6 Big Don’ts While Ending a Presentation (& What to do Instead)

A presenter ending his presentation

A presentation is a slideshow or speech that a presenter gives to an audience. While all components of a business presentation are crucial, the ending can determine whether or not your presentation makes a lasting impression on your audience. 

A badly delivered closing remark can dramatically derail a presentation that has otherwise gone well. As a result, speakers must make sure that the ending is not only strong but also leaves a lasting impression. There are several alternatives for drafting the closing of a presentation. The presenter, topic, and audience will determine the best option.

The Big Don’ts of Ending a Presentation

1. Don’t end it awkwardly

Any successful speech can be ruined by a confusing finish. Your concluding statements should state unequivocally that the presentation is over. If there isn’t any applause, stand strong and wait. Don’t give in to the awkward silence by fidgeting or saying “that’s about it”. Thank you is a good approach to convey that a presentation has come to a close. Additionally, using a summary slide works better than a thank you slide. 

2. Don’t forget your core message 

Repeating a topic or key idea from the beginning of the speech is a good way to create a compelling ending to your presentation. It may appear to the audience that the speaker is coming full circle, signalling that the presentation is drawing to a close.

Pick three or four key points from the presentation and repeat them. This is a fantastic technique to make sure that your major points are expressed clearly and that your audience gets the information you wanted to deliver. Give context to the essential points while summarising them, and show the audience how they support your primary argument.

3. Don’t let the audience disengage from the presentation 

As the presentation is ending, the audience starts getting tired. Irrespective of the topic, the listeners tend to disengage by the end and partially zone out the ending. It is very important to make sure they don’t do that, and there are several ways to do this. Some of them are- 

  • Use a powerful quote: Finding a quotation that is a bit more unusual is the key to picking a great quote to end your presentation. A well-known remark will seem cliched, and your audience will most likely tune out. You might want to seek quotes from contemporary figures to ensure that they are relevant to both you and your audience. Make sure the quotation you chose is relevant to your presentation’s topic and will resonate with your audience.
  • Ask a rhetorical question: Providing the listeners with a thought-provoking question is a good way to make sure that they remember your presentation for a long time. The question should apply to the situation being addressed. After hearing it, your audience will consider the answers after the presentation.
  • Tell a story: Anecdotal stories can help a presentation’s conclusion, but they can’t be just any story. Pick a good story that corresponds to the presentation’s primary topics, and make sure the story isn’t too long. Customer encounter stories or successful case studies are often the most effective.

To learn more about how to end presentations in dramatic manners, here is another article by us that you should check out!

4. Don’t look tired or bored

It’s only normal to be exhausted at the end of your presentation. The adrenaline rush that had been coursing through your veins before has subsided. The audience must sense your enthusiasm and willingness to answer queries. 

Even after the presentation is over, maintain your posture and wait confidently if you find yourself waiting for the audience to realise the presentation is over. Avoid fidgeting or shifting papers and maintain a perfect stillness while smiling at the audience. When the first person in the audience claps, you may urge the rest of the audience to do so by staring straight at the person who is applauding and saying “thank you.”

To help understand how useful powerful energy can be, watch this video about 5 powerful speech closing remarks.

5. Don’t end with a Question-Answer session

Avoid ending your presentation with a Q&A session, even if you include a time for the audience to ask questions. To wrap up the presentation, you’ll want to reclaim control and make some closing statements. According to the concept of recency, people recall what they have learnt lately.

To put it another way, your audience is more likely to remember how you ended your presentation than how you began it or even much of the substance in the middle. You will need a grander ending than “any questions?” if you want them to remember the end.

6. Don’t leave the audience hanging

It’s not enough to hope that your message will motivate others to act. After ending your presentation, you should instruct them to do something. Use strong, authoritative, and instructive language. “Begin the journey” or “Join the struggle” are clear directives that tell the listener what to do. This is called a Call-To-Action(CTA). 

Barrack Obama ends his Climate Change speech by the words “Let’s get to work”, using that as a CTA.

Few Ways of Successfully Ending a Presentation:

Using the Rule of Three

The Rule of Three is a great strategy for public speaking that you can quickly learn, practise, and adapt to any situation. The Rule of Three is a basic theory that suggests that thoughts given in groups of three are more engaging, pleasant, and memorable to your audience. Information provided in a group of three sticks with us better than the information offered in other groupings.

The rule of three may be shown in the following examples:

  • This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning – Winston Churchill
  • I came, I saw, I conquered – Julius Caesar
  • Blood, sweat and tears – General Patton


When presenting a presentation, one typical technique is to inform the audience of what you are saying. This means not only saying your content but also reminding your audience of what you said. While this may seem tedious, it may be used as a basic guideline for keeping your presentations brief and to the point. That’s because, no matter how good your presentation was, you’ll need to remind your audience of what you’ve covered. Summaries don’t need to be boring. You’re not writing an essay, so avoid terms like “In conclusion” or “To summarise.” Instead, start your overview with a question like “What does all of this mean?” and take control of the crowd from then onwards.

A summary slide for ending a presentation.

End it on a high note

As previously said, it is critical to keep your enthusiasm as the presentation draws to a close. Your audience will sense your exhaustion, and if you conclude it in a lacklustre manner, they will recall the entire presentation as dull and drawn out. Look lively, and end it on a high note. 

“And where the rewards for merit are greatest, there are found the best citizens”, said Pericles, a Greek leader, to end a funeral oration for all their fallen soldiers. On a topic as solemn as a funeral, he managed to end the speech by uplifting the crowd and rousing a sense of nationalism among the citizens.

Powerful Imagery

Thousands of photographs from the Tiananmen Square massacre exist. Photographs that show people fighting, rioting, burnt vehicles, troops, and anything else you can imagine. However, the only shot from the entire ordeal that stands out is this. A photograph of an ordinary man standing in front of four large tanks with nothing but his shopping bags. This is the epitome of effective imagery. The world would have easily forgotten about the tragedy if it hadn’t been for this photograph symbolising the struggle and hardship of Chinese residents. The use of vivid imagery creates an impression on the audience and gives them a lot to think about. 

"The Tank Man" from Tiananmen Square signifying powerful imagery to end a presentation
Jeff Widener, Keystone

How to ask for Questions at the end of a presentation:

Earlier in this blog, we talked about how we should not end a presentation on the questions phase. Asking for questions, however, is important. A good way to do that is by making it clear beforehand when you are taking questions. Additionally, you also need to anticipate what sort of questions the audience will ask of you. This will ensure you are not caught off guard at the moment. Finally, don’t forget to take pauses after each question. Make sure you comprehend the question and express gratitude to the person who asked it.

Choosing the correct ending slide

While making our presentations, it is very tempting to end with a “Thank You” slide. It is easy and often assumed to be the safest way to end your presentation. However, there’s no need to include a thank-you slide. You might simply thank the crowd and replace it with something far better.

Designing a slide that is perfectly connected with your presentation’s aims is the greatest method to end your presentation. Review your message’s content and look for a way to bring everything together in just one slide.

Famous Examples:

  1. Using a Quote:

“Let us, therefore, brace ourselves to our duty and so bear ourselves that if the British Commonwealth and Empire lasts for thousands of years, men will say: ‘This was their finest hour.’ ”—Winston Churchill, 1940

  1. Using Humour: 

“There are three rules to becoming famous. Unfortunately, nobody knows what they are.” – Andras Arato, 2017

  1. Using emotion: 

“The ambition of the greatest man of our generation has been to wipe every tear from every eye. That may be beyond us, but so long as there are tears and suffering, so long our work will not be over. And so we have to labour and to work, and work hard, to give reality to our dreams. Those dreams are for India, but they are also for the world.” – Nehru, 1947


The most crucial parts of your presentation are the beginning and finish. The beginning of your speech is when you catch the audience’s attention and guarantee that they pay attention for the rest of it. The ending provides you with the opportunity to make a lasting impact on your audience.

When people are asked to recall material, studies reveal that they “perform best at the beginning and finish.” As a result, it’s critical that your closing remark make an impression. A powerful conclusion inspires individuals to act by motivating, empowering, and encouraging them to do so.

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