand out from the rest. (Incidentally, I think he was the only non-academic speaker.)

The speaker with the best ending gave a brief talk about what it was like to be a student 50 years ago. His examples were entertaining and showed clearly how different student life is today. He also emphasized that change over the last 50 years has been much more pronounced than it was between 1905 and 1955.

At the very end, he encouraged his audience to "fasten their seat belts and get ready for an amazing ride." (Or something to that effect.)

In any case, he ended with a surge of energy. You could feel the excitement in that one little sentence.

Take the time to revisit the ending of your presentation. That's a golden opportunity to move your audience in the direction you want them to go. Don't miss out!