Close your eyes and imagine this: you’re standing in front of a group of people, giving a presentation. You’re rocking it. As your presentation draws to a close, your last slide appears on the screen. What does that last slide say?
Does it say “Thank you” or “Any questions?” For many presenters, these types of slides are a typical ending. But are these the last words you really want your audience to see and remember?
You want your last words to make an impact. If you spent a lot of time developing and perfecting the content of your presentation, you want each slide to be important. Your concluding slide is the chance to end in a memorable way — to leave the audience thinking, “Wow! That was a great presentation!”
So how can you wrap up a presentation and say more than thank you? Here are five ideas for impactful last slides.
A Summary Slide
Use your last slide to recap the main points of your presentation. Repetition can help reinforce your message. You can also include your contact information on this slide.
A Discussion Starter
If you’re going to be having a question and answer or discussion session after your presentation, you can use your last slide to guide the beginning of this time. If you end in an intriguing manner, you will encourage the audience to ask follow up questions. paaraQ&A sessions can start slowly because no one in the audience wants to ask the first question. You can also use your final slide to break the ice — ask a question to the audience and invite responses (just don’t put anyone on the spot to answer).
A Call to Action
Consider how the audience can apply the information you presented and then issue a challenge. Ask the audience to react to your presentation and do something — change their thinking, improve their business, etc.
Tell A Story
Start telling a story at the beginning of your presentation. Then, use the end of your presentation to tell the conclusion of the story. The story, in effect, serves as bookends for your presentation. Keep in mind that a success story related to your presentation topic can provide hope and optimism as well as a real-life example of implementation of the information you spoke about.
Use a Quote
You don’t have to think of impactful last words all on your own. Your concluding slide can be a great place to use a quotation that reinforces the message of your presentation.
These are just a few ideas of how you can end a presentation without a slide that only says “thank you” or “time for questions.” No matter what ending you choose, remember to end with energy and enthusiasm — even if you are tired after presenting! You only get one chance to make a good last impression, so use the opportunity to end in an impactful way.