First Steps in the Trump Era

Stop Ending Speeches With ‘Any Questions’ – End With This Instead

We’ve all heard it when a speaker ends their presentation. 

“Any questions?” 

This presentation ending is one of the least effective ways to leave a positive impression on your audience. In fact, if you’re ending your presentations this way you’re wasting the most important moment in your presentation.

End with what you want them to keep thinking about and you’ll find that your presentations are far more effective than they were in the past.  

The reason is, you’re missing out on a key timeframe in which to reinforce your message. To make a final appeal to the gatekeepers and decision-makers that you’re making your pitch to. 

The psychological principle of recency states that people remember the thing they heard most recently the most. So your audience is going to remember the last thing you said in your presentation more than anything else you said. You need to harness the real estate that’s usually wasted with “any questions” and use it, instead, to drive your point home. 

Ending a presentation with “any questions” also leaves the audience in charge of the ending of your presentation. You never know if an audience member will ask a question that throws your conclusions into question or one that takes the focus off of what you’re trying to communicate. The questions they ask will set the tone for how your presentation ends. 

Instead of ending with “any questions” consider ending your presentation by meaningfully and purposefully leaving a lasting message in the minds of your audience. Recap your message. Summarize the takeaway message from the presentation. And make your pitch again. End with what you want them to keep thinking about and you’ll find that your presentations are far more effective than they were in the past.