Something Small That You Should Do Well: Bookends, Part 2

This post was written by Hannah MorrisDirector 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.

Does your team:
– Take too long to make decision?
– Fail to ask for what it wants or needs from you?
– Make things too complicated?
– Deliver unconvincing or disorganized presentations?
– Have new hires who are unprepared to communicate in the workplace?

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One response to “Something Small That You Should Do Well: Bookends, Part 2”

  1. Mark Williams says:

    At one time I was a music major and professional musician. I learned that the beginning and the end of the song are for the audience – that is what they will most likely “hear”. The middle is for the musicians to have fun with, but you better be sure to nail both the intro and outro!

    Thanks for the tip, Hannah.

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Hannah Morris

A book about change

The Latimer Group’s CEO Dean Brenner is a noted keynote speaker and author on the subject of persuasive communication. He has written three books, including Persuaded, in which he details how communication can transform organizations into highly effective, creative, transparent environments that succeed at every level.