A powerful speech ending line helps you recapture the essence of your speech: your main points and the purpose of why you spoke.
Basically, it is a summary of your dominant points.
The words you say at the beginning, and especially at the end of your talk will be remembered longer than any other part of your speech. (This doesn’t mean the body of your speech has no importance.)
The beginning of your speech needs to be strong because it grips the attention of your audience. If that falls apart, they might lose interest in your speech. To avoid such a situation, here’s an article on 15 Powerful Speech Opening Lines (And How to Create Your Own) that you can refer to.
It has happened time after time- a speaker has concluded his speech with no conclusion or a simple “Thank you!” which made their impactful and amazing speech entirely fall apart.
Ineffective conclusion or no conclusion makes your speech lose its charm and the energy that has been created. This leaves your audience in a state of confusion and disappointment.
Remember, the conclusion of your speech is NOT the time to introduce new points or new supporting evidence; doing so will all the more confuse the listeners.
Instead, a conclusion is like tying a bow or ribbon to a box of your key ideas that your audience will be taking along with them. Meaning, it’s the final touch that makes your speech stand out and memorable.
So, how can you end your speech with a bang? To discover it, let’s jump in to the 15 powerful speech ending lines and ways to create your own:
1) Abraham Lincoln
Speech ending line: “And this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the Earth.”
How to use The Rule Of Three to end your speech?
The Rule of Three is an effective technique that allows you to express your ideas more completely by emphasizing your points and increasing the memorability of your message.
Dale Carneige once said,
“Tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you just told them.”
Information when presented in a group of three sticks in our head better than say, groups of four or five.
The answer is simple! We humans are generally good at pattern recognition and three is the smallest number needed to make a pattern. When used at the end of a speech, you can create maximum impact, (obviously) if said in a proper tone of voice.
Repeating your ideas can make your message more persuasive, memorable, and entertaining.
Since, the conclusion is your last chance as a speaker to drive home your ideas, you need to repeat and emphasize phrases, sentences and words to make others remember your key message.
The repetition of phrases and sentences should be such that it creates a micro story of your entire speech.
If you are trying to incorporate the rule of three in your speech and need guidance to do so. Here’s an article on The Power of the Rule of Three in Speech Writing that might help you!
2) Simon Sinek
Speech ending line: “Listen to politicians now, with their comprehensive 12-point plans. They’re not inspiring anybody. Because there are leaders and there are those who lead. Leaders hold a position of power or authority, but those who lead inspire us. Whether they’re individuals or organizations, we follow those who lead, not because we have to, but because we want to. We follow those who lead, not for them, but for ourselves. And it’s those who start with “why” that have the ability to inspire those around them or find others who inspire them.”
How to mark an end of a speech with a story?
Telling stories can do wonders in making your speech a memorable one. Because we as humans relate to stories.
Using an effective and persuasive story at the end can engage the audience, evoke empathy, increase trust and motivate action.
Your story should be crafted in such a way that it sums up your entire speech. But don’t forget, it needs to be short and sweet.
You can start your story by saying, “Let me tell you a story that illustrates what I have been talking about…”
To make your speech/story worth remembering, you can try these various storytelling approaches mentioned in this article- 9 Storytelling Approaches For Your Next Speech or Presentation.
3) Les Brown
Speech ending line: “If you want a thing bad enough
To go out and fight for it,
Work day and night for it,
Give up your time and your peace and
Your sleep for it
If only desire of it
Makes you quite mad enough
Never to tire of it,
Makes you hold all other things tawdry
And cheap for it
If life seems all empty and useless without it
And all that you scheme and you dream is about it,
If gladly you’ll sweat for it,
Fret for it, Plan for it,
Lose all your terror of God or man for it,
If you’ll simply go after that thing that you want.
With all your capacity,
Strength and sagacity,
Faith, hope and confidence, stern pertinacity,
If neither cold, poverty, famished and gaunt,
Nor sickness nor pain
Of body or brain
Can turn you away from the thing that you want,
If dogged and grim you besiege and beset it,
You’ll get it.”
How to end a speech with a poem?
This works similar to the notion of storytelling.
You can end your speech with a poem that summarizes your entire speech. To do this you can either make your own or select the one that works the best for your speech. If you select one, remember to cite the source.
While reciting a poem add emotions and drama to your words, raise your voice on a key line of the poem and pause whenever required.
Poetry is a powerful way to get your point across because it helps you create an impression in your audiences’ mind. If you are planning to tap into poetry for your next speech, we have written an article- Getting Your ‘Wordsworth’: Poetry in Public Speaking that you can review to get some tips on how to add a poem in your speech.
4) Sir Ken Robinson
Speech ending line: “There’s a wonderful quote from Benjamin Franklin. “There are three sorts of people in the world: Those who are immovable, people who don’t get it, or don’t want to do anything about it; there are people who are movable, people who see the need for change and are prepared to listen to it; and there are people who move, people who make things happen.” And if we can encourage more people, that will be a movement. And if the movement is strong enough, that’s, in the best sense of the word, a revolution. And that’s what we need.”
How to close a speech with a memorable quote?
Quotations are usually concise and memorable phrasing of an idea. (This is why we repeat and remember quotations, right?)
The sole reason to quote material is that it reinforces your ideas. A quotation offers a second voice echoing your claims which is more powerful than simply just repeating yourself.
So, your quote should be such that summarizes your main idea. You can quote words of an expert, a person who spoke before you at an event or something in your own words.
Tips for using quotations in your speech:
- Phrasing it correctly can help boost your credibility
- Don’t quote anything outside your context
Taking the above example of Sir Ken Robinson, the quoted words at the end of his speech summarized the heart of his speech.
5) Lera Boroditsky
Speech ending line: “It’s how the language that you speak shapes the way that you think. And that gives you the opportunity to ask, “Why do I think the way that I do?” “How could I think differently?” And also, “What thoughts do I wish to create?”
How to end a speech with a question?
You can try and engage your audience with questions that will get them thinking.
It is often effective to end with a rhetorical question that captures the message and leaves the audience thinking—especially one that directly ties in your CTA. For instance:
“What choice will you make when you leave here today? Will you ____(your key message), or will you go about your normal routine?”
See how Lera Boroditsky leaves her audience with a set of questions rattling around their minds.
6) Melissa Butler
Speech ending line: “So I challenge each of you, when you go home today, look at yourself in the mirror, see all of you, look at all of your greatness that you embody, accept it, and love it. And finally, when you leave the house tomorrow, try to extend that same love and acceptance to someone who doesn’t look like you. Thank you.”
How to give a challenge close to your speech?
In the above example, Melissa Butler used a challenge close to force her audience to take action over something.
In this type of closing, you challenge your audience to apply whatever you spoke in your speech and engage them in thought or action.
A good way to do that is to make sure they know you’re aware of the challenges that exist, and that you have concrete and actionable solutions to it.
To do this, you can have a bit of a forceful tone of voice to make a failure process a learning one.
Do express your belief in them and focus on setting a high bar, but an achievable one.
7) Brian Kateman
Speech ending line: “You can change the world by ordering a smaller steak, or doing something more. But don’t just sit by and ignore what you already know. Consider eating less meat and be a reducetarian.
Save our planet, improve your health, and save a lot of animals.”
How to end a speech by giving a solution to a concern?
This type of closing is suitable for speeches where you talk about a problem and give a solution for the same.
First you introduce the problem and explain why the audience should be concerned about it.
While concluding, you provide a practical solution to the stated concern.
Look at how Brian Kateman states a problem: The battle between vegans, vegetarians, and everyone else and ends up giving a pragmatic solution.
8) Anjelah Johnson
Speech ending line: “Really?! It’s funny because my finger didn’t do like that before I came in here.” “It’s okay honey, don’t worry. I’ll fix it for you, don’t worry.” (Imitates talking in Vietnamese) (Laughter) (Laughter) (Stops talking Vietnamese) “Oh, see? You look so pretty!” God bless, you guys.”
How to leave your audience with a good laugh?
Wouldn’t you love leaving your audience with a good laugh? Ending your speech with humor can help you to do so.
But you need to use them with caution. Tell jokes that are related to your speech. And avoid telling offensive jokes.
You can add anecdotes and funny stories that have happened in real life since it’s easy to relate to and, if said in a correct manner, you can have your audience laughing while hitting your message home!
Tips to deliver a good humor:
- Surprise your audience by breaking their expectations with the help of a good setup and punchline. Setup creates a specific expectation in people’s minds and a punchline reveals the surprise. For instance, “I believe that each person can make a difference (setup), but it’s so slight that there’s basically no point (punch)”
- Try and impersonate your dialogues or the characters as it will make your listeners feel they are in the scene
- You can twist the literal meaning of a word. Example- Everybody looked up to me in college because I was the tallest of all
- You can also incorporate the rule of three that works similar to the setup and punchline technique i.e. setup, setup, punch. Take an example of Elicia Sanchez, “I was a super nerd when I was a kid. I liked video games, I liked comic books, I was the youngest mage in the D&D campaign I was part of with 30-year-olds at the Yardbirds in Centralia, Washington.”
Apart from this, always test and rehearse the humor that you are going to incorporate and ask for honest feedback. Also, make sure the jokes and stories you use add value to your point and are insightful
9) Yubing Zhang
Speech ending line: “As the words said high on the bungee platform, “Life begins at the edge of your comfort zone.”
How to end a speech using the circle theory?
Here, the idea is to take your audience on a journey and get them back to the place from where you started, making a circle.
Meaning, you refer back to what you started with (movie, words, quote).
Yubing Zhang begins her speech with- Life Begins at The Edge of Your Comfort Zone” and ends with the same.
You can bookend your speech in different ways:
- You can end by referencing your opening
- Concluding words can contrast from your opening words.
- Open with a question and answer it at the end
We have written an in-depth article on 7 Techniques to Bookending Your Speech: Guidelines and Examples. Review it for some inspiration!
10) BJ Miller
Speech ending line: “Parts of me died early on, and that’s something we can all say one way or another. I got to redesign my life around this fact, and I tell you it has been a liberation to realize you can always find a shock of beauty or meaning in what life you have left, like that snowball lasting for a perfect moment, all the while melting away. If we love such moments ferociously, then maybe we can learn to live well — not in spite of death, but because of it. Let death be what takes us, not lack of imagination.”
How to close a speech with an inspiring note?
Okay, let’s be real here. We humans are dealing with problems, difficulties, challenges, disappointments, setbacks, and temporary failures.
Ending your speech with an uplifting talk that gives a ray of hope might encourage your audience.
“Inspiring your audience is all about helping them see their own vision, not yours.”Anonymous
If your hope is to inspire your audience then your material needs to be about them and ways on how they can grow.
To do so you can opt for stories or share your personal experiences to get your message alive, but you need to paint a picture of what your audiences’ vision is when it comes to themselves and how you can help them achieve that vision by your talk.
11) Dr. Shashi Tharoor
Speech ending line: “95% of our 12 year-olds across India can read and write. So the future looks good. And as far as the workforce is concerned, if we can get all these other pieces in place, we can say to the rest of the world, “We are coming.”
How to end your speech with facts?
Adding only facts in a speech can make it boring, right? Because there’s nothing entertaining about that.
Well, this wouldn’t be a case when you use the right facts in a proper way and at a proper time.
Adding facts as a speech ending line can be a way through which you can re-engage your audience, leaving them mesmerized.
Incorporate only those facts that are relevant to your topic because you don’t want to make them apathetic towards you.
Present your facts in a creative manner. For instance, asking a question after when you stated the fact, audience poll, or add humor.
Trying to add facts in your speech without making it sound boring? Here’s an article- 11 Steps to Add Facts in A Speech Without Making It Boring that can guide you.
12) Cameron Russell
Speech ending line: “If there’s a takeaway to this talk, I hope it’s that we all feel more comfortable acknowledging the power of image in our perceived successes and our perceived failures.”
How to leave your audience with a piece of advice?
This works similar to the fact concept.
Your advices should get your audience encouraged about something and not discourage them or make them feel incompetent.
Try to chunk your advice into simple steps that your audience can follow. Inject emotions, relate it to your own experience (if possible) and make it inspirational.
The sole purpose of giving advice is to help someone. Don’t forget that!
Because a lot of times the advice is created on the basis of expectation and not understanding others. To simplify it, you need to understand the problem that your audience is facing and then advise them keeping your expectations and judgements aside.
Look at how Cameron Russell makes people feel good about themselves by empowering them regardless of the topic.
13) Nora Mclnerny
Speech ending line: “But yes, absolutely, they’re going to move forward. But that doesn’t mean that they’ve moved on.”
How to use a title close to end your speech?
To give your speech a title close, your speech needs to have a provocative title that encapsulates your message memorably.
Use the title of your speech as your closing words to stir your audience to think more fully about what they just heard, reinforcing the title of your speech mentioned earlier.
14) Alfred Chuang
Speech ending line: “A new world is on the horizon. And it will be more incredible than any of us can possibly imagine. Our greatest innovations are ahead of us, not behind. But we need great engineers to build that world for us. And that’s you. We need you to not give up. Ever. We need you to finish your projects. Done, done, done. We need you to leverage the power of an immigrant-rich workforce. And we need you all to be a little insane.”
How to make a direct call to action at the end of your speech?
A well constructed and presented speech is the one that changes people’s mind and ignites action.
The call to action comes right before the end of a persuasive speech. Here, you clearly tell the audience the role they can play after they leave your talk.
It serves as a road map that your listeners can follow after when they are thoroughly gripped to your idea. Because they exactly know what they need to do.
In the above example, you can see how Alfred Chuang delivered a powerful CTA, as he clearly explains what listeners can do to push his idea forward.
Barring this type of a CTA, the other forms include signing a petition, buying your product, visiting your website.
15) Barack Obama
Speech ending line: “So let’s get to work, people. Let’s bring this home. I love you, Philadelphia. Honk if you’re fired up, honk if you’re ready to go. Are you fired up?”
How to use an appeal to end your speech?
The most common closing for a persuasive speech can be an appeal for action.
You can shape your appeal according to who your intended audience is and the purpose of you talking to them.
One of the best ways to make an appeal is by tapping into their emotions in order to form a deeper connection with the listeners.
Avoid making your message too pushy. Instead, try and make your content relatable and valuable for them. This is when the audience is much more likely to pay attention to you.
Valuable reads: The Secret of Writing a Persuasive Speech
Depending on the type of speech you are presenting, you will be asking the audience for something. And that can be- asking them to act in a certain way, or to change their attitude towards a certain person or topic or simply make them understand what you’re trying to say.
Nonetheless, the conclusion of your speech is to leave the audience positively motivated towards you and the topic you have been presenting.
Hopefully, these 15 examples will guide you to create your own speech ending line that is impactful.
Let us know in the comments below which one worked for you.