Certainly, there are better ways to conclude a speech than a plain “Thank you.” While there’s nothing inherently wrong with expressing gratitude, it’s essential to make your conclusion impactful. Here are some alternatives and strategies:
1. **End with a Call to Action:** Encourage your audience to take specific actions related to your speech’s topic. For instance, if you’re speaking about environmental conservation, you could conclude with, “Let’s all commit to reducing our carbon footprint starting today.”
2. **A Thought-Provoking Quote:** Share a relevant and impactful quote that ties in with your message. It should leave your audience with something to ponder. For example, “In the words of Albert Einstein, ‘Imagination is more important than knowledge.’ Let’s keep imagining and innovating.”
3. **A Powerful Anecdote:** Conclude with a personal or compelling story that reinforces your main point. This helps your audience connect emotionally with your message. After sharing the story, relate it back to your topic and its significance.
4. **The Visionary Ending:** Paint a vivid picture of the future if your message is embraced. Describe the positive outcomes that await and inspire your audience to be part of that vision. “Imagine a world where every child has access to quality education. It starts with our commitment today.”
5. **A Rhetorical Question:** Pose a thought-provoking question that leaves your audience considering the implications of your speech. “What kind of legacy do we want to leave for the generations to come?”
6. **A Memorable Statement:** Craft a concise, memorable statement that encapsulates your message. It should be clear and impactful. “Let’s be the change we wish to see in the world.”
7. **Connect Back to the Introduction:** If you began your speech with an engaging story, statistic, or question, consider revisiting it in your conclusion. This creates a sense of closure and brings your speech full circle.
8. **Express Gratitude with a Twist:** If you want to thank your audience, do it with a twist. For instance, “I want to express my deepest gratitude for your time and attention. Together, we’ve taken the first step towards a brighter future.”
Incorporating one or more of these techniques into your speech conclusion can leave a lasting impression and ensure that your audience remembers your message long after the presentation is over.
For further discussion on public speaking, speech development, communication skills and Toastmasters, visit the Live For Excellence Book Store for the following publications:
Blow Your Own Horn!: Personal Branding for Business Professionals
Power Networking For Shy People: How to Network Like a Pro
The Power of Persuasion: Mastering the Art of Influence
The Power of Promotion: Online Marketing For Toastmasters Club Growth
The Savvy Emcee: How to be a Dynamic Master of Ceremonies
Working With Words: Adding Life to Your Oral Presentations
Rae A. Stonehouse is an author, speaker, and self-publishing consultant dedicated to helping others embrace constant improvement and overcome challenges. With over 40 years of experience as a Registered Nurse in psychiatry and mental health, Rae brings a wealth of knowledge and passion for self-development to his writing and presentations.
As a 25+ year member of Toastmasters International, Rae has systematically built his communication abilities and self-confidence to share his insights as an author and speaker. His self-help books and personal development presentations aim to have conversational one-on-one connections with readers and audiences.
Rae is known for his wry sense of humor and sage advice delivered in a relatable coaching style. After four decades as a nurse, Rae has rewired rather than retired, actively writing and pursuing public speaking. He strives to share lessons learned to help others achieve personal and professional growth.