Poster image of the title. It shows what one can do after a speech.

What To Do Right After A Speech: A Step-By-Step Guide

After having the last word you pause and look at the audience that’s when it strikes, “What’s next?” The audience may look at you unsure what will be your next move.

For instance, haven’t you ever been in a situation where the speaker says ‘Thank You’ and then you wait not knowing if there is still something in store for you or is the end?

The moment you get done with your speech there are so many things that you think you should address before leaving but then it becomes a cyclone of thoughts and you are lost.

You want to say something but don’t know where to start. For this sole reason plan your end but even importantly plan what to do after the end.

In this article, we will familiarize you with what to do after your speech ends but to know more about how you can end your speech we have written a separate article named, “15 Powerful Speech Ending Lines (And Tips to Create Your Own)”.

Read this article to know how you can use different ways to end your speech.

7 steps of what to do after your speech ends

Here are 7 steps you can follow right after your speech ends. These will guide you when you don’t know what to do after your presentation is over.

  1. Thank and appreciate your audience
  2. Give them details to contact you
  3. Add sources where they can find your work
  4. Ask for feedback
  5. Socialize
  6. Reflect on your mistakes
  7.  Find new ways to improvise and master

1. Thank and appreciate your audience

“Gratitude is an opener of locked-up blessings”.

~Marianne Williamson

The audience is a very significant part of your speech without which, your speech would have no value. They are the ones who are listening to you and you are talking to them and for them.

The people sitting in the audience throughout your presentation listening to you should be given some acknowledgement. Therefore, thank your audience for being patient and attentive.

Thank them for being participative, thank them for their attention, and thank them for their presence. They will appreciate you acknowledging them.

The picture portrays the word 'thank you' which the speaker must say after the speech ends.

Types of ‘Thank You’ in a presentation

Primarily there are 2 types of thanking. One where the speaker uses a ‘formal tone’ to thank the audience and the other where he emphasizes the action and simply says a thank you and leaves. Both of these ways are simple, basic and effective. Let me provide you with an example for both.

The first type is the formal thank you where the speaker can say, “Thank you to all the people sitting in the audience and taking out the time to be here and attend my presentation. I appreciate each one of you for contributing to this presentation, by listening to me talk.”

In the second type, you will leave the audience pensive and then say a quick thank you. This is because when you leave on a thoughtful note, it compels the audience to think about what you said and it reinforces the message of your presentation.

2. Give them details to contact you

Provide appropriate detials and methods for the audience to reach out to you after the speech or presentation is complete.

You can provide them with your email ID, phone number or both!

  • Mail

One compulsory source that you can leave is your email ID. It is convenient and professional. One perk of this is that it is easy to track as compared to text or call.

  • Phone Number (Optional)

Adding your personal phone number in contact details is completely optional and upon you. While addressing a large crowd would you want to give out your personal details?

If no, you can provide an alternative, like a number/email ID if you have one which is meant only for that particular event alone. It might also make it easier to track the queries coming in for that event by providing a unique number.

You can choose to give or not give your contact number according to the type, place, time and situation of your presentation.

How to give your contact details to the audience

There 3 ways you can give out contact details:

  • Add your details to the last slide of your PowerPoint presentation. This is the most used and common method that the speaker uses while giving a presentation.
This is an example of a power point slide consisting of contact information.
  • Leave a stack of your visiting cards on the table and the audience can either come to collect it, or you can distribute it among them.
  • Provide a handout at the end of your presentation which includes your contact information (more on this below).
  • You can also tell the audience to connect to the host of the event so as to not cause chaos. Hand over the exact details to the host.

3. Add sources where they can find your work

Different sources where the audience can check out your work.

If you have used facts, quotes or other reference material for your presentation, the audience might want to know the source of this material.

A simple way to give the audience access to your sources is to create a handout including all the sources of your work for them to refer to. These handouts can be distributed after the speech is over with the other necessities such as your contact details.

 Here are some sources that you can mention/leave in your presentation:

  • Blog links or website
  • YouTube channel
  • Pamphlets of your company
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn

4. Ask for feedback

After giving your presentation, ask the audience how did they like your presentation. Don’t be too direct and coercive. Be polite and gentle in your tone.

Asking for feedback will help you know where you went wrong and you can work on it to better your skill so that you don’t make the same mistakes the next time.

The audience’s perspective is the most crucial and truthful. They will give you honest feedback.

Also, if there is someone in the audience who you admire and someone who has knowledge about the topic you presented or is a well-known public speaker you can explicitly ask for their feedback.

It will be more valuable and beneficial as compared to somebody who is unaware or unbriefed about the topic.

One alternative is that you can make a survey form and distribute the form among the audience. Mention all the things you want to know.  The survey method is useful, effective and the most used.

For instance, nowadays in most virtual presentations, a google feedback form is always provided after the presentation. Filling the form benefits the speaker and the speaker gets an insight into what the audience thinks about her/his presentation.

5. Socialize

After the presentation is completed go around and talk to people. What will this do? Socializing will help you make a strong connection with the audience.

The audience will get to know you better.

Having a conversation with people you have presented in front of will also help you gain contacts and connections. You will meet new people and know their perspectives and take on your presentation.

At times it so happens that people don’t often want to ask questions in front of a large crowd. So they may want to ask them personally and socializing will give them the perfect opportunity to come up to you. You can answer their questions or doubts in person.

One more benefit of socializing is that it helps you build your reputation and gives out the image of a humble and modest speaker. The audience admires when the speaker leaves his position on the stage and joins the crowd as a normal man.

6. Reflect on your mistakes

After all the necessities are met, what next? Don’t just be like it’s over so let’s leave it. No, until and unless you don’t reflect on your mistakes how will you learn? It’s pivotal that you know how to improve and not repeat the same things the next time.

One way that will help you discern your mistakes is to get your presentation video recorded which will make it easier, convenient and advantageous for you to reflect on your mistakes.

You can also ask an audience member for your next speech to video record and voice record your presentation so as to help you better reflect on how you can improve the next time you speak on stage.

Check out this article “The Incredible Impact of Video Recording Yourself While Practicing a Speech” where we have mentioned the advantages of video recording your speech.

When you sit and figure out where you went wrong, the next time you give a speech or presentation you will be 10 times extra careful to avoid it. This will not only make you a better speaker or presenter but will also mould you to be an improved human.

Making mistakes is acceptable but learning from those mistakes is what makes you creditable.

7. Find new ways to improvise and master

Delivering in the same way for every speech will make you less interesting and captivating. Try new methods and add some spice to your constant ways of delivering.

If the people in the audience have already attended any of your speeches hitherto they will not find you that intriguing as before. So, be creative, innovative and think out of the box, but most importantly be you.

The audience will connect with you only if you are authentic and genuine.

You can make your speech engaging by playing a quiz, sharing with the audience your personal experience or your take on the topic or just doing fun activities. All this makes your speech entrancing and different.

Don’t know how to make your speech interesting? Don’t worry, check out this article, “A Guide To Making Your Speech Interesting” where 7 techniques are mentioned to spice up your speech.

Conclusion

These are some steps that you can follow to not stay blank and stand still when the speech is over. These will help you navigate through what to do next and also help improve your future speeches.

Hrideep Barot is the founder and chief writer at Frantically Speaking, a portal to help people learn everything about public speaking. The purpose of franticallyspeaking.com is to showcase the lessons that he has learned (and still learning) from his numerous stage experiences and mentors over all these years.