PEOPLE WILL FORGET
WHAT YOU SAID,
PEOPLE WILL FORGET
WHAT YOU DID,
BUT PEOPLE WILL NEVER
FORGET HOW YOU MADE THEM FEEL.
— Maya Angelou
Look, there are the Notes
and the More Notes
handouts on her table.
The participants will sure
have something to read
on their way back
THE conclusion has a special importance because
it’s the part that your audience will remember best.
Thus, it must be especially inspirational, it must make
the best effort to motivate your audience.
TRY to prepare your conclusion before you prepare
the rest of the talk. This will help you deﬁne your aim
clearly. Because it’s not clear for you right from the start,
then how can you deﬁne what you need to say
throughout the whole presentation? Here’s an analogy:
how can you plan a trip somewhere if you don’t know
where you want to be ﬁnally?
NOW, let’s look at the most common
structure of the conclusion part
and the phrases we can use during each of them.
1. Signaling the end
At the end of the main body of your presentation
you say a couple phrases which let the audience know you’re about to stop.
This will attract everybody’s attention.
✣ That’s all I want to say for now on...
✣ Okay, that ends (the third part of) my talk.
✣ That brings me to the end of my presentation...
✣ That covers all I wanted to say today.
A brief summary restates main point(s) of your talk and restates what
the audience must understand and remember.
Important: summary cannot contain any new information and must be short.
Don’t launch into another mini-presentation. And the number of your main points
cannot be more than three. Otherwise the word ‘main’ just loses its sense.
✣ I’d like to end with a summary of my main point(s).
✣ Let me just run over the key points again.
✣ I’ll brieﬂy summarize the main issues.
✣ To sum up, ...
After summarizing your main point(s), you need to make a logical conclusion.
This is the aim of your talk, this is your message, so this part is extremely
Conclusion can state the logical consequences of what has been said and often
contains recommendations. To build a bridge from summarizing, you can highlight
one of the just mentioned main points and focus on it.
Unlike summarizing, it may contain new and important information: it can help you
reinforce the importance of your message. But like summarizing, it must be short.
✣ I’d like to end with ...
— some observations based on what I’ve said.
— some conclusions / recommendations.
— a brief conclusion.
✣ There are two conclusions / recommendations.
✣ So, I would suggest that we ...
✣ What we need is ...
✣ I think (we have seen that) we have to ...
✣ As you can see, there are some very good reasons ...
✣ I’d like to propose ... (more formal)
This is an easy part: at the end of everything you wanted to say
you just say thank you to your audience.
✣ Thank you for listening / your attention.
5. Inviting questions / discussion
We will examine how to deal with questions and discussion in the next unit,
but here is advice how to invite them.
✣ Now we have (half an hour) for questions and discussion.
✣ Alright. Now, any questions or comments?
✣ So, now I’d be very interested to hear your comments.
✣ I’d be glad to try and answer any questions.
✣ So, let’s throw it open to questions.
5. Inviting questions / discussion
Beware of the ‘nightmare scenario‘ — total silence after your ‘Any questions?’
Have one or two prepared questions to ask the audience. This will start
your interacting, and audience will feel easier to ask back.
In case you’re getting a lot of questions, watch the time, limit long questions.
As for choosing between questions or a discussion, you can decide which way
of interacting and getting feedback is better, depending on your speciﬁc subject
Formality versus creativity
REMEMBER always to adjust your speech
to your audience. As we said in Getting Started Unit,
if your audience consists of creative young people,
you’d rather be unconventional and use our following
advice as you feel is appropriate. If, on the other hand,
you’re about to be talking in front of an older
and conservative audience, sticking to the common
structure that we just described is more preferable.
LET’S go back to the aim of conclusion to make
the ultimate impression on audience and motivate it.
As we said, summarizing the main points and drawing
consequences/recommendations is a very common
and effective way. Especially — for logical people.
Calling the audience to action
Stating your objective clearly is effective for action people, who often
just need inspiration to start doing new things.
✣ So that’s the plan. Now let’s go and put it into practice!
✣ So now it’s your turn.
✣ Now let’s make a real effort to achieve this goal!
Using rhetorical questions
We already talked about rhetorical questions in the Key Language Unit.
✣ After all, isn’t that why we’re here?
✣ Let me just ﬁnish with a question: if we don’t do it, won’t somebody else?
Quoting a well-known person
✣ As ... once said, ...
✣ To quote a well-known businessman, ...
✣ To put it in the words of ..., ...
Important: if you used a quotation in introduction, using another one in conclusion
is not recommended. It will already sound like a repetition, lack of your own
But all is relative, remember. Maybe you’ll ﬁnd two different quotations on a similar
subject which contradict with each other, create an interesting tension
between the beginning and the ending of your talk? If your message beneﬁts
from such tension, go ahead.
Referring back to the beginning
This way adds consistency to your whole talk, and gives an effect of sudden
deeper understanding of your message’s importance.
✣ Remember what I said at the beginning of my talk today? Well, ...
✣ Let me just go back to the story I told you earlier. Remember, ...
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