Bert Decker points out that a bad ending can torpedo a good presentation. He offers six ways NOT to end your next presentation. In brief:
1. Don’t step back.
2. Don’t look away.
3. Don’t move on the last word. Hold still for a half-beat after the “you” in “thank you.”
4. Don’t raise your hands. Think of yourself as the gracious host or hostess and drop your hands with an appreciative “thank you.”
5. Don’t rush to collect your papers, visual aids or displays. Hang around for a while.
6. Even if you think you bombed, never blackball yourself with a critical grimace, a shake of the head, eyes rolled upward, a disgusted little sigh.
It’s a little like show biz. Old vaudevillians used to say, “Get a good opening and a good closing. The middle will take care of itself.”
I’d add this important point: Rehearse your opening and closing — out loud — until you’ve got both down cold. It’ll boost your confidence and eliminate those wishy-washing endings that undercut all your hard work.
Remember, even professional musicians and athletes have to practice — and they’re pros! All the more reason for us mere amateurs to work out the bugs in private.
More presentation tips are on my web site.