Along with the opening two minutes of a speech, the final part of a speech, known as a ‘closer’ is equally important. Research shows most people remember the closing remarks most.
Nick Morgan in his book ‘Working the Room’ believes ‘the only reason to give a speech is to change the world’.
He's right as the essence of speech making is to move people to action.
So how can you have a closer that moves people to action?
- Don't summarise. Instead get the audience to do something.
- Something you want them to do as a result of hearing your speech.
- Give the audience a ‘call to action’.
- If this is unfamiliar territory for you, model your closer on those that have worked in the past and become part of history.
- Don't try and mimic others. Work out what techniques you find effective.
- Avoid finishing with a Q & A session because you have no control over the questions and there is a serious risk of it being hijacked or just petering out.
To help you get started here are my Top 5 ‘Closers’ from US history and Culture that Inspire Others To Take Action.
1. JOHN F. KENNEDY, INAUGURAL ADDRESS.
"And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country. "
2. MARTIN LUTHER KING, Jr. “I HAVE A DREAM" SPEECH.
"Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, we are free at last. "
3. RICHARD NIXON, “AU REVOIR" SPEECH
"But the greatness comes and you are really tested, when you take some knocks, some disappointments, when sadness comes, because only if you have been in the deepest valley can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain. "
4. EDWARD KENNEDY, WITHDRAWAL SPEECH AT THE DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION.
"For me, a few hours ago, this campaign came to an end. For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream shall never die. "
5. HOPPERS SPEECH TO HIS GRASSHOPPER SWARM IN THE DISNEY/PIXAR CLASSIC “A BUG'S LIFE".
"You let one ant stand up to us - then they all might stand up. Those puny little ants outnumber us a 100 to one. And if they ever figure that out, they're goes our way of life. It's not about food, it's about keeping those ants in line. That's why we're going back - does anyone want to stay? Let's ride. "
Thomas Murrell MBA CSP is an international business speaker, consultant and award-winning broadcaster. Media Motivators is his regular electronic magazine read by 7,000 professionals in 15 different countries. You can subscribe by visiting http://www.8mmedia.com Thomas can be contacted directly at +6189388 6888 and is available to speak to your conference, seminar or event. Visit Tom's blog at http://www.8mmedia.blogspot.com