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April 18, 2024

How to deliver powerful closing statements, by Ruth Oji

How to deliver powerful closing statements, by Ruth Oji

A well-crafted closing statement is the last opportunity to resonate with your audience by echoing your voice in their head, and offering a sense of completion, impression, and reflection. A powerful closing statement allows you the ability to leave a lasting impact on the audience. It is a test-proven method of reinforcing key messages, inspiring action, and creating a sense of fulfilment with their time utilised. This article will equip you with the art of mastering and delivering powerful closing statements.

The first point you want to keep in mind is the need to summarise key points when concluding. Summarization of key points reorganises and condenses a large chunk of words into small crisp forms that helps your audience to remember; it indicates to them when to clap without being caught abruptly, and it clarifies the most vital aspect of your speech. A conclusion needs to be concise to reinforce the audience’s understanding and memory of the key takeaways. Refrain from overwhelming them by re-stating all that has previously been mentioned or adding up new information not stated in the body of your speech. Use simple, clear, and concise language that ensures a strong and memorable summary.

Your conclusion and opening should state your speech’s purpose or objective and keeping that in mind or stating it will help you and your audience resonate if that objective has been met. Actualize your speech goal when concluding by revisiting the speech’s initial anecdote, question, or quote to create a sense of closure and continuity; bring your audience to pace by highlighting the journey you have taken them throughout the speech and how your opening speech objectives have been met through it. In short, connect your opening to your closing.

Often overlooked is the need to provide a closing call to action. It is important to inspire the audience to act through a compelling call-to-action in the closing statement. Your audience needs to hear a clearly articulated and desired next steps or changes to implement, consider, or work on if they want to achieve a desired result. You can also incorporate motivational or vivid imagery that evoke emotions and encourage engagement with the information they are confronted with.

Also, use memorable language and storytelling to powerfully end your speech. Propel your listeners into your world by amplifying your audience’s sensory and emotional depth to your message. Use evocative language and storytelling techniques that leave an impression or become hard to forget in your closing statement. Craft a narrative or share a powerful anecdote that illustrates the speech’s central theme with the use of striking imagery, metaphors, or personal experiences to create an emotional and memorable connection.

Additionally, inspiring and motivating the audience in your closing statement is a fine way of influencing them to accept your cause, change a behaviour, and understand why they should do so. Tap into the audience’s emotions by connecting to their hopes, dreams, or aspirations when you speak; use persuasive language, positive affirmations, or inspiring quotes to uplift and empower the audience with the information you confront them with.

Furthermore, create a sense of closure. Although a conclusion should provide closure, in many cases, it does not always do. Closure is significant in providing understanding when information may have been missed. Closure aligns your audience with your speech and allows it to end on a positive note. Signal closure at the end of your speech by using transitional phrases or a distinct change in tone. You can also leave your audience with a thought-provoking question, poignant statement, or a memorable closing line.

Consider non-verbal communication in your conclusion. Non-verbal communication gives you the feedback necessary to adjust your delivery, hold engagement, maintain confidence, and project sincerity in delivering a powerful closing statement. Be mindful of appropriate gestures, facial expressions, and physical presence to enhance your message impact, especially as you try to conclude; maintain strong eye contact and a confident posture to establish credibility and engagement as you powerfully leave an impression. 

Importantly, practise and time yourself. Practising delivery of your closing statement allows you to better refine your content, memorise an impactful summary, improve your delivery, seek feedback, and effectively manage time. Rehearse your closing statements multiple times to ensure clarity, confidence, and smooth transitions, and as you do so, time your delivery to ensure the closing statement aligns with the allotted time and maintains your audience’s attention throughout your speech. 

Lastly, tailor your speech to your audience and context. By personalising your audience needs, concerns, and interests, you communicate to your audience your adaptability, connection, engagement, and relevance; it demonstrates that you can offer valuable insights and that their perspectives are well understood. In tailoring your closing statement to the specific audience and context, consider the audience’s needs, values, and expectations when crafting the final message. Be sure to adapt language, examples, or references that best resonate with the audience’s background and interests.

In conclusion, summarising your key points, connecting to your opening statements, using memorable language and storytelling, providing a call to action, inspiring and motivating, creating a sense of closure, considering non-verbal communication, practising and timing yourself, and tailoring your speech to your audience and context to powerfully deliver your closing statement or speech is a vital process of offering a sense of completion, impression, and impact to your audience through your closing statement. It allows you to condense a large chunk of information to a small crisp form which your audience can remember, and it allows you to revisit your speech’s objective or goals and ascertain if it has been actualized. Embrace these techniques, understanding that a well-crafted closing statement can leave a deep impression and a last opportunity to keep your voice echoed in your listener’s head. 

*Would you like to get a group/one-on-one customised training on speaking/writing? Feel free to contact me at [email protected] for training solutions.

*Dr Oji is a Senior Lecturer of English at the Institute of Humanities, Pan-Atlantic University, Lagos