Join Petrula Vrontikis for an in-depth discussion in this video Concluding your presentation, part of Running a Design Business: Presentation Skills.
A proper conclusion can make or break a successful presentation. Designers don't often think about its importance, and will cop out by just saying, any questions? It's one of the most common missed opportunities to show your strength as a professional. Here are five effective ways to conclude a presentation. Use one or several of these. Restate the problem that was given to you, and include how this solution solves that problem. Remind them of what they wanted in the first place, and tell them this design does just that.
Tell us why this solution is important, and why we should care. Speak about this particular phase of the project and how approval to proceed fits into the overall big picture goals of the company. State why the solution is timely by highlighting trends in the economy, a particular industry, or in the cultural landscape. And finally, use a more sophisticated way of saying, any questions? Ask participants about their role in moving the project forward.
You can gracefully assign them a task. An example would be asking the communications director, how this design aligns with the overall brand messaging of the company? Or ask the finance expert if additional resources will be available in this tighter time frame. After a proper conclusion, state the next steps, who's responsible for what at what point in time. This is the best time for everyone to agree as to what's needed to keep the project going.
In my experience, at the end of a presentation, clients often ask you to state your preferred design and tell them why. Keep your response objective, even if you're asked a subjective question like, which one do you like? The closing of your presentation is the last opportunity you have to give your audience something that will stick in their minds. There are numerous ways to craft an effective conclusion. Remember, it's truly the presenter's secret weapon.
- Presenting one-on-one, to a team, or to a larger audience
- Choosing a presentation format
- Introducing your design and providing context
- Persuading your audience
- Developing visual aids
- Creating a great first impression
- Understanding verbal and nonverbal cues
- Getting approval
- Facilitating a Q&A session