This post was written by Hannah Morris, Director of Assessment & Advancement at The Latimer Group.
I recently wrote a post about the importance of the first 30 seconds of a presentation. Starting off with a warm welcome, a genuine smile, meaningful eye contact and a basic introduction is an important way to capture your audience’s attention and start the conversation. This is also how you create your initial connection with the audience and establish a feeling of confidence.
This is the first of two “bookends” to a presentation. And the second is equally important.
When we come to the end of a presentation, after we have already closed with a summary that reiterates our key points and reinforces our call-to-action, we need a sign-off. And it can’t be a hasty “That’s it!” as we stare blankly at our audience or rush off the stage. We need a simple, polished way to end on a strong note.
It can be something as simple as “Thank you all for your time. At this point, I would be happy to answer any questions that you may have.” Make sure to reinforce it with eye contact and strong body language, possibly even a smile. Use a declarative tone and leave the audience with a lasting impression of your conviction, confidence and credibility.
Then take a breath and get ready for the Q&A.
If you are looking for an easy step in bringing your overall presentation from one level to the next, pay closer attention to these “bookends” and remember that small touches can make a big difference.
At The Latimer Group, we believe that great communication skills can change the world. We transform people and organizations with simple, repeatable techniques and mindsets. We teach persuasive communication skills through an integrated platform of corporate training, coaching, and eLearning. To learn more about how we can transform your organization, e-mail us at info@TheLatimerGroup.com
Looking for more from The Latimer Group?
- Five Simple Rules to Communicate By…
- The Message Makeover Podcast: The Science and Occasional Mania of Workplace Meetings with Dr. Steven Rogelberg
- Something Small That You Should Do Well: Bookends, Part 2
- Something Small That You Should Do Well: Bookends, Part 1
- Be Specific About the Tasks You Need to Succeed