This is part 8, and the conclusion, of my SOS: Starting Out Speaking for Beginner Speakers blog series. You can read Part 7 by clicking here.
Part 8: SOS Starting Out Speaking for Beginner Speakers (The Ending, or Your Conclusion)
“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.” ~ Lao Tzu
Just like you can’t ever make a first impression again, you can’t make a last impression again. How will the audience remember you? What aha’s will they take away from you speaking? What are you trying to COMMUNICATE?
You want to WOW the audience with your conclusion. I love what Ibloom Founder/Speaker/Author Kelly Thorne Gore writes in her book Empowering Coaches: The Christian Coach’s Guide to a Successful Business on page 45:
“Conclude by summarizing and giving your audience a clear next step to take. I heard a very well trained pastor give what he called the message of his life. He unfolded his talk, gave stories, kept us interested, and had great information. But when he was finished, he simply said, “If I could only give one message before I died, this is what it would be.” Then he walked off the stage. We were all left with interesting information but we didn’t know what to do with it. You must let your audience know what their next step is as a result of listening to you speak.”
You aren’t speaking up front just to show off your cute new outfit and shoes or your sharp blue suit. You want to connect with their hearts and minds and for them to learn a new idea, to buy your product or service, or for something to happen as a result of them listening to you – to take a next step, to take action.
It is a great disservice to the audience to leave them hanging and wondering what to do now, not giving them any action step(s). They will be confused, or at the very least, they’ll walk out thinking, “That was nice. He’s lived an interesting life. But what was the point of his speech? Hey, do you want to go eat some Chinese? I’m hungry.”
You want to impact your listeners with God’s Biblical truths, your experience(s), and creative ideas that will practically help, transform, and improve their lives. You show them how your message, your products, services, or other offering can do that.
For example, event planners should hire me for their women’s conference because I am a passionate, Biblically-grounded, and humorous speaker who loves to encourage women to use their gifts for God’s glory, doing what they love. When I speak, I share how one of my books, Walking With God, teaches people how to develop a daily quiet time with God in the midst of their busy, hectic schedules and to hear His voice to fulfill their great purpose in life.
Shine and be the inspiring example for them. Your message should be shared in such a passionate, intriguing way that people are compelled to move from the unsatisfying place where they are now to a new, exciting place where they want to be! Help them to get unstuck with intentional, positive choices and to accelerate forward with their lives.
Impart encouragement, hope, and joy. Speak God’s love and truth into their souls. And when you conclude your presentation, remind them of the key points (no more than 3 to 5 points usually, or they will forget and ask their girlfriend, “What was the 13th point again?) and re-emphasize your one BIG point. (Please, you do have a point, don’t you?) What are you wanting to say?
- Maybe it’s that God is a merciful, loving God who forgives sins – no matter what they’ve done in the past.
- Maybe it’s that Jesus still heals today.
- Maybe it’s that God has a purpose for their life. (So many people don’t understand or believe this!)
- Maybe it’s that there is still life after divorce – even joy and happiness.
- Maybe it’s that God wants to prosper their business and bless them beyond what they think or can imagine.
- Maybe it’s that they can become a life coach, even if they’re working in a job right now that’s a totally different field…and to just take that next step of faith.
Whatever your big point is, communicate it clearly and motivate them to take the next step.
And leave them with a feeling of “WOW.”
Then your conclusion will be just the beginning….of a relationship between you and her/him.
“Stories are like fairy gold, the more you give away, the more you have.” – Polly McGuire
Come To The Edge (Christopher Logue)
Come to the edge.
We might fall.
Come to the edge.
It’s too high!
COME TO THE EDGE!
And they came, and he pushed, and they flew.