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How To Write a Conclusion That Does Not Torture the Audience

Updated: Aug 26, 2019

Imagine its the end of a long flight.


Your pilot signals her initial descent, lowers the landing gear, and nears the runway. You squirm in your seat, and think about how you cannot wait to get off the plane. As you longingly peer out the window you see the white stripes on the runway zooming past your window. Surprisingly, just before the wheels touch down, the pilot revs the engines and quickly ascends into the clouds.


You immediately wonder what is wrong. The pilot, however, comes over the speakers and says, "hi folks, don't worry, nothing is wrong, I just felt like flying a little more today."


Now imagine the pilot does this four or five more times. How angry are you?


This is what you do to the audience when you say "in conclusion" and keep rambling for fifteen more minutes. This is what your do when you say "let me finish with this" six times. These indicate you are not clear on how you want to end your talk and the audience, who is ready to leave, quickly grows frustrated.


An effective conclusion:

  1. Reiterates your Big Idea

  2. Offers one final piece of compelling data or evidence

  3. Gives the audience a tangible action point

How you end will determine if your audience leaves feeling inspired or indignant. You need to write out your conclusion every time you speak.


So you are successful, and the audience is inspired, I implore you . . . LAND THE PLANE!

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