The closing is second most important part of your persuasive presentation. I say that because if you don’t have a great opening, you will have lost them by the closing and so your closing won’t matter.
It would probably be helpful here to review the opening of your persuasive presentation:
- Start with the situation, opportunity, or problem.
- Then describe your credentials – what makes you the ideal one to provide the solution.
- After that, your proposed solution.
- Finally, state the agenda. In other words, tell your audience what you intend to present in support of your solution.
For the closing, the structure is almost a mirror image of the opening.
First step is to restate the SITUATION, opportunity or problem – the reason you were all brought together in the first place. But keep it short – remember this is really just a summary of what you’ve told them in the body of your presentation. One sentence will typically do the trick.
Then restate your SOLUTION – and make sure to include the major benefit to your audience. It could be a simple statement or you could very briefly restate the main points from the body of your presentation – the reasons your solution is the right one. The important thing is to keep this part short and to the point. It’s just a summary.
If you’ve done your job properly along the way, your audience should be onside.
Finally, ASK FOR THE ORDER. What do you want them to do? What action you want them to take? Get to yes should be easy if, after each point in your presentation (before you bridge and move on to the next point) you ask your audience if there are any questions, or concerns. If you get agreement after each point, it’s likely your going to get a “yes” at the end.
Then, if appropriate, ask if there are any questions.
Now, once the question and answer period is over and everyone is satisfied, you should briefly summarize the problem and solution again and restate the action you want them to take.
It’s really important to restate the action and get final approval after a question and answer period. Otherwise, the true purpose could get lost and you don’t want to leave without the approval you’ve worked so hard to get!
There you have it – a simple formula for a powerful, persuasive, logical closing.
The only thing you need to add is confidence. You can be confident that, if you follow this structure, you’ll have a highly persuasive and effective presentation.