Rhetoric tip #84 end your speech with a – drumbeat – in the final sentence

Rhetoric tip #84 end your speech with a - drumbeat - in the final sentence

Rhetorician Judith Torma answers your questions about rhetoric

When was the last time you heard a speech and knew at the end exactly what was expected of you as an audience member?? Did the closing sentence tell you exactly what you, the listener, now have to do? Then do it differently. Give your listeners the chance to walk out of your speech knowing exactly what is expected of you now. Use the final sentence of your speech to create action.

Drumbeat sounds exaggerated? Quite the opposite. The end of your speech, oratory, presentation or lecture deserves to be heard. "Thank you for your attention" "So that’s it. Still questions?" This and other banalities at the end of your speech shatter your credibility and let your contribution drift into the nirvana of irrelevancies. Every good speech deserves a heartwarming opening and a dignified, action-oriented ending. A final sentence that calls for action.

Peroratio – is the crowning glory of any speech

It almost sounds like a disease – peroratio – but that’s what the final sentence means. You have mastered everything, prepared your speech, carefully scrutinized the audience. Especially elaborate was the content of your speech and from stage fright right before your first words – well we’ll talk about that another time. All that effort and then so many speakers forgive the final chord and let the speech hum to itself. The "peroratio" is the cream of any speech. Your final sentence – sticks in your audience’s mind the longest – so make an effort with your closing sentence.

My tip for the closing sentence

As intensively as you plan your speech opening, I recommend you prepare your last sentence as well. What exactly do you expect from your audience? In your speech, after all, you yourself took a position, spoke out for or against a cause. Advantages highlighted and options for action shown. Now it is time to reap the harvest.

Ask for concrete actions – that’s what the final sentence is for

Especially now in the election campaign for the Bundestag election, I am struck by how woolly the politicians appear. How many times have you heard: Give me your votes? Even though I followed the media intensively and so even went to two election events – I rarely, resp. only a few times heard: Give me your vote. That was the FDP in Bavaria and then also nationwide – give us your second vote. In the picture language also the SPD exerts itself – by sticking over their election posters with the slogan: Go and vote. Rarely are there such specific phrases. Do it better than our politicians. Crown each of your speeches and presentations with a strong, actionable closing statement.

Formulate concluding sentences while you’re still preparing them

To make sure you remember everything and actually get the final sentence across your lips that is close to your heart, I strongly recommend – write down your final sentence. Think carefully about what you expect from your listeners! Then formulate your last sentence and practice it. Try different stresses, use your gestures – try to emphasize your words with facial expressions, body language and hand movements.

Formulation aids for your last words

The basic idea for the weighty last words are always stimulation to action. Give voice to the speaker "You have now heard my point of view, vote for me as your representative." Initiate discussion "You have a choice for our next steps. I have outlined my preferences to you, now let’s discuss how to implement them." Become active yourself "In the last few minutes I have been describing to you the advantages of. Now it is up to you. Become active yourself. Let’s capture what each one of us is going to do." Of course, there are many other ways to call in activity. Therefore, think carefully about what you expect from your audience and say it openly. Now I follow my own advice. Thank you for joining us for this newsletter as well. Call me. I would be happy to take the time to discuss with you how we can use rhetoric in a way that is relevant to your actions. On my home page you will find four simple variants and my contact form. Use it!

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