While speech openings are definitely one of the most important components of a speech, something that is equally as important is the way you conclude your speech.
There are few worse ways to end your speech than with a terse ‘thank you’–no elaboration or addition whatsoever.
Speech endings are just as crucial to the success of your speech as speech openings, and you must spend just as much time picking the perfect ending as you do to determine your best possible speech opening.
The words you speak at the beginning and end of your speech are words that your audience will pay the most attention to, and remember longer than any other part of your speech.
Speech endings can put even the most experienced speaker in flux, and increase their anxiousness manifold as they sit there attempting to figure out the perfect way to end your speech.
If you’re someone who’s in flux about your speech ending too, don’t worry. We’ve got some amazing ways to conclude your speech with a bang!
1. Circling Back To The Beginning
The idea behind circling back to the beginning of your speech is to reinforce the idea of your speech being a complete whole. By circling back to the beginning and connecting it to your ending, you let the audience understand that the idea of your speech is complete & standalone.
Circling back to the beginning of your speech also acts as an excellent way of reinforcing the central idea of your speech in the audience’s mind, and makes it more likely that they will remember it after the speech ends.
Need more inspiration for speech opening lines? Check out our article on 15 Powerful Speech Opening Lines & Tips To Create Your Own.
How To Circle Back To The Beginning
The easiest way to do this is to set up your beginning for the conclusion of your speech. That is, if you’re saying something like, say, a story or joke in the beginning, then you can leave your audience in a cliffhanger until the ending arrives.
Another great way to circle back to the beginning is by simply restating something you said at the start. The added knowledge from attending the rest of your speech will help the audience see this piece of information in a new–and better–light.
1. Will Stephen
Ending Line: “I’d like you to think about what you heard in the beginning, and I want you to think about what you hear now. Because it was nothing & it’s still nothing.”
2. Canwen Xu
Speech Ending: My name is Canwen, my favorite color is purple and I play the piano but not so much the violin…
Think of a memorable moment from your life, and chances are you’ll realize that it involved a feeling of happiness–something that we can associate with smiling or laughter. And what better way to generate laughter than by incorporating the age-old strategy of good humor.
The happy and lighthearted feeling you associate with good memories is the kind of emotional reaction you want to create in your audience too. That’s what will make your speech stick in their memory.
Done incorrectly, humor can be a disaster. Done right, however, it can entirely transform a speech.
Humor doesn’t only mean slapstick comedy (although there’s nothing wrong with slapstick, either). Humor can come in many forms, including puns, jokes, a funny story…the list is endless.
How To Incorporate Humor In Your Speech Ending
The simplest way to incorporate humor into your speech ending is by telling a plain old joke–something that’s relevant to your topic, of course.
You can also tell them a short, funny anecdote–may be an unexpected conclusion to a story you set up in the beginning.
Another way would be by employing the power of repetition. You can do this by associating something funny with a word, and then repeating the word throughout your speech. During the end, simply say the word or phrase one last time, and it’s likely you’ll leave off your audience with a good chuckle.
1. Woody Roseland
Ending Line: “Why are balloons so expensive? Inflation.”
2. Andras Arato
Ending Line: “There are three rules to becoming famous. Unfortunately, nobody knows what they are.”
3. Hasan Minhaj
Ending Line: “And you want to know the scariest part? Pretty soon every country on the earth is going to have its own TLC show.”
4. Sophie Scott
Speech Ending: In other words, when it comes to laughter, you and me baby, ain’t nothing but mammals.
5. Tim Urban
Speech Ending: We need to stay away from the Instant Gratification Monkey. That’s a job for all of us. And because there’s not that many boxes on there. It’s a job that should probably start today. Well, maybe not today, but, you know, sometime soon.
6. Hasan Minhaj
Speech Ending: Showing my legs on TV is probably the scariest thing I’ve ever done. And keep in mind last week I went after the Prince of Saudi Arabia.
The idea behind posing a question at the end of your speech is to get the wheels in your audience’s minds turning and to get them thinking of your speech long after it has ended. A question, if posed correctly, will make your audience re-think about crucial aspects of your speech, and is a great way to prompt discussion after your speech has ended.
How To Add Questions To Your Speech Ending
The best type of questions to add to your speech ending is rhetorical questions. That’s because, unlike a literal question, a rhetorical question will get the audience thinking and make them delve deeper into the topic at hand.
Make sure your question is central to the idea of your speech, and not something frivolous or extra. After all, the point of a question is to reinforce the central idea of your topic.
1. Lexie Alford
Speech Ending: Ask yourself: How uncomfortable are you willing to become in order to reach your fullest potential?
2. Apollo Robbins
Speech Ending: If you could control somebody’s attention, what would you do with it?
Quotes are concise, catchy phrases or sentences that are generally easy to remember and repeat.
Quotes are an age-old way to start–and conclude–a speech. And for good reason.
Quotes can reinforce your own ideas by providing a second voice to back them up. They can also provoke an audience’s mind & get them thinking. So, if you add your quote to the end of your speech, the audience will most likely be thinking about it for long after you have finished speaking.
How To Use Quotes In Your Speech Ending
While adding quotes to your speech ending, make sure that it’s relevant to your topic. Preferably, you want to pick a quote that summarizes your entire idea in a concise & memorable manner.
Make sure that your quote isn’t too long or complicated. Your audience should be able to repeat it as well as feel its impact themselves. They shouldn’t be puzzling over the semantics of your quote, but its intended meaning.
1. Edouard Jacqmin
Speech Ending: “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”
2. Chris Crowe
Speech Ending: “It’s more certain than death and taxes.”
3. Olivia Remes
Speech Ending: I’d like to leave you with a quote by Martin Luther King: “You don’ have to see the whole staircase. Just take the first step.”
4. Tomislav Perko
Speech Ending: Like that famous quote says, “In twenty years from now on, you’ll be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the things you did do.
5. Diana Nyad
Speech Ending: To paraphrase the poet, Mary Oliver, she says, “So, what is it? What is it you’re doing with this one wild and precious life of yours?”
5. Piece Of Advice
The point of giving a piece of advice at the end of your speech is not to pull your audience down or to make them feel bad/inferior about themselves. Rather, the advice is added to motivate your audience to take steps to do something–something related to the topic at hand.
The key point to remember is that your advice is included to help your audience, not to discourage them.
How To Add Piece Of Advice To Your Speech Ending
To truly make your audience follow the advice you’re sharing, you must make sure it resonates with them. To do so, you need to inject emotions into your advice, and to present it in such a manner that your audience’s emotions are aroused when they hear it.
Your advice shouldn’t be something extra-complicated or seemingly impossible to achieve. This will act as a counter-agent. Remember that you want your audience to follow your advice, not to chuck it away as something impossible.
Our article, 15 Powerful Speech Ending Lines And Tips To Create Your Own, is another great repository for some inspiration.
1. Ricardo Lieuw On
Speech Ending: “Learn something new, or a new way of approaching something old because there are a few skills are valuable as the art of learning.”
2. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic
Speech Ending: “If we want to improve the competence level of our leaders, then we should first improve our own competence for judging and selecting leaders.”
3. Sharique Samsudheen
Speech Ending: “Some people love money, some people hate money, some people crave money, some people even kill for money. But what they miss is they just need to learn how to manage money well, and that will give them financial freedom.”
4. Kate Simonds
Speech Ending: Teens, you need to believe in your voices and adults, you need to listen.
5. Melissa Butler
Speech Ending: When you go home today, see yourself in the mirror, see all of you, look at all your greatness that you embody, accept it, 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.
6. Iskra Lawrence
Speech Ending: Speak to your body in a loving way. It’s the only one you got, it’s your home, and it deserves your respect. If you see anyone tearing themselves down, build them back up And watch your life positively grow when you give up the pursuit of perfection.
6. Contemplative Remark
As the name itself suggests, contemplative remarks are intended to make your audience contemplate or mull over something. The ‘something’ in question should be the idea central to your speech, or a key takeaway that you want them to return home with.
The idea is to get your audience thinking and to keep them thinking for a long, long time.
How To Add A Contemplative Remark To Your Speech Ending
To add a contemplative remark to your speech ending, you first need to figure out your key takeaway or main theme. Then, you want to arrange that as a question, and propose it to your audience at the end of your speech.
Remember that your question shouldn’t be something too wordy or complicated to understand. As with the quotes, you don’t want your audience stuck on the semantics. Rather, you want them to focus on the matter at hand.
1. Lisa Penney
Speech Ending: “So I invite you to pay more attention to your thoughts & consider the legacy you leave behind.”
2. Grant Sanderson
Speech Ending: “Some of the most useful math that you can find or teach has its origin in someone who was just looking for a good story.”
3. Greta Thunberg
Speech Ending: “We will not let you get away with this. Right here, right now is where we draw the line. The world is waking up & change is coming whether you like it or not.”
4. Bill Eckstrom
Speech Ending: Now, think about this: it’s not the complexity-triggering individuals or events you should fear the most, but it’s your own willingness to accept or seek discomfort that will dictate the growth of not just you, but our entire world.
5. Robert Hoge
Speech Ending: Choose to accept your face, choose to appreciate your face, don’t look away from the mirror so quickly; understand all the love, and the life, and the pain that is the part of your face, that is the art of your face. Tomorrow when you wake up, what will your choice be?
7. Personal Anecdote
Personal anecdotes, as the name suggests, are anecdotes that are personal to the speaker or instances from their life. Personal anecdotes are a great way to incorporate the magical powers of storytelling in your speech, as well as to make a personal connection with the audience. Using personal anecdotes, you can hit two birds with one stone!
How To Add Personal Anecdotes To Your Speech Ending
To add personal anecdotes to your speech ending, you need to filter through your life experiences to find out ones that directly relate to your topic at hand. You don’t want to include an anecdote, no matter how compelling it is, if it doesn’t relate to your topic.
Remember to not keep your anecdote too long. Your audience will most likely lose their attention if you do so.
1. Sheila Humphries
Speech Ending: “Why do you go work for these people?” My answer to them was, “If I could help one child make it in this world, it’ll be worth it all.”
8. Call To Action
A call-to-action is one of the absolute best ways to conclude a speech with a bang. A well-written speech should aim to alter the audience’s mind or belief system in some way and to make them take an action in that direction. One crucial way to assure your audience does this is by using a call to action.
How To Add A Call To Action To Your Speech Ending
A call to action comes right before the ending of your speech to provide your audience with a clear idea or set of instructions about what they’re supposed to do after your talk ends.
A call to action should provide a roadmap to the audience for their future steps, and to outline clearly what those future steps are going to be.
1. Armin Hamrah
Speech Ending: “So tonight, after you finish your Math homework & before you lay your head down on that fluffy pillow, bring a piece of paper and pen by your bedside…”
2. Graham Shaw
Speech Ending: “So I invite you to get your drawings out there & spread the word that when we draw, we remember more!”
3. Andy Puddicombe
Speech Ending: You don’t have to burn any incense, and you definitely don’t have to sit on the floor. All you need to do is to take out 10 minutes out a day to step back, familiarize yourself with the present moment so that you get to experience a greater sense of focus, calm, and clarity in your life.
4. Amy Cuddy
Speech Ending: Before you go into the next stressful evaluative situation, for two minutes, try doing this in the elevator…
5. Jia Jiang
Speech Ending: When you are facing the next obstacle or the next failure, consider the possibilities. Don’t run! If you just embrace them, they might become your gifts as well.
9. Motivational Remark
As the name clearly explains, a motivational remark motivates your audience to carry out a plan of action. It ruffles the audience’s mind and emotions and has a powerful impact on the steps that your audience will take after you’ve finished speaking.
How To Add A Motivational Remark To Your Speech Ending
The key to a good motivational remark is to inspire your audience. Your motivational remark should act as a ray of hope to your audience and positively inspire them to take a desired course of action.
Your motivational remark should not be negative in any way. You don’t want to guilt or coerce your audience into doing something or feeling a certain way. You want to leave them on a positive note to move forward with their life.
1. Khanh Vy Tran
Speech Ending: “No matter what you’re going through right now & no matter what the future holds for you, please don’t change yourself. Love yourself, accept yourself & then transform yourself.”
2. Mithila Palkar
Speech Ending: “Get a job, leave a job, dance, sing, fall in love. Carve your own niche. But most importantly: learn to love your own randomness.”
3. Andrew Tarvin
Speech Ending: “Anyone can learn to be funnier. And it all starts with a choice. A choice to try to find ways to use humor. A choice to be like my grandmother, to look at the world around you and say WTF–wow, that’s fun.”
4. Laura Vanderkam
Speech Ending: There is time. Even if we are busy, we have time for what matters. And when we focus on what matters, we can build the lives we want in the time we’ve got.
5. Julian Treasure
Speech Ending: Let’s get listening taught in schools, and transform the world in one generation into a conscious listening world, a world of connection, a world of understanding, and a world of peace.
6. Mariana Atencio
Speech Ending: Let’s celebrate those imperfections that make us special. I hope that it teaches you that nobody has a claim on the word ‘normal’. We are all different. We are all quirky and unique and that is what makes us wonderfully human.
Much like a call to action, the aim of proposing a challenge at the end of your speech is to instigate your audience to take some desired course of action. A challenge should make an appeal to your audience’s emotion, and motivate them to meet it.
How To Add A Challenge To Your Speech Ending
To apply a challenge effectively to your speech ending, you need to make sure that it’s something relevant to your topic. Your challenge should drive the central topic of your speech forward, and make your audience engage in real-life steps to apply your idea in the real world.
While its always a good idea to set a high bar for your challenge, make sure its an achievable one too.
1. Jamak Golshani
Speech Ending: “I challenge you to open your heart to new possibilities, choose a career path that excites you & one that’s aligned to who you truly are.”
2. Ashley Clift-Jennings
Speech Ending: So, my challenge to you today is, “Do you know, would you even know how to recognize your soulmate?” If you are going out in the world right now, would you know what you are looking for?
Metaphors are commonly used as a short phrase that draws a comparison between two ideas in a non-literal sense. People use metaphors quite commonly in daily life to explain ideas that might be too difficult or confusing to understand otherwise. Metaphors are also great tools to be used in speech, as they can present your main idea in a simple and memorable way.
How To Add Metaphors To Your Speech Ending
To add a metaphor to your speech ending, you need to first decide on the main idea or takeaway of your speech. Your metaphor should then be organized in such a way that it simplifies your main idea and makes it easier for your audience to understand & remember it.
The key is to not make your metaphor overly complicated or difficult to retain and share. Remember that you’re trying to simplify your idea for the audience–not make them even more confused.
1. Ramona J. Smith
Speech Ending: “Stay in that ring. And even after you take a few hits, use what you learned from those previous fights, and at the end of the round, you’ll still remain standing.”
2. Shi Heng YI
Speech Ending: “If any of you chooses to climb that path to clarity, I will be very happy to meet you at the peak.”
3. Zifang “Sherrie” Su
Speech Ending: “Are you turning your back on your fear? Our life is like this stage, but what scares are now may bring you the most beautiful thing. Give it a chance.”
The idea behind using stories to end your speech is to leave your audience with a good memory to take away with them.
Stories are catchy, resonating & memorable ways to end any speech.
Human beings can easily relate to stories. This is because most people have grown up listening to stories of some kind or another, and thus a good story tends to evoke fond feelings in us.
How To Incorporate Stories In Your Speech Ending
A great way to incorporate stories in your speech ending is by setting up a story in the beginning and then concluding it during the end of your speech.
Another great way would be to tell a short & funny anecdote related to a personal experience or simply something related to the topic at hand.
However, remember that it’s the ending of your speech. Your audience is most likely at the end of their attention span. So, keep your story short & sweet.
1. Sameer Al Jaberi
Speech Ending: “I can still see that day when I came back from my honeymoon…”
2. Josephine Lee
Speech Ending: “At the end of dinner, Jenna turned to me and said…”
Facts are another excellent speech ending, and they are used quite often as openings as well. The point of adding a fact as your speech ending is to add shock value to your speech, and to get your audience thinking & discussing the fact even after your speech has ended.
How To Add Facts To Your Speech Ending
The key to adding facts to your speech ending is to pick a fact that thrusts forward your main idea in the most concise form possible. Your fact should also be something that adds shock value to the speech, and it should ideally be something that the audience hasn’t heard before.
Make sure that your fact is relevant to the topic at hand. No matter how interesting, a fact that doesn’t relate to your topic is going to be redundant.
1. David JP Phillips
Speech Ending: 3500 years ago, we started transfering knowledge from generation to generation through text. 28 years ago, PowerPoint was born. Which one do you think our brain is mostly adapted to?
14. Rhethoric Remark
Rhetoric remarks are another excellent way to get the wheels of your audience’s minds turning. Rhetoric remarks make your audience think of an imagined scenario, and to delve deeper into your topic. Rhetoric remarks or questioned don’t necessarily need to have a ‘right’ or one-shot answer, which means you can be as creative with them as possible!
How To Add Rhethoric Remarks To Your Speech Ending
Since rhetorical questions don’t need to have a definite answer, you have much freedom in determining the type of question or statement you wish to make. However, as with all other speech endings, a rhetorical question shouldn’t be asked just for the sake of it.
A rhetorical question should make your audience think about your topic in a new or more creative manner. It should get them thinking about the topic and maybe see it from an angle that they hadn’t before.
Rhetorical questions shouldn’t be too confusing. Use simple language & make sure it’s something that the audience can easily comprehend.
1. Mona Patel
Speech Ending: Pick your problem, ask “What if?” Come up with ideas. Bring them down. Then execute on them. Maybe you’re thinking, “What if we can’t?” I say to you, “What if we don’t?”
2. Lizzie Velasquez
Speech Ending: I want you to leave here and ask yourself what defines you. But remember: Brave starts here.
Another great way to end your speech with a literal bang is by using music! After all, if there’s something that can impact the human mind with just as much force as a few well-placed words, it’s the correct music.
How To Add Music To Your Speech Ending
To add music to your speech ending, you must make sure that the music has something to do with your speech theme. Remember that you’re not playing music in your concert. The piece of music that you choose must be relevant to your topic & work to have a contribution in your overall speech.
1. Tom Thum
Speech Ending: *ends the TED Talk with beat boxing*
16. Reitirate The Title
The title of your speech is its most important component. That’s why you need to pay careful attention to how you pick it, as it is something that your viewers will most likely remember the longest about your speech.
Your title will also act as a guiding hand towards how your audience forms an initial idea about your speech and is what they will associate your entire speech with.
By repeating your title at the end of your speech, you increase the chances that your audience will remember it–and your speech–for a long time.
How To Retierate The Title In Your Speech Ending
Your title is something that your audience associates your entire speech with. However, you don’t want to simply add the title in your speech end for the sake of adding it. Instead, make it flow naturally into your speech ending. This will make it seem less forced, and will also increase the chances of your audience remembering your entire speech ending and not just the title of your speech.
1. Ruairi Robertson
Speech Ending: I feel we can all contribute to this fight worth fighting for our own health, but more importantly, our future generations’ health by restoring the relationship between microbe and man. There is SOME FOOD FOR THOUGHT!
Need more inspiration for speech closing lines? Check out our article on 10 Of The Best Things To Say In Closing Remarks.
To sum up, speech endings are just as imperative to the success of your speech as speech openings, and you must spend just as much time picking the perfect ending as you do to determine your best possible speech opening. The words you speak at the beginning and end of your speech are words that your audience will pay the most attention to, and remember longer than any other part of your speech.