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How to End Your Speech or Presentation

What to do After Your Speech

1.  Distribute hand-outs at the end of your speech --  never at the beginning.

  • If you give them out beforehand, the audience will focus on reading the hand-outs instead of listening to you.   

  • Put your hand-outs where you can easily reach them after your talk.  The podium is a good place for this.

  • Or, you can give them to either a friend or the sponsoring organization representative and ask him or her to hand them out for you.

2.  Prepare the Audience.

  • Ask a friend or family member to attend your speech and be in the audience. 

  • Give them a couple of questions to ask you after your speech and during the question and answer period.

  • Have them start the questioning in case none of the audience members start.

3.  Think about what questions the audience might ask.

  • Write out your answers, and practice answering the questions.

4.  Remember that you are in control.

  • Of the questions and the answers.

5.  Give the answer you want the audience to remember.

  • This will not be the answer to a heckler's question. But so what. It’s your speech. Your message. Not the heckler’s.

6.  Stay on track. 

  • Do NOT let an audience member distract you from your message with irrelevant or misleading questions or digressions.

7.  Be clear and to the point. 

8Always repeat or paraphrase the question for the audience.

  • Before you answer.

  • Many times the audience cannot hear the questioner. 

  • This also gives you time to think about your answer.

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