The majority of presentations are forgotten as soon as the audience leaves the room. If you're going to invest the time and energy into giving a presentation, then you want to leave the audience with something to remember.
- Presentations10 Creative Presentation Ideas: That Will Inspire Your Audience to ActionJulia Melymbrose
In this tutorial, I'll share ideas for how to end your PowerPoint presentation powerfully. Depending on the type of talk that you're giving, there is a tried and true technique that will bring it to a strong close.
This tutorial will help you nail the finish of your presentation and leave your audience with a lasting impression. I'll also show you do's and don'ts for finishing your presentation with attractive final concluding slides. Let's dive in.
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4 Types of Presentations - That Conclude Differently
To finish a presentation strong, it helps to start by thinking about your presentation's goal. Your actions have to align with the goal of the presentation to succeed. How you'll approach a persuasive conclusion is different than an inspirational speech conclusion, for example.
For the purpose of this tutorial, I propose that there are essentially four main categories that you can divide presentations into. You could sub-divide these into more specific categories, but I think these basic groups are a useful way to think about your presentation and the approach to take:
- Persuasive Presentations - A persuasive presentation is designed to share your point of view and influence the views of your audience.
- Informative Presentations - Informative presentations share facts and ideas about a subject, and are less prescriptive than a persuasive presentation.
- Decision Driven Presentations - In a decision driven presentation, you're in the spotlight to provide a recommendation or plan to your audience. These often take place in the work environment.
Introductory Presentations - These are also very popular in the business world. Maybe this is your chance to introduce your company to potential investors, customers, or a future employee.
Let's talk about specific approaches for each of these presentation types. Throughout this tutorial, I'm going to use the Motagua PowerPoint theme to create closing slides. This presentation has plenty of ideas for attractive slides and is easy to work with.
You can grab Motagua or other popular PowerPoint themes from GraphicRiver. Buy any of these themes once and use it as many times as you want for your projects. Or, head over to Envato Elements for a special offer that gives you unlimited access to creative resources, such as: presentation templates, web themes, photos, and more.
Browse through the best trending designs from both of these sites:
Let's look into more detail on concluding each presentation type strongly, from closing strategies to ideas on mastering your final PowerPoint slide. That way, you'll know the best way to end your PowerPoint presentation—regardless of it's type and your goals.
1. Persuasive Presentations
Persuasive presentations are designed to change your audience's mind or to impart your viewpoint on them. Maybe you've had to give one of these presentations as part of a school presentation, designed to influence your classmates on a hot-button issue.
There are many techniques to persuade an audience, ranging from connecting emotionally with the audience to presenting pure facts. Great presentations will contain a combination of all of these to appeal to a broad audience.
Here's one idea for a persuasive conclusion: give the audience a key chart or graph that reinforces your idea.
In the example below, let's pretend that the presentation would persuade an audience member to invest in our company. The growth shown in the chart would lead most investors to join our funding round.
A closing slide for a persuasive speech is the ace up your sleeve. Save one last key point and present it with a chart or graph to win over the data-driven members of your audience.
2. Informative Presentations
Informative presentations are designed to share fact-driven information. Your goal is to present a new idea in a memorable way that the audience will remember.
For an informative presentation, the closing slide should recap the information that you've shared. It's a good chance to illustrate a concept with a graphic or key bullet points.
It's also a great idea to share the slides from an informative presentation with your audience via email or post them online. If you've taught an important skill, the audience can use this as reference material.
3. Decision Driven Presentations
For a decision driven presentation, your audience is waiting to hear your big recommendation. You should use the final slide in your PowerPoint presentation to make a recommendation so that your project or idea can proceed.
You can use the closing slide to make your recommendation clear. It's fine to use the supporting points to mention why you arrived at that conclusion, but focus on having a singular recommendation and be prepared to defend it.
4. Introductory Presentations
An introductory presentation is often used in business to help build trust and establish a relationship with an audience. Remember, the introductory presentation is your best chance to make a first impression. Whether you're pitching your business or asking people to join your company, the last slide can be the first step in the business relationship.
Maybe you aren't quite ready to give a full sales pitch. Instead, this is your first point of contact to start explaining your business.
To end your introductory presentation, I think it's a great idea to give the audience a means to follow-up with a Contact slide. If you think of an introductory presentation as the start of a conversation, you should give the audience the chance to continue that conversation.
Final PowerPoint Slide Styles to Avoid
When you're preparing to close out your PowerPoint presentation, there are certain strategic steps that you'll want to avoid. There are also final PowerPoint presentation slide styles that aren't on target for closing strongly. You need both the right closing technique and final slide design to work together. Let's take a look at what not to do for each of the key presentation types:
1. Persuasive Discussions
For persuasive presentations, the strategy should change. For these presentations, don't simply restate the points that you've already made.
You need to give a new angle or a new perspective that could win the audience over. Your last slide should support the presentation's overall perspective, but shouldn't simply rehash the original points.
In a persuasive presentation, make sure that your final slide isn't a simple recap of your original points. The audience may resent having heard the same ideas repeatedly and find them less believable.
2. Informative Presentations
Information presentations often lead to a discussion with the audience, often called a "Q&A session." If your presentation is meant to be an open discussion, it can be tempting to throw up an "Any questions?" slide for the last part of your deck.
However, if this is the only step you take to spark a conversation, your audience is unlikely to engage. I've seen many presentations breeze past this stage so quickly that no one works up the courage to ask a question.
For a more complete round-up on soliciting questions at the end of your presentation, check out the tutorial below.
3. Decision Driven Presentations
You've been asked to share your findings and make a recommendation in the form of a decision driven presentation. The information that you share will help guide a decision maker or give you the feedback you need to proceed.
In these situations, I think it's important to not overwhelm the audience with too many options. Sometimes, presenters have a tendency to give every possible option for a team to take. Make sure you avoid this in your final presentation slide.
That shouldn't be the goal of a persuasive presentation. It's fine to present multiple ideas, but the presentation should ultimately culminate in a singular, decisive recommendation in the final slide in a PowerPoint presentation.
4. Introductory Presentations
An introductory presentation seeks to build familiarity with the audience. For this type of presentation, there's one key step to avoid: don't try to close a deal too quickly.
Marketing and teaching potential customers about your business is a process, and it's one that takes time. The final slide shouldn't contain graphics or requests that the audience buy from you or engage you right away.
Asking for a purchase or commitment at the end of an introductory presentation could be seen as off putting and ultimately harm your chances of gaining customers.
3 Quick Tips to End Your PowerPoint Presentation Strong
You've learned that the final PowerPoint slide design can be a powerful way to end your presentation. Also, we've dived into a number of problematic ways to end your presentation, which you should avoid.
Now let's now jump into a few important tips on how to end a PowerPoint presentation so that it's memorable and makes an impact:
1. Be Clear, Concise, and On Message
A strong presentation closing brings your key message to the forefront and aligns with your objective. You want to distill your final message down to a single memorable point or small set of points. That way the audience can easily walk away with your most important ideas on their mind.
2. Use the Best Final PowerPoint Slide
Depending on the type of presentation you're delivering your final slide will differ.
Make sure you're using a powerful final PowerPoint graphic slide to showcase your concluding information. Or, transition into an easy to read Contact Us or Any Questions slide.
If you're unsure which slide fits your presentation type best, re-read the sections above. Don't miss out on those graphic examples of best last slides for various PowerPoint presentation types.
3. Include a Call to Action With Appeal
Depending on your goal, you may want to motivate the audience to ask a question or take an immediate action on the information you're presenting. Make sure your final slide helps motivate the audience to do that.
Your final points need to align with your argument and give them a good reason to take action. Be clear on what you're trying to accomplish with your presentation, and bring it forward in your final slide.
Also, make sure you practice delivering your conclusion. You want to put your notes aside, make eye-contact with the audience, and engage with emotion as you wrap up.
Learn more presentation strategies, so you not only open with interest, but close memorably:
Recap & Keep Learning More PowerPoint Presentation Skills
This tutorial can serve as your guide for ending a presentation with a compelling finish. The last 30 seconds of your presentation may be the difference between changing your audience's mind and your presentation being forgotten.
Giving presentations is a skill. That means that you can learn and improve your ability giving presentations over time. Try out some of the presentations below to ease the process of building a presentation using Microsoft PowerPoint:
- Microsoft PowerPointHow to Collaborate as a Team on PowerPoint (PPT) PresentationsAndrew Childress
- Microsoft PowerPointHow to Add Text to PowerPoint & Make Amazing Text EffectsAndrew Childress
- Microsoft PowerPointHow to Work With Images in PowerPoint (Complete Guide)Andrew Childress
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What is the part of the presentation that you find most challenging? Do you think it's harder to get started, or wrap up a speaking engagement? Let me know in the comments below.