In many public speaking presentations, the same mistakes are often repeated that can invalidate the information shared.
When hearing a list, have you noticed how we tend to recall the first and last items best, and the middle items worst?
This recall is what is known as the Serial Position Effect.
This effect also affects how well we’re able to recall a public speaking presentations after they've been delivered and we’ve left the room.
In a previous post, we covered how to start your speech to connect and engage with everyone attending the meeting.
The opening is one part of your presentation that people attending will more clearly recall.
The other part based on the Serial Position Effect is the closing.
The last words of a public speaking presentation are just as important as the first and will require careful consideration to ensure they have the desired impact on your audience long after your meeting has finished.
This is where other speakers get it so wrong.
There are 4 common mistakes they make that confuse the message of the presentation and everyone who is listening to them.
The result of this confusion will be a presentation that’s soon forgotten.
1 - Taking Questions
Questions are often an essential part of a presentation and should be encouraged to help ensure everyone has a clear understanding.
However, questions should not be taken as you are reaching the close of the presentation.
People can ask off-topic questions, seek to engage in a debate or talk for long periods.
As the close of your presentation is a critical part that will be remembered, you need to maintain total control over what you’re going to say.
2 - New Content
Adding new content when reaching the end of your presentation is a sure fire way to confuse the minds of the listeners.
This new content may be material that the speaker intended to cover earlier but had merely forgotten.
It may also be additional content that occurred to the speaker after a question or point has been raised by someone in the meeting.
3 - Announcements
When you’re the last speaker of the meeting before say a break, you may be asked to make some announcements.
These may be announcements like where the refreshments are being served or when the meeting is reconvening.
Any of the announcements that you make after the close of your speech will now become the new end in everyone's mind.
They may now know where the refreshments are being served, but struggle to recall the close of your presentation.
If you’re asked to make any announcements, politely decline these requests or arrange for them to be made by a colleague.
4 - Rambling & Waffling
I’m sure you will have seen a speaker finish their speech and then waffle on saying nothing.
Reaching the end of their speech, they say something like: -
“So….err…. as my time is up…. err.…I’d like to thank you all for coming along today…. I think I have to introduce …. no....err…. It may be time for tea and coffee.
This way of closing their presentation is by far a disappointing and forgettable way to close what may have been an outstanding presentation.
These are 4 common mistakes you will now be able to avoid in all of your public speaking presentations.
About the Author
Andy O'Sullivan is an international bestselling author of 5 books on public speaking, pitching and presenting. Andy is a speaker and educator on the subject of how to survive and thrive in the business world with effective public speaking, pitching and presentation skills.
To lose your public speaking fears and discover time-tested tips to your presentation success, simply book your free session with Andy HERE