Almost like an unspoken rule, people will almost always end their presentations using one slide with the words “THANK YOU” or “ANY QUESTIONS?” plastered all over.
It’s understandable why presenters opt for such an approach. At its core, a Thank You slide highlights gratitude towards an audience that took the time to listen. It even allows for a presenter to foster an environment where questions are asked and answered.
Ending your presentation with a Thank You slide is a typical, mundane and lazy approach that could end up costing you a lot more than you think.
The Problem with a Thank You Slide
Realize that the final slide is your last chance to leave an everlasting impression. If you merely use a slide that wishes your audience well, you’re signaling the end of your relationship with the people that took the time to listen to you.
Think about it. What sort of value are you bringing to the table by saying thank you? You’re not telling them anything useful, nor are you setting the stage for anything productive. All you’re doing is being polite because, let’s face it, you kind of have to be.
It’s time for you to delete the dreaded Thank You slide and opt for a far more creative approach.
The best way to conclude your presentation is to design a slide that is completely aligned with your presentation’s goals. You need to review the content of your message and look for a way to tie everything together in just one slide.
Confused? Don’t be. In this post, I’m going to show you some of the best ways to conclude your presentations. You’ll never have to use a Thank You slide again.
Conclude With a Call-To-Action
A call-to-action (or CTA) is the use of an image, line of text, or both, that prompts people to take a particular action.
Positioning a CTA as the final slide in a presentation is a handy way to make sure the audience can build on the content you communicated.
If you’re opting for a CTA approach, then go for something specific, creative and straightforward. Avoid generic phrases like “Tell me what you think” or “Be sure to ask about our product.” These sort of statements tend to lose their appeal quite quickly.
Finish with a Summary
Summaries are awesome. Not only do they help reinforce your message, but they’re also great for going over the main points of your presentation.
When designing a summary slide, be sure only to ONLY capture the key points you want to be reiterated. I can’t stress this enough. I’ve seen summary slides that were filled with paragraphs, making the entire thing irrelevant.
Close with a Quote
Closing your presentation with an inspirational quote helps emphasize the core components of your message. Heck, even science agrees that the right quotes can compel people to do amazing things.
Personally, I love quote slides. Half of the work is already done for me (since I’m not exactly coming up with any original content), and all I have to do is beautify the slide.
Closing with a quote can also set the stage for a discussion. Ask your audience how they interpret the quote you ended with, then compare their responses to what you presented. Some of the answers may even surprise you.
End It with Your Contact Information
I’ll admit, ending a presentation with your contact information seems like a dull thing to do. But making it easier for audience members to contact you could be quite useful, depending on the context.
It’s almost like you’re projecting your business card on a big screen.
Thank You slides suck. Delete them and never look back. Use the more creative methods outlined in this post instead, and finish your presentation with a bang.
By the way, have you noticed I used the “Finish With a Summary” technique to conclude this post? That’s saying something.
What are your thoughts on Thank You slides? Do you think they’re valuable? Why or why not? Let me know by dropping a line in the comment section at the bottom of the post.