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Rules for closing the classroom session

I realise we haven't covered the "middle bit" yet but openings and closings are similar in many ways so I've included the subject here.

The effect of a lesson which is otherwise good can be marred by it’s close. The close sets the seal on what has gone before, it should stir the audience to action and make them think deeply about the subject covered.

Strengthen your close by choosing one of the techniques listed on the next slide but avoid the pitfalls, which await the unwary. These can take a number of forms and are due mainly to the speaker’s relaxing as he realises his presentation is almost finished.

Avoid “wandering” towards the end. Finish on a high note which is relevant to all which has gone before

Avoid making a “second speech”. Even if a new thought comes to you, do not be tempted. It is so easy, as tension breaks, to develop a new line of thinking not included in your original plan.

Avoid repetition. If you are finished before your allotted time is used – sit down. Do not try to pad it out.

Avoid giving “closing signals, e.g. “and finally”, “in conclusion”, “one last thought I leave you with”, or any other similar comment. Remember that a closing signal can be physical: if you collect your notes, for example, you are indicating that you are coming to the end and just as you want to bring your audience with you to the climax, you have caused them to be distracted by thoughts of what activity will follow next.

Because it is very important to look at your audience as you reach the climax of your speech, it is helpful (as with the opening) to learn your closing words. You can then exercise eye control without the need to consult your notes. You will easily avoid the traps listed above if you have a specific closing plan built into your speech. Knowing that you will not get lost just at the end of your presentation will give you greater confidence and this will enable you to deliver your carefully planned close more effectively

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