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ORAL PRESENTATION SKILLS : The end or conclusion
 The end or the conclusion of your talk should include four parts
  • Give a brief reminder of what you tried to show in your speech and how you tried to do so
    You should briefly summarize your speech in a few lines to make sure the audience has retained the main points. Alternatives are to just simply: state the point of the speech; give the essential message to retain; list the main points and what you want the audience to remember; review informally or indirectly by using a quote, a comparison or example.
  • Present a short conclusion,
    That is to say you should give a message that logically comes out of the ideas developed in your speech. This could be a commentary, the lessons learned, some recommendations, or the next steps
  • Thirdly, thank the audience for attending.
  • Invite the audience to ask questions or open a discussion.
    If you choose the former, you put yourself in a superior position compared to the audience and should be considered as an expert. You will need to be very prepared intellectually and psychologically to give control to the audience and able to answer any questions. However, in the case of the latter, you put yourself more or less on equal terms with the audience and do not have to be the expert with all the answers! The audience may have some clear ideas or some practical knowledge about the subject themselves!

NB The end of a talk should never come as a surprise to an audience but needs special consideration.panneau

Signposting the end of your talk.

This may take the form of a recapitulation of the main points.

  • I'd like to summarise/sum up
  • At this stage I would like to run through/over the main points...
  • So, as we have seen today....
  • As I have tried to explain this morning BT finds itself in........

or there may be recommendations or proposals that you wish to make;

  • As a result we suggest that.. In the light of what we have seen today I suggest that......
  • My first proposal is......

Above all when you conclude do not do it abruptly or as if surprised to get to the end of your talk.

  • In conclusion I would like to say that.......
  • My final comments concern....
  • I would like to finish by reminding everyone that......

You may at this point wish to distribute a vocabulary list or more detailed information that you wish to make available.

  • I've prepared a slim folder of the proposals...;
  • In the sheets that are now being distributed you will find a breakdown of the.........
  • And finally you may well have to deal with questions.
  • I'd be happy to answer any questions....
  • If there are any questions please feel free to ask.
  • Thank you very much for your attention and if there are any suggestions or comments
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