How to Conclude a Presentation: Tips and Examples

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated May 27, 2022 | Published February 4, 2020

Updated May 27, 2022

Published February 4, 2020

This article has been approved by an Indeed Career Coach.

GettyImages-538364418

Image description

Person stands before an audience in a darkened theater and delivers a presentation, talk or speech.

A poorly executed closing statement can completely undermine an otherwise successful presentation. That is why presenters must give their conclusions thoughtful consideration. When it comes to writing a presentation's conclusion, there are many viable options. The best choice will depend on the presenter, the topic and the audience.

In this article, we explain why presentation conclusions are important, list ways to end one, give tips for effective closings and provide famous examples of powerful closing remarks.

Related: 10 Tips for Giving a Great Presentation

Why is a presentation conclusion important?

The conclusion of a presentation is important because, for the most part, an audience will remember a presentation's beginning and ending most clearly. The beginning should grab your audience's attention. This encourages them to become invested in what you have to say and prepares them for the rest of your message. A speech's ending should summarize the main points of the presentation and create a lasting impression in the minds of your audience.

Related: The Key to Successful Speech Writing

How to conclude a presentation

Here are a few ways to effectively conclude a presentation:

1. Summarize the key points

Choose three or four points from the presentation and reiterate them. This is a good way to ensure that your main points are appropriately communicated and that your audience is walking away with the information that you intended to convey. When summarizing the key points, give them context and show the audience exactly how they support your main argument.

2. Echo the core message

Repeating a theme or core message that was mentioned in the introduction can create a powerful conclusion. To an audience, it can feel like the speaker is coming full circle, and will signal to them that the presentation is concluding. You can accomplish this in several ways:

  • Set up a question during the introduction and finish your speech by answering it.

  • Conclude a story you started during your presentation. Use the anecdote to show the core message.

  • Give your presentation a memorable title and then use the title to conclude the speech.

3. Present a call to action

Provide your audience with clear and specific actions to take now that they are armed with the information from your presentation. Calls to action should include strong, active verbs.

4. Use a powerful quote

The key to choosing an effective quote to conclude your presentation is to find one that is a little more obscure. A famous quote will sound cliché, and your audience will likely stop listening. You could consider looking for quotes from modern personalities to ensure that they are fresh to you and your audience. Be sure to choose a quote that relates to the theme of your presentation and will resonate with your audience.

5. Ask a rhetorical question

Leaving the audience with a thought-provoking question is a great way to ensure that they will continue to think about your presentation long after it's concluded. Make sure that the question applies to the topics covered, and that your audience will leave thinking about possibilities and opportunities.

6. Tell a story

Anecdotes can bolster a speech's ending. Here are some tips for using a story to conclude a presentation:

  • Make sure the story is brief.

  • Choose a story that relates to the main points of the presentation. Stories about a customer experience or successful case study are effective.

  • Make sure the story is relatable and encourages empathy from your audience.

7. Give a visual image

If possible, providing a powerful visual can leave a lasting impression on your audience. You can combine this strategy with another from this list or use it on its own. Be sure to leave the image up even after you've concluded your presentation to give your audience more time to think about the image and the points you made.

If you're delivering a time-sensitive message, you could utilize this strategy by showing a running timer. The timer will add emphasis to your closing remarks and inspire your audience to take action.

8. Acknowledge others.

Though not an inspiring way to end a presentation, it is sometimes necessary to thank contributors at the end of your speech. Contributors would be considered as individuals:

  • Helped you build the presentation

  • Gathered important data

  • Served as members of the project you're presenting on

9. Use a short, powerful sentence

Leaving an audience with a memorable statement will impress them and grab their attention. If you're stuck, one way to do this is to utilize the power of three. Combining information into groups of three makes it more rhythmic and memorable for your audience. For example, Julius Caesar used this method when he said, "I came, I saw, I conquered."

10. Make them laugh

Depending on the subject matter, closing out a presentation with a joke can be a great way to drive a point home and leave your audience with something to remember. Just be sure to choose or craft a joke that will echo the main point of your presentation.

Tips for ending a speech

Here are some tips for preparing the ending of a speech:

Avoid ending with a Q&A session

Even if you incorporate a time for the audience to ask questions, avoid ending your presentation there. You'll want to take back control and offer some closing remarks to conclude the presentation.

Use a summary or contact slide instead of a "thank you" slide

Thank you slides are inconsequential and do little to enrich the audience's experience. You can conclude the presentation by saying "thank you," but the slide should display either a summary of the points made or the presenter's contact information.

Make it clear that the presentation is over

An awkward conclusion can diminish any successful speech. Your closing remarks should make it clear that the presentation is over. Saying "thank you" is a useful way to clearly indicate the conclusion of a presentation.

Maintain stage presence even after the speech is finished

If you find yourself waiting for the audience to understand that the presentation is over, maintain your position and wait confidently. Avoid shuffling papers or fidgeting and stand perfectly still while smiling at the audience. When the first person claps, you can encourage the other members of the audience to do the same by looking directly at the applauding individual and saying "thank you."

Related: How To Improve Your Public Speaking Skills (With Examples)

Famous examples of how to conclude a speech

When preparing for a presentation, it's beneficial to study some of history's more famous speeches. Here are a few famous examples of effective and powerful speech conclusions:

  • “Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”Patrick Henry, 1775

  • “Having behind us the producing masses of this nation and the world, supported by the commercial interests, the laboring interests and toilers everywhere, we will answer their demand for a gold standard by saying to them: 'You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns: you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold'.”William Jennings Bryan, 1896

  • “Let us, therefore, brace ourselves to our duty and so bear ourselves that if the British Commonwealth and Empire lasts for thousands of years, men will say: ‘This was their finest hour.' ”Winston Churchill, 1940


Browse more articles