What are closing remarks?
A closing remark is the last sentence, paragraph or concluding part of your speech or presentation. They are also referred to as ‘concluding remarks’.
In a speech/presentation, the outset and the conclusion are 2 essentials. It leaves an impact on the audience and makes your speech/presentation eloquent.
We have written an article on opening lines in speech writing, read this article to know how to begin your speech perfectly.
Every speech or presentation comes with an objective and something to take away from it. The point is that if you don’t end your speech appropriately the main essence of your speech/presentation will be forgotten and dispersed just as quickly.
The closing remark will be your last chance to be innovative and make up for the missing bits if any.
The limit of your closing remark must last between 10% to 15% of your speech. So for instance, if your speech is a 7-minute speech your closing remark must last for at least a minute.
The purpose of closing remarks
The main purpose of closing remarks is, it lets the audience know that the speech is supposed to end.It helps to summarize your speech in short and accentuate the main points of your speech.
Also, research suggests that the audience often remembers the end closing part precisely than the entire speech.
A powerful speech ending does 40% of your work. It’s also not easy to write a ‘Closing remark’. You have to think and choose the right words that hit hard and leave a mark.
Some Dos of closing remarks
The speaker must follow a few things with respect to the format of the speech. Here are some dos which will help the speaker in concluding his speech.
Indicate that the speech is close to the end
An experienced speaker will always signal that the speech is about to end so that the audience is mentally ready for a conclusion. For example- In a novel, the author uses Epilogue as a tool to let the readers know that the story is going to get over soon.
Give a rundown of your speech/presentation
At times, it’s possible that the readers may have missed some points while you were speaking or they may have zoned out during the span of your speech. So give a brief run-through of your points at the end and this will reinforce the message of your speech.
As mentioned above, the closing remark or concluding part of your speech will be the last chance of leaving an impact on the audience. So a confident eye-contact may let the audience know so much more than just words could convey.
It will also make your call-to-action more effective and influencing.
Some don’ts of closing remarks
Some things should be avoided when writing your closing remarks for a speech or presentation. Given below are the most primal things that the speaker should keep in mind.
Don’t make the closing remarks lengthy
If the speaker does not add a closing remark, the speech would look incomplete and end abruptly. Also, try not to make the closing remark too prolonged, this may bore the audience and they may lose interest.
The audience may also not be able to distinguish between the main points and jumble up what is important and what is not.
Don’t end with a simple ‘Thank You”
Saying a dry and plain ‘Thank you’ to be polite at the end of your speech is not very persuasive. It is a very mundane way of ending your speech.You need to drive your point home so be creative.
Don’t add new material out of no where
Adding in new material in the closing remarks which are not mentioned in the speech will catch the audience off guard. The audience may not be able to process what’s going on. So mention only those points in your closing remarks that have already been spoken about.
Types of closing remarks
You want your closing remarks to be such that the audience can get a flashback of the entire presentation or speech with just what you said at the end. These may alter accordingly with what kind of a presentation it is.
The fitting remark
What is it?
The fitting remark is the most basic remark of them all. It’s to the point, decisive and direct. The idea of your presentation is conveyed through this remark.
Example of a fitting remark
Here is an example of a Speech where Emma Watson closes her speech with a fitting remark. Like I mentioned above, this speech is to the point and decisive. The idea of Gender Equality was conveyed very clearly and directly by her closing remark.
The motivational remark
What is it?
The motivational remark is used when the speaker uses motivational quotes, phrases, or even dialogues for that matter. The objective is to leave the audience on a ‘motivated to do something’ note.
This remark is to re-energize your audience towards your speech/presentation. When the speaker ends his speech it should have such an impact that they remember your words and do something with that motivation.
Motivational speeches can be given on a variety of topics. We have written an article about ‘How to give a motivational speech on leadership to students’. You can check it out to get a better idea. This is just one example of how to go about it.
Example of a motivational remark
This speech by Jeremy Anderson just leaves a mark that has you sitting straight and energized. It motivates the audience to know their worth and not let themselves down.
The expository remark
What is it?
In this type of a remark the speaker shares his anecdotes, his own experience or has a very relatable end to his speech. The main purpose of such an end is so that the audience can connect to the speaker on a deeper level and know exactly what he is saying.
It’s a sort of a congenial connect with the audience. We have written an article on Storytelling approaches you can use in your speech or presentation. This article will give you an insight into why storytelling is so important what are the different techniques used.
Example of a expository remark
Priyanka Chopra in this speech shares her own experiences and anecdotes that people can connect with which makes her speech so much more interesting and inspiring.
The contemplative remark
What is it?
The contemplative remark leaves the audience pondering over what the speaker has said. Its goal is to make the audience think about all factors such as the lessons, the theme of the speech and wavelength during the span of the presentation/speech.
The speaker can emphasize ‘what the audience thinks’ and leave it there for them to figure out their thoughts.
Example of a contemplative remark
For instance, President Obama in his speech about Bin Laden’s death concludes with a contemplative remark that leaves the audience pensive.
“Finally, let me say to the families who lost loved ones on 9/11 that we have never forgotten your loss, nor wavered in our commitment to see that we do whatever it takes to prevent another attack on our shores.
And tonight, let us think back to the sense of unity that prevailed on 9/11. I know that it has, at times, frayed. Yet today’s achievement is a testament to the greatness of our country and the determination of the American people.
The cause of securing our country is not complete. But tonight, we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to. That is the story of our history, whether it’s the pursuit of prosperity for our people, or the struggle for equality for all our citizens; our commitment to stand up for our values abroad, and our sacrifices to make the world a safer place.
Let us remember that we can do these things not just because of wealth or power, but because of who we are: one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”President Obama in his speech about Bin Laden’s death
The propositional remark
What is it?
In this remark, the speaker ends with a piece of advice for the audience. It’s more subjective than objective. This is more like a suggestion/tip.
Example of a propositional remark
Michelle Obama’s speech is an advice for students about how to succeed in life. Her closing remark suggests that it’s not important if you went to an Ivy League or a State School what is important is the hard work you do and that will take you closer to success.
The rhetoric remark
What is it?
The rhetoric remark has to do with a question that doesn’t really need an answer. The speaker leaves the audience hanging with this question.
The speaker has no intention of expecting an answer from the audience and neither does he want one. He just wants the audience to consider what he said and reflect upon it.
Rhetoric is used in many forms and speakers use rhetoric in their speeches for a powerful effect. Here are 4 ways how you can use rhetorical devices in your speech to make it powerful.
Example of a rhetoric remark
“In the end, that’s what this election is about. Do we participate in a politics of cynicism, or do we participate in a politics of hope?”President Obama in 2004 Democratic National Convention Speech
The funny remark
What is it?
One of the best thing that helps make your speech effective and interactive is humour. It lightens the environment and works as a tool to break the ice between the speaker and the audience.
Adding humour to your speech will make the audience lively and enthusiastic. If you leave the audience laughing at the end of your speech you will leave on a positive note and they will most probably leave with a good impression of you and your words.
Qualified speakers frequently make use of humour all through their speech and then at the end strike with a humourless thought and leave the audience serious. Such a sudden change has a powerful impact.
Example of a funny remark
In this speech by Dananjaya Hettiarachchi he uses humour to close a speech by successfully summing up the title and summarizes the content of his speech.
The factual remark
What is it?
In this type of remark, the speaker ends with some facts related to his speech and presentation. Adding facts as the closing boosts your speech. Facts presented in the form of tables, graphs and diagrams are easy to understand and visually appealing.
At times facts can seem boring if not presented appropriately. To know what facts to add and what not to add in a speech follow our article on ’11 Steps to Add Facts in A Speech Without Making It Boring’.
Example of a factual remark
Given below is a paradigm of a pie diagram. The speaker can fill in his facts according to the theme and research of his presentation.
What is it?
This is the most common remark and can be utilized in most of the closing remarks. Call- to- action is simply requesting your audience to take a step forward and take action towards the theme of your speech.
Why is it a must, you may ask? This is because the audience may have listened to your entire speech but until and unless you won’t take the initiative and be upfront not everyone is compelled to take action.
Example of a call-to-action
Leonardo DiCaprio in this speech is asking the audience and people to take action to put a price tag on carbon emissions and eliminate government subsidies for coal, gas, and oil companies.
The Activity Remark
What is it?
This closing remark can be one of a kind for the audience. In this kind of a remark the speaker can undertake an activity that will help the audience understand the theme of the speech with an act of creativity.
For instance, the speaker can make use of his talents to showcase his message through them. Like singing, doing a trick or playing a quiz with the audience.
Example of a activity remark
Sparsh Shah a 13 year old boy who ends his inspiring speech with a song and rap wants to tell the audience that nothing is impossible in life. He uses music as a closing remark to end his speech in a heartening way.
Scenarios for closing remarks
Closing remarks for a meeting/Conference
Meetings are often compulsory as compared to presentations or speeches. They can be called at any time and are mostly informal. Whereas, a conference is formal and has a specific time and place, where it is conducted.
But in both of them, the purpose is to plan and execute. So end your closing remarks with action.
For example- Reiterate the actions that need to be executed so that the actions will remain fresh and can be recalled easily.
Here is a pro-tip, do not drag the meeting/conference over time and then rush up to close the conference. This will make no room for your closing remark and many things will remain unsaid even if you manage to close the meeting/conference in a rush.
Closing remarks for a school activity
As the heading suggests the closing remark for a school activity will be for school kids so try not to use too many technical terms or make it complicated. Keep the remarks simple and fun.
Here the speaker can use the Activity remark mentioned in the types of closing remarks. It is creative, engaging and hence the kids will connect more to fun activities rather than to boring long remarks.
For example- The speaker can use the Q & A method to end or play a quiz and include all the points mentioned in their speech/activity.
Closing remarks after a workshop
Workshops come with an intent to teach and for the audience to learn. So make your closing remarks interactive. You can ask questions like ‘What is your take-away from this workshop?’
This will let the audience ponder over what they learnt during the entire span of the workshop.
One more way to end is by requesting the audience to fill out the feedback form and cater step by step guidance.
Closing remarks for a webinar/Zoom meeting
Since a zoom meeting/webinar is a virtual platform, there are chances the speaker might not see all the audience or ‘participants’ of the meeting but everyone can see the speaker.
So this may also fall as a disadvantage in the speaker’s case but don’t let this demotivate you.
In your closing remark, you can add a poll that is a feature of zoom to know how many of them are listening. Before closing the webinar, leave your Twitter or Facebook handles so that if the audience has questions they can connect with you on these platforms.
Closing remarks for a ceremony speech
A ceremony is more of a large scale event with too many decorations, music, and arrangements.
Keep in mind though, these things are not what the audience will want to leave with, so what you say last will be the end of what they take-away. Therefore, in a ceremony, you can use any one of the types of closing remarks mentioned above.
For example- You can use ‘The expository remark’ where you can share your own story to make your closing remark relatable and two-sided.
Some last words
Closing remarks are important in speech writing because without a closing remark your speech will seem unfinished. To leave on a happy note the speaker must organize his speech with the perfect end and time it accordingly.
Closing remarks can be of varied types but using the appropriate closing remark according to the situation and time can make a huge difference in your speech.