In many activities, what you do at the very end counts — a lot!
That’s why symphonies often end with a big, crashing chord, and world-class gymnasts, skaters, and competitive dancers finish their routines with bold, triumphant poses.
To Leave a Big Impression and Make Your Speech Memorable, Stick Your Landing
What does it mean to stick your landing when you’ve just made a speech?
It means ending on a strong, definitive note instead of letting your voice, your words, or your point wind down to a whisper.
It means repeating your key message, and then firmly asking your audience to do something — whether that something is to buy your product, consider your position, or challenge themselves in some other way.
Stick Your Landing for Public Speaking Satisfaction
Why is it important to stick your landing?
One reasons is that, by the time you get to the end of a speech, you and your audience have both worked hard:
- You’ve concentrated (on your presentation), connected (with your audience), and put aside whatever feelings and doubts might interfere with the message you want to deliver.
- Your audience has also concentrated (on your words and their meaning), connected (with your message), and tried to suspend whatever disbelief might get in the way of considering your ideas.
By now, your audience deserves a “pay-off,” which comes in the form of a Big, Satisfying Finish to the speech they’ve been faithfully following. A Big Finish will leave them remembering the point of your speech, and feeling glad that they invested time in listening.
And what about you? Your big pay-off comes in the form of audience satisfaction — and nothing is more likely to get your audience on their feet cheering than a high-energy close that reminds them of how satisfying your speech has been.
Stick Your Landing Because the Last Thing People Hear is What They’re Most Likely to Remember
The other important reason to stick your landing is that people tend to remember whatever they heard last.
That’s why people vie to be the final speaker in a debate, or the last person to give a pitch.
Don’t ever underestimate the power of this simple fact: Your ending will color the way people remember everything you said up to that point.
So, even if you’re tired as you approach the close of your speech, don’t let your energy flag.
Instead, stay focused and stay strong. REITERATE YOUR KEY MESSAGE. And ASK FOR WHAT YOU WANT YOUR AUDIENCE TO DO.
Your strong tone and energetic passion will remind people of why the speech they’ve just heard matters.
And everyone will get the cathartic final moment they deserve!