Presentation on theme: "“Great is the art of beginning, but greater is the art of closing.” –Henry Wadsworth Longfellow."— Presentation transcript:
“Great is the art of beginning, but greater is the art of closing.” –Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
“Your speech should be like the smooth flight of an airplane. The conclusion is the landing. The passengers—your audience— don’t want the landing to be sudden or bumpy. They don’t want to land in the wrong place. And most importantly, they DO want you to land!” –Malcolm Kushner
Your conclusion should… Summarize your speech. Provide closure. Make a great final impression, using emotional appeal.
Creating the Perfect Conclusion Cue the audience in advance by telling them when you are getting close: “Turning now to my final point.”
Creating the Perfect Conclusion Make it sound like a conclusion: “In conclusion…” “In closing…”
Creating the Perfect Conclusion Make the last words memorable: Make them laugh. Make them think. Make them stand up and applaud.
Wrapping it up in style… Refer back to the opening. Use a quotation. Ask a question with an implied answer.
Wrapping it up in style… Recite a short poem Ask for help Tell the audience what to do Tell a story
Closing Examples At the close of the constitutional convention the oldest delegate, Benjamin Franklin, was asked to be the first to sign. At the front of the chamber was the chair from which President Washington had presided. The chair had the design of the sun low on the horizon. Franklin said, “There were days when I thought this picture of a sun low on the horizon was a setting sun, but now I know it’s a rising sun—a new day for America, a new dawn for freedom.”
In Hartford, Connecticut, one day in 1780, the skies at noon turned from blue to gray, and by midafternoon the city had darkened over so densely that, in that religious age, men fell on their knees and begged a final blessing before the end of the world descended. The Connecticut House of Delegate was in session. There was pandemonium, and many of the House were calling for adjournment. The Speaker of the House, Colonel Davenport, rose to his feet and then silenced the din with these words: “The Day of Judgment is either at hand or it is not at hand. If it is not, there is no need for adjournment. If it is, I choose to be found by my God doing my duty. I entertain the motion, therefore, that candles be brought to enlighten this hall of democracy.”
Churchill, in a radio talk appealing for aid from the United States, once concluded his speech like this: “The other day I received a letter from President Roosevelt in which was enclosed a poem by Longfellow that was written in his own hand. Sail on, O Ship of State! Sail on, Union, strong and great! Humanity with all its doubts and fears, And all its hopes for future years, Is hanging breathless on thy fate!” When Churchill finished reciting the verse, he looked up and said, “What is the answer that I shall give America and President Roosevelt? Here it is: ‘Give us the tools and we will finish the job!’”
One of the greatest football coaches was Lou Little of Columbia University. General Eisenhower, who was president of the university after the war, included him as one of the greatest leaders he ever knew. Before Little was at Columbia, he was coach at Georgetown. In 1928, he had a reserve end named Dennis Flaherty who came in to scrimmage every afternoon with an older man. On the day of their game with their big rival, Holy Cross, Flaherty asked, “Mr. Little, may I start in today’s game?” “Son,” replied Little, “you’re too small---I know you give your heart out in scrimmage. That’s why I sometimes put you in at the end of the game when it doesn’t matter.” “Well, Mr. Little, I’ve prayed. If I don’t do everything an end should do, pull me out after the first five minutes.” Well, Coach Little let Flaherty start, and Flaherty played all sixty minutes that day. Flaherty blocked a kick, sacked the quarterback twice, intercepted one pass, and caught another for a touchdown. After the game, Little said, “Flaherty, how did you know you could even play such a game?”
“Well, Mr. Little, that was my dad I came with everyday.” “I gathered that,” said Little. “Well, Dad was blind,” explained Flaherty, “and last night he died of a heart attack. And so you see, Coach Little, today was the first time Dad would ever see me play.”