Gimme the fireworks already!

Recently I was working with a global opinion leader on her presentations. She was a brilliant speaker but somehow along the way she kind of forgot this. It was part of my job to remind her and to make her believe, backed up with factual evidence, that she was really a fantastic speaker to listen to! I love taking the first steps on these kinds of journeys with my clients.

We focussed many things – reminding her how to breathe to relax (I really like thistechnique and use it all the time), starting with a moment of gratitude before you speak, using the pitch of your voice to rise and fall according to what you want to emphasise, and ending with a bang.

Many people forget about the end when they’re presenting. They just want to get it over with, and usually are pretty relieved when they get to the end of their talk and realise that they are still ALIVE!! And that their audience is still AWAKE!! Many people just want to get off that stage as soon as possible.

But hey, guess what? Presentations are not about YOU. I’ve said this a zillion times and I’m sure I’ll say it at least another 35 times before I die. It’s about YOUR AUDIENCE. Put them first. (Then you can deal with your fabulous self.) Do you remember all the presentations you saw that ended with a ….fizzle? (I love that word. Use it today.) You might have felt let down. You might have felt bored. You might have felt that the speaker wanted to rip off that Band-Aid as fast as possible. Saying ‘Well, I guess that’s all’ while putting your mic down (and not in a good mic drop way)  really is cheating your audience.
So, don’t.

End with something they’ll remember.
End with something you started with at the beginning of your talk.
End with a powerful quote that sums up your message.
End with a dynamic statement that leaves them thinking.
End with a joke that leaves them laughing.
End with a big ‘Thank you!’ to make them feel valued.
End it with a BANG.

Gimme the fireworks already.
If your talk is worth working on, it’s worth ending well.


Buffi xxx

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