Joked with a presenter today who ended a class with “well, I guess that’s all we have“. His defense was the topic was a rough one with some unpleasant facts/discoveries, and was best abandoned. While I might agree with the topic and conclusions that this interactive group came to, I’d disagree with the choice to end weakly. It could easily have been made into a summary and call to action. Unfortunately, I hear such endings all too often.And it’s not a unique phrase. It shares the gene pool with:

  • I don’t have anything else
  • You’re dismissed
  • If no one has anything else, I guess we can go
  • I hope you’ve found something useful out of this

Your ending is the last chance to leave an impression and the thing on the audience’s mind as they pack up to leave. If you really don’t have a call to action or a concluding point, then I have to ask, why are you presenting/teaching/talking? We spoke yesterday about how an overtime presentation loses an audience and has them slowly (or quickly) drift away. It’s even worse to have the control, and then release it and lose your momentum with a weak ending. Make a compelling case and call to action, and leave them with no doubt about what you wanted to communicate.

End strong, on your terms, with a distinct summary and call to action.

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