How many times have you been listening to a presentation and the speaker gets to the end of their final slide and then says “So, any questions?”. To which the stunned audience responds with an uncomfortable shuffling in their seats. “Ok, right” mutters the speaker, “thanks” and with a sigh of relief (or is it embarrassment?) he/she sits down.
Or perhaps this has happened to you.
Why does this occur? Well it’s because many presenters wrongly assume their summary or recap slide is their final point, or the presentation’s conclusion. Unfortunately the summary slide is not the final point, at least not for the audience.
You see a presentation is like a journey; a journey of logic. As the presenter, imagine you are the driver of the bus and you are taking your audience i.e. your passengers (ideally engaged and involved ones!) on your journey of logic.
And as with all journeys, a presentation must have a final destination – a final destination where you want to take your passengers. So, the end of your presentation is not a summary or recap of all your points within the presentation. The end of your presentation is your final destination and the final destination needs to be all about your audience, not about you and your points!
Creating a memorable destination
To make it sticky, make it short. Ideally only 1 sentence, which has two parts:
i) Decide what audience reaction you want i.e. what do you want the audience to do/think/feel as a consequence of your presentation?
ii) Determine their motivation i.e. the WIFT (what’s in it for them), or what might be the consequence, that will motivate them.
Combine reaction + motivation (any order) to = the final destination.
Here’s an example of a destination based on this blog:
If you want to deliver a memorable message and end your presentations with conviction (motivation) you need to finish your presentations with a final destination that focuses on the audience (reaction).
I said before that a destination is not the same as your summary. A summary is simply a recap of your points of interest and persuasion along the journey. More about those soon!
One last thing – perhaps a word of warning(?). Deciding your final destination can take a bit of time. Like deciding where to go on holiday; so many choices! But make the effort to think carefully. You may only get one chance to take your audience on this journey, so make it matter, make it memorable, make it count.
p.s. remember it’s your personality that powers your presentation performance.