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The conclusion is your chance to finish strong and leave the audience with the exact message you want them to remember. While this is an important part of the speech, you’ve already done the hard work in the introduction. Think about it this way: you’ve already established a statement of purpose or listening goal, your thesis found above as well, and the review of points is just as simple as it sounds (just be sure to keep the order of points consistent across the entire outline). To make things even more user friendly, consider how you simply add a word or phrase to your purpose and thesis and have it fit the conclusion just right.
Review Statement of Purpose
Just as you did above, you will state the listening goal for your speech. However, this time you will do it in the past tense. So, if in the introduction you said something like, “By the end of today’s talk, you should feel encouraged or more encouraged to recycle,” now you could simply say “After today’s talk, you should feel encouraged or more encouraged to recycle.” You can, of course, be more creative but this approach gets the job done.
Review Thesis/Central Idea
Similar to the statement of purpose, your thesis does not need much alteration from the introduction to fit here in the conclusion. Above, the thesis is, “People are not getting enough sleep and negative consequences need to be considered.” Let’s simply add the word Clearly to the beginning of that line. “Clearly, people are not getting enough sleep and negative consequences need to be considered.”
Review Main Points
Don’t forget the final review of your main points. This review allows you to keep the promise you made to your audience in the introduction. You likely said something to the effect of, “Today we will cover cats, dogs, and rabbits.” At this point you are confirming that you did what you promised. “Today we coveredcats, dogs, and rabbits.”
It is hard to overstate the importance of the closure. This is the last thing you will say and the thing your audience will remember most clearly. For a persuasive speech that includes a call-to-action, or directions you want your audience to execute as soon as possible, this is where that goes. Regardless of the type of speech, this final line or two needs to refer back to the attention getter. If you started out with a story, finish the story here. If you asked questions, tell or ask the audience how what you have said might impact their responses or feelings about those responses. If you provided the audience with a shocking fact or statistic, tell them how your words should shape the way they think about the information. Finally, the closure needs to sound finished. We have all heard a presentation that ended abruptly with silence or “…and that’s it,” “…and yeah, any questions.” DON’T BE THAT PERSON. Use the closure as an applause cue that says to your audience that your talk went full circle and is now complete.