Articles tagged: speech closing

Your speech closing is the most critical part of your speech (even more important than the speech opening).

An effective speech closing summarizes your main argument(s), resolves loose ends, is memorable, and (when appropriate) gives a clear and compelling call-to-action.

A poor speech closing is usually one that is absent altogether, one that drags on for half the speech, or one that fails to make any sort of conclusion at all.

Examples and more information can be found in the following Six Minutes articles:

The signature of a persuasive speech is a clear call-to-action.

Yet many speakers miss a fantastic opportunity with a call-to-action that is wishy-washy, hypothetical, or ill-constructed. Even worse, some speakers omit the call-to-action entirely.

A poor call-to-action undermines the effectiveness of your speech; a great call-to-action stirs your audience to act enthusiastically.

In this article, we reveal the qualities of a strong speech call-to-action which will lead your audience to act.

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This article reviews a thought-provoking speech by Dan Pink about the surprising science of motivation, which was delivered at TED in 2009.

Pink delivers a masterful speech which demonstrates many strong speech techniques, including:

  • A powerful opening, which establishes a framework utilized throughout;
  • Building of ethos and logos;
  • Well-timed use of humor;
  • Employing contrast and the rule of three;
  • Powerful conclusion; and
  • Superb delivery.

The strength of this speech isn’t surprising at all, given Pink’s former role as chief speechwriter for Al Gore.

This is the latest in a series of speech critiques here on Six Minutes.

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This article is part of the 12 Days of Ask Six Minutes.
This event is over now, but you can send your questions anytime.

Keith Kennedy asks:

At my Toastmasters meeting last night, one of the speech evaluators recommended that the speaker should “bookend her speech”. I’ve never heard that term before. What does it mean, and is it something you recommend?

In this article, we’ll define what it means to bookend your speech, and give a set of tips for exercising this wonderful technique.

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“And that’s the way it is.”

Former CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite closed every nightly broadcast with that signature phrase, a signal to his viewers of not simply the conclusion of his broadcast but the authenticity of what they had just experienced.

The familiar phrase, repeated every weeknight, threw a security blanket around his viewers. His mantra — decisive on principle and incisive on purpose — made his audience feel special, that they had been part of something tailored specifically for them.

You, too, can wrap your audience in a security blanket with a signature closing phrase at any type of recurring meetings. Read on to discover examples of mantra-like closing phrases that may stimulate your creativity in fashioning your own signature close.

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End your speech with an attitude, not a platitude.

Instead of firing off a perfunctory “thank you,” consider launching fireworks of final passionate thoughts from the podium.

With the flair of a fireworks finale, you’ll trigger spontaneous applause to a well-rehearsed, well-timed, and well-executed performance — a performance that reflects all the anticipation of a logger’s cry: Timbeerrrrrrrrrrr!

This article shows you how to close your speech with a bang.

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When you speak, does your audience get it?

If your audience doesn’t grasp your message (even though your topic is one you know they are interested in), you need to rethink the way you present it. You need to organize your ideas to promote understanding.

The second Toastmasters speech project addresses organizing your speech. This article of the Toastmasters Speech Series examines the primary goals of this project, provides tips and techniques, and links to numerous sample speeches.

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Randy Pausch delivers a lesson laden lecture — Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams — which will have you laughing, crying, and cherishing life.

The “elephant in the room” — Pausch’s diagnosis of terminal pancreatic cancer — serves as an emotional backdrop for this memorable lecture.

In addition to illuminating many of life’s important lessons, Randy Pausch’s last lecture also provides five lessons which can help you connect with your audience.

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Each year, MIT professor Patrick Henry Winston delivers an open lecture entitled How to Speak.

Positive word of mouth spread over the years, and the event now draws a beyond capacity crowd with people sitting uncomfortably on steps and the floor to listen to Winston. You can learn from the master teacher from the comfort of your web browser by viewing the lecture videos.

In the 45-minute lecture, Winston delivers dozens of practical tips for speaking effectively, particularly when teaching. This article highlights seven of the best.
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J.A. Gamache demonstrates how to complement strong writing with powerful body language in a speech titled “Being a Mr. G.” that took first place in the 2007 Region VI Toastmasters speech contest.

This video critique analyzes many noteworthy elements of the presentation, including:

  • a memorable speech opening and closing which feature the same prop;
  • the callback technique for repetitive humor;
  • emotionally charged writing; and
  • a series of wonderfully choreographed gestures.

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