To complement my previous entry about fifteen ways to begin your speech, here are six strategies for ending your speech. These tips are from Alan M. Perlman’s book, Writing Great Speeches. Perlman is a speechwriter and ghost writer. The Toastmaster magazine has called him “one of this nation’s top speechwriters.”
1. Net. Go briefly over the highlights of what was covered and sum it all up.
2. Action/Commitment. Explain what action(s) or commitment(s) you hope will be taken and by whom as a result of the information presented.
3. Outcome/Outlook. What is likely to happen or you hope will happen as a result of the points made in the speech.
4. Confirmation. Return to the purpose of the speech and restate it.
5. Qualities. Go over the qualities that will be needed to accomplish the goals covered in the speech.
6. Bonding. Reiterate the ways that the audience is bound to each other or to some larger cause or entity.
Why not end your speech with the same “crescendo” as a musical performance. Leave the audience “in a heightened emotional state and with a satisfying sense of closure,” says Perlman. The last sentences are delivered most effectively by looking at your listeners.