Making a Conclusion - Fast Forward MBA in Business communication

A key summary step in delivering your presentation is "telling them what you told them." Once you have gone through the main points of your presentation, you are ready to conclude. You need to accomplish two main tasks with your conclusion:

  1. Reinforce your topic, purpose, or main points.
  2. Provide closure or completeness to your presentation.

When you are done, it should be clear to the audience that you are finished speaking and that it is time for the question-and-answer session or for applause!

To be effective, tailor your conclusion to the audience and reinforce the points that you want them to take away. For most speakers, this involves one or more of the following:

  1. A summary of the main points of the presentation
  2. A restatement of the thesis
  3. An appeal or challenge to the audience


Transitional Words

  • and
  • but
  • therefore
  • thus
  • moreover
  • additionally

Transitional Phrases

  • not only . . . but also
  • on the one hand . . . on the other hand
  • in addition to . . .
  • considering the circumstances . . .
  • as a result of this . . .
  • either/or . . . neither/nor

Transitional Strategies

  • numbering points
  • lettering points
  • internal summaries

We are frequently asked if it is acceptable to say, "In conclusion . . ." in a business presentation. We have a particular bias against this phrase because we have found many speakers use it as a crutch to avoid developing an effective transition to their conclusion.

Worse, one speaker indicated that he used the phrase to get the audience to pay attention for another 20 minutes! Please don't try that idea. When you tell your audience you are going to conclude, then you need to conclude!

Example of a Good Ending

Our earlier example of a fire safety speaker lends itself to showing a well-thought-out transition for concluding: There are few things in life more tragic than being the victim of a fire. Hopefully, I have given you some insights on how you can both avoid becoming the victim of a fire and protect your coworkers or family. Remember, there is no substitute for prevention and preparation: Check thebatteries in your smoke alarm; have an escape route planned; and leave being a hero to the professionals.

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