"unprofessional" speakers announce that they are nearing the end of
their presentation by saying, "In conclusion…." The problem is, rarely
do they actually conclude with the trailing statement! I once saw a
speaker who said "In conclusion" EIGHT times during his presentation.
If you really want to make busy people angry, say "In conclusion," then
keep on going for another ten or twenty minutes.
about it...if you're speaking to 200 people and you go beyond your allocated
time by 10 minutes, that's the equivalent of 2,000 minutes, or over
33 hours! Even with a small group of 20 people, that's over 3 hours
of wasted time.
best thing to do is simply avoid the phrase "In conclusion." If you
organize your presentation following the principles outlined in my series
of articles about the "unprofessional" speaker elsewhere on this site,
and you follow the basic rules in your introduction, the audience will
know when you are nearing the end of your presentation. When you get
there, do a quick summary, and then have a closer ready to wrap things
closer generally should be something that sums up your message and gives
the audience something thought provoking to leave with. Or, if your
presentation is something rather light-hearted, you may end with something
humorous. For example, when I speak after a dinner, I try to keep things
light since most people have worked all day, are tired and are ready
to go home. So, I often conclude by acknowledging that fact and thanking
them for being attentive. Then I close with a quote by Lord Birkett:
"I don't object when people look at their watches while I'm speaking,
but I strongly object when they start shaking them to see if they're
still running." I then say that I noticed a few people checking
their watches so, before they start shaking them, I'll say my thank
you's and good night.
1999-2000 by William C. Wilson, Jr.
All Rights Reserved.