Host: How can I close my speech in a succinct way?
Sean McArdle: Closing a speech is everybody important as your introduction and it is my opinion that everybody who speaks publicly should have two forms or two ways to close their speech. The first form is what I call the short form and the second is what I call the long form. The short form is if you go on longer than you expected or your time is been shortened, which by the way when you speak publicly, they almost always take time from your speech. They will say, You have an hour to make it then you only have 30 minutes, I have even gotten up to speech where they say, You have only got 15 minutes. So as long as you are paying for the whole hour, I am happy. So, you have a short finish and a long finish. The short finish should be something that refers to them, refers to their company, refers to something you want them to get done, refers to something you believe about them. I will give you an example; I always start a speech by telling my audience, that two of the most important people in my world are my two grandchildren, James and Olivia.
Every time I am with them, I try and slip in these three ideas, you are so smart, you are beautiful and you can do anything. Now, this does two things, it tells the audience that I am a family man and it makes them feel good because who does not like to feel good about their grandchildren. But the second thing is it does is it sets me up for my short form close. At the end of the speech, if I have ran out of time, I do not have time for the long close, I just look at them and say, You know, I only have three things to say to you, you are so smart, you are so beautiful and you can do anything. Now, that tells the audience that I feel the same way about them, but I do about my own grandchildren, it s emotional, it s smart and it closes an informational loop that I have already had. Now, the second is called the long form and the long form should be some kind of a meaningful story, preferably not about yourself, but about somebody that they can admire or look up to or might find interesting, that illustrates, what your talk was about in the first place. If you can come up with the story that is meaningful to them, about somebody that you can hold up as a good example that nails down the ideas you had in your speech. Then you are giving them a close that really closes all of the ideas that you brought to them in the first place.