6 Winning Ways to Open and Close Your Talks with Carol Cox: Podcast Ep. 281

6 Winning Ways to Open and Close Your Talks with Carol Cox: Podcast Ep. 281 | Speaking Your Brand

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How should you open and close your talk?

When we work with our clients on their signature talks using our framework, we always make sure to have a strong opening and closing.

In the beginning, you want to make a good impression and set the right tone.

You may also be nervous, so feeling confident about how you’re going to open your talk can make you feel better.

At the end of your talk, you want to leave the audience feeling satisfied AND wanting more.

In this episode, I’m sharing with you:

  • 6 ways you can open your talk
  • Examples from my own talks and from our clients
  • How to choose which way to open your talk depending on the format of the event and the size of the audience
  • What to do when you get to the event and you realize your planned opening isn’t going to work
  • How to close your talk, including what not to do!

Register for our Summit Speakers Reunion on June 21 (it’s free): https://www.speakingyourbrand.com/reunion/ 

Speakers from our past Brave. Bold. Beyond. Live Virtual Summits are joining us to talk about:

  • What is was like to create a transformational TED-style talk
  • Being vulnerable with their story and any concerns they had – and whether they had any vulnerability hangovers afterwards!
  • How delivering this kind of talk (transformational vs. informational) helped them to see themselves as a different kind of speaker than they may have been used to
  • How the coaching they received from us helped them to create their talks
  • What they’ve been doing since the summits

About Us: The Speaking Your Brand podcast is hosted by Carol Cox. At Speaking Your Brand, we help women entrepreneurs and professionals clarify their brand message and story, create their signature talks, and develop their thought leadership platforms. Our mission is to get more women in positions of influence and power because it’s through women’s stories, voices, and visibility that we challenge the status quo and change existing systems. Check out our coaching programs at https://www.speakingyourbrand.com

 

Links:

Show notes at https://www.speakingyourbrand.com/281/ 

Register for our Summit Speakers Reunion on June 21 (it’s free): https://www.speakingyourbrand.com/reunion/ 

Join our Thought Leader Academy: https://www.speakingyourbrand.com/academy/ 

Connect on LinkedIn = https://www.linkedin.com/in/carolcox

 

Related Podcast Episodes:

281-SYB-Ways-to-Open-and-Close.mp3: Audio automatically transcribed by Sonix

281-SYB-Ways-to-Open-and-Close.mp3: this mp3 audio file was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the best speech-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors.

Carol Cox:
Learn six Winning Ways to Open and Close Your Talks on this episode of The Speaking Your Brand podcast. More and more women are making an impact by starting businesses running for office and speaking up for what matters. With my background as a TV political analyst, entrepreneur and speaker. I interview and coach purpose driven women to shape their brands, grow their companies and become recognized as influencers in their field. This is Speaking Your Brand, your place to learn how to persuasively communicate your message to your audience. Hi there and welcome to the Speaking Your Brand podcast. I’m your host, Carol Cox. How should you open your talk? How should you close it? When we work with our clients on their signature talks, using our framework, we always make sure to have a strong opening and a strong closing. So often I see when I go to see speakers at conferences in person or even presentations online where I feel like they’re not quite sure how to open their talk. And then I feel like they rush the closing at the end. But there are definitely things that you can do and should be doing in your opening and in your closing. And we’re going to talk about that today and last week’s episode. My guest, Katie Anderson, talked about the shift she’s making from being an informational speaker in her keynotes to a transformational speaker by incorporating more stories. And one of the ways that Katie and I work together on this for her new keynote was really making sure that she included storytelling in the opening of her talk.

Carol Cox:
Make sure to go back and to listen to last week’s episode. If you haven’t yet, when you’re opening your talks, you want to make a good impression and you want to set the right tone for the audience. You may also be nervous. It is totally normal to have those butterflies, whether you want to call them excitement or nerves at the beginning. So feeling confident about how you’re going to open your talk can make you feel so much better. And then at the end of your talk, you want to make sure that you’re leaving your audience feeling both satisfied in wanting more from you. So in this episode, I’m going to share with you six different ways that you can open your talk. I’m going to go through examples of each way from my own talks and from some of our clients. So you can actually kind of see them or hear them in action. I’m also going to talk about how to choose which way to open your talk, depending on the format of the event and the size of the audience, as well as what to do when you get to the event and you realize your planned opening just isn’t going to work and sometimes that happens. So what to do in that case? And we’re going to talk about six ways to close your talk, including what not to do, which I have done in the past, which is why I’m going to share that with you.

Carol Cox:
I want to make sure that you register for our Free Summit Speakers reunion that is happening live on Tuesday, June 21st. We are bringing together some of the speakers who spoke at our Brave Bull beyond live virtual summits in 2020 and 2021. For that event, they created a ten minute transformational story driven TEDx style talk and then delivered it live. This event was absolutely incredible. Both Times attendee said it was the best event they have ever participated in, whether virtual or in person. And I truly believe it was because of these transformational talks that our speakers deliver. So we’re bringing them back as a reunion to talk about what that process was like, including how delivering this kind of talk, transformational versus informational, helped them to see themselves as a different kind of speaker than they may have been used to. We’re going to talk about how it felt to be vulnerable with their stories and any concerns they had, including whether they had any vulnerability hangovers afterwards, how the coaching they received from us helped them to create their talks, tips that they have for you all as speakers going out there and sharing your personal stories and integrating your personal stories into your talks and of course, what they’ve been doing since they participated in our summits.

Carol Cox:
This event is entirely free is happening live coming up very soon on Tuesday, June 21st. You’re not going to want to miss it. You can register by going to Speaking Your Brand reunion again. That’s speakingyourbrand.com slash reunion. Now let’s get on with the show first. I’m going to give you the six ways that you can open your talk. Then we’re going to talk about how to choose which way to pin it on the format of the event and the size of the audience. And then I’m going to give you examples of each type. So here are the six ways that you can open your talk. Number one, audience questions. So asking questions of the audience. Number two, share a question you had. This is what I call a journey of discovery that kind of kicks off while you’re talking about this particular topic, why this idea came to you. So number two is that journey of discovery. Share a question you had. Number three is a surprising or counterintuitive statement. Number four is a cultural reference. Number five is a quote. And please make sure to quote a woman. Because, you know, we’re such big advocates of choosing women’s voices, and that includes what quotes that we choose to use in our presentations, books, social media posts, etc.. And then number six is opening with a personal story.

Carol Cox:
So again, audience questions, journey of discovery, surprising or counterintuitive statement, cultural reference, a quote and a personal story. So those are the six different ways to open your talk. And you may be wondering, well, why choose one versus the other? Why do an audience question versus this personal story versus a cultural reference versus journey of discovery, etc.? So it really depends on, number one, just what what the focus of your talk is. If the focus of your talk is mainly around your personal story and how it relates to your thought leadership message and your big idea, then starting with a personal story, probably make sense if you are doing more of a conference breakout session where it is a little bit more of key takeaways or lessons that you’re sharing a little bit more tactical, then you may want to start with audience questions just to get a sense of the room for yourself so you know what level the audience is at, but then also so that the other people in the room get a sense of who else is in there. If you are doing more of a keynote style, then you may start with that surprising or counterintuitive statement or cultural reference. Also, it could depend on the size of the audience if you’re in a smaller, more intimate setting. I like to start with audience questions, kind of to warm up the room if you’re on a big stage delivering a keynote to, say, 500, 1000, 2000 people, then you’re probably going to start much more deliberately with the opening of your personal story or that surprising or counterintuitive statement or maybe even a cultural reference.

Carol Cox:
So I would like to play with the opening. I may give a version of a talk to different types of events, different types of audiences, different sizes of audience. And I’ll change the opening based on what that event is and the size of that audience, and just kind of feeling the pulse of what is going on at the particular event and not the audience. I may have thought initially that I would open the talk with, say, a personal story, and then I get there and I find, Oh, the audience kind of needs to be warmed up a little bit. Maybe they’ve been sitting for a long time, or they just came in from a different session, so maybe they’re a little bit restless or they need to kind of get focused back. So then I’ll ask some audience questions instead. So that is a little bit more of an advanced speaker knowing kind of what to do with your opening. If you are in the beginner or intermediate stages, then knowing what how you want to open and sticking to that may make you feel the most confident. And like I said in the introduction, helped us settle some of those nerves. I also find that if I am feeling a little bit more nervous or excited, then I will start with some audience questions because that allows me to kind of get into my groove, kind of feel into the audience by asking them some questions and getting some responses initially.

Carol Cox:
And then I can kind of go into the rest of my talk. So that can be really useful as well. Knowing how to open your talk, definitely plan it in advance, but knowing that you may need to adjust it at the event just kind of based on what is going on. So say you’re at a conference and something really impactful happen, like maybe even something really positive. You may want to reference that at the beginning of your talk. Also, there could be something that happened. Maybe that’s not so positive. It could be something that happened in the news or even something that happened at that event or that conference. That would be odd if you didn’t reference it. If you didn’t mention it, it would kind of feel like there’s this thing going on and not to address it would just feel really weird. And so this happened not that long ago when there was that very, very heartbreaking school shooting and Uvalde, Texas, where those 19 children and two teachers died. And the day after that happened, we had our group call for our Catalyst program, which is our program for advanced speakers.

Carol Cox:
So once you graduate from our Thought Leader Academy, then you’re eligible to work with us in Catalyst. And the original topic for that call was going to be how to keep your keynotes on trend so that you remain highly marketable as a speaker and you’re providing relevant content to your audiences. But before we got into that discussion, we talked about what we would do if we had a speaking engagement and news like this had just happened. Would you deliver your presentation without mentioning anything at all? And if so, would you and your audience miss out on a moment of connection? This obviously was a huge news story. I know. I felt it very deeply. I’m sure you did as well. And to get up in front of an audience, whether it was an audience of 20 or 40 or an audience of 200 or 500 and not see anything at all, just for me would seem odd. And as someone in the audience, if the speaker had said something, I would have appreciated that just knowing that we were all thinking about what was going on. And so by saying something, you would create this moment of connection and understanding with your audience. And you may wonder, Well, I don’t know what to say or what if I say the wrong thing? And so maybe you can just say to your audience, I. I don’t really know what to say like this.

Carol Cox:
You know, this is just happened a couple of days ago or that day and, you know, it feels so raw. And so I just want to take a moment here to acknowledge what’s going on and and to let you know that just whatever it is, like we’re here for you and that there’s a way to tie it into your topic, you can do that. And if not, you can just say that and then just continue. But I just feel like as speakers, we are leaders and it’s our job to address what’s going on with our audiences and the wider world and to help them where they are. And that’s why it’s so important to think of your presentations and keynotes as offering transformation, not just information to ask questions rather than giving answers. Because if you’re in that what I call the expert trap and you’re there just to give all the answers to your audience, yeah, you’re going to feel like, I don’t know what to say and I’m afraid of saying the wrong thing. But if you’re there to ask questions and to help the audience with that transformational piece, to to imagine what’s possible for them, then this moment could be that moment of connection with trust and vulnerability that can really make a huge impact on your audience. And again, as speakers, we are leaders. That is our role when we’re standing there in front of them.

Carol Cox:
So I just wanted to mention that because that’s something that’s just very fresh and had just happened. And so but let’s go through some examples now of these six different ways to open your talk, to give you some ideas for your own. So as I mentioned, audience questions. Number one is a really great way to open your talk if you are feeling a little bit nervous that you can do that. But also if you need to kind of take a sense of who is in the room, I do this, especially if I’m doing a session at a conference like a conference breakout session and at a conference you could have audience members of all different levels. Some people may be very familiar with your content of your topic. Some people may know nothing about your topic. So you want to get a sense of who is in the room. So then you can address that and change some of your points or some of your examples along the way based on that. So for example, if you get to the session and you find out that almost everyone in the room is more advanced than maybe you had anticipated, you don’t want to keep your content really beginner and vice versa. So I did a session at a podcasting conference a few years ago about using storytelling in your podcast, and so I opened with some questions to the audience about asking them what kind of podcast they have.

Carol Cox:
So what genre of podcast kind of business, podcast, fiction, podcast, health and wellness, etc.. I was at the last session of that day like around it started maybe around 4:35 p.m., so it was a late session. Obviously the audience had been in sessions all day long. I’m sure they were tired, you know, kind of like that. You know, the blood sugar is is declining. And so they had just come into the session. So when I got started, I actually had them stand up when I asked for these different genres. So if you are in business of marketing, podcast space, stand up, sit down. If you’re you do fiction, stand up, etc.. So that way it kind of kept them, it got them moving and it kind of kept got them focused on being in the session, but also allowed the other people in the audience to see who else was in there, maybe in a genre that they’re in or that they’re interested in. So that was the way that we open that. So audience questions can be show of hands. It could be standing up. It could just be that having them respond out loud. So here’s another example. The keynote that I gave last fall of 2021 in Orlando was around purpose. And what happens when you face resistance to your purpose now? It was in Orlando, where I live, so I also needed to tie in the city of Orlando because that was part of the reason why we were having this particular luncheon.

Carol Cox:
So at the beginning of the talk, I asked the audience to raise their hands as far as how long they’ve lived in Orlando. So less than two years, 2 to 5 years, 5 to 10 years, etc.. And then so that way again, kind of the rest of the room could see who was in there. You know, how many people are are new people here in Orlando? How many people have been here for 15 or 20 years? So that was kind of fun. And then I went into the rest of my talk. Another example of an audience question was in an event that I recently spoke at just a couple of months ago, this was also in person. And so I started with some questions to the audience about thought leadership. So I asked, What is being a thought leader mean to you, but is thought leadership mean to you? And so they they this is about about 50 women and the audience. So they shouted out some some answers to that. And then I led from those audience questions into a surprising statement, which is where I talked about how when you Google thought leaders, the images that come back are all men and all white men. And then I had a quote on the slide from someone on Twitter, a male reporter who says he tries to find women to quote women experts, to quote in his articles regarding COVID, but so many of them decline.

Carol Cox:
So went to that. And then I went into my personal story with my background as a women with a public voice and a public presence. So that was kind of like audience question to this surprising statement, a surprising finding to the personal story. So that’s a kind of a thread that you can do yourself. Other talks that I’ve given, I have started with personal stories, various personal stories, and then linking them to whatever that. Opic happened to be for that particular talk. Another example is starting with a quote. So this was a quote that Diane Diaz, our lead speaking coach, she gave a keynote a few years ago in person. And the quote that she started with her talk was, when was the last time you did something for the first time? When was the last time you did something for the first time? So that’s kind of an attention getter because the audience thinking, Oh, I don’t know, when’s the last time I did something for the first time? And then she went into her personal story of signing up for a triathlon at the age of 37 and then eventually doing an Ironman competition, which is incredible. So she kind of used that quote to set up her personal story. And then the big idea for her talk.

Carol Cox:
Another example from Diane, another talk that she gave a few years ago. This was also in person where in this case she started with a cultural reference and then went into a different personal story. So for this case, the cultural reference was she started with who likes to watch award shows like the Oscars and the Emmys. So it’s kind of an audience question show of hands. Who likes to watch a war, shows like the Oscars and the Emmys? How do we feel when someone wins? And then she talked about how TV studios campaign for their actors to be nominated, and that actress Gwendoline Christie of Game of Thrones nominated herself from for an Emmy because HBO didn’t nominate her. And so then Diane asked the audience, Well, how would you feel about that? Have you ever nominated yourself for an award or promotion or an opportunity? And then she and then Diane went on to share a personal story of of an award that she ended up nominating herself for because her boss wasn’t going to do it. So that was a great way to connect that that personal story to a cultural reference. Another example, this was a storytelling and business presentation that I gave a few years ago where I started with what I played one of the Nike ads with women in sports, with Serena Williams and some other women in sports. So I played that ad.

Carol Cox:
It’s about a minute long, and then I ask the audience, okay, so what do you think of this Nike ad? Why is Nike putting themselves out there kind of with their brand values? What are they hoping to accomplish? Because the topic was around storytelling and business. So then I had that cultural reference and then I went into my personal bio, my background. So you’ll notice here, as I’m giving you these examples, that these presentations don’t start with the title slide and then the About Me slide. And so this is why I want to make sure that you’re not doing with your opening is don’t start your talk with. Hi, I’m Carol Cox. I’m the founder of Speaking Your Brand. And I do this and I’ve been doing I’ve been a serial entrepreneur for 20 years and etc., etc., because frankly, your audience isn’t bought into yet. You need to capture their attention. You need to have something where they’re relating to you with the topic that you’re going to be talking about, and then you bring in your personal bio. So this is what we do with our signature talk canvas framework are act one, Act two, act threes. We have these different sections set up so that you’re starting, you’re opening really strong and then integrating your personal bio and credibility into Act One. Let me give you some examples now of of TED talks and how they have been opened.

Carol Cox:
One of our clients, Catalyst clients, Dr. Christina madison, she recently delivered her TEDx talk at TEDx Reno just last month as a fact. And so she opened with a personal story. She’s a public health pharmacist. She lives in the Las Vegas area, and she was instrumental in getting people vaccinated for COVID 19 back when the vaccines became available in early 2021. And now initially in her TED talk, she was going to start kind of with more like factual information about public health and being a public health pharmacist and the importance of vaccinations. And and the premise of her talk was that the messenger is just as important, if not more important than the message itself, especially when it comes to public health. And we need to make sure we have messengers that look like the community that they’re working in. And what when Christina and I worked on the script for her talk, I recommended that she start with a story because she had she had this story in her talk, but it was further down in the talk. And I said, let’s start it. Let’s start your talk with the story, because that’s going to bring people in. So she starts with, I remember a day in early 2021 when I met a lovely elderly woman in her nineties who was brought to a community center and a predominantly African-American community in Las Vegas. I’ll call her Mildred.

Carol Cox:
So she gave her a name, and then she goes through the scene of her Mildred waiting in line with her granddaughter for the vaccine and kind of the dialogue that they exchanged. So she really set the stage with that story. And then she went into her idea about her as the messenger being so incredibly important to help people get vaccinated and for people making decisions regarding their health. So that was a great example of opening with a personal story. Another example is one of our Thought Leader Academy graduates Tanya Goulash Bauza. She delivered a TEDx talk in early 2021, and she started with some audience questions, obviously rhetorical because the audience wasn’t going to Talk Back at a TED Talk, but some audience questions. And then that led into her personal story. And her talk was was called how? To kill a neighborhood and make it profit. It’s about how disinvestment in black neighborhoods led to gentrification later on. So she starts with, I want you to pull up in your mind’s eye, your neighborhood, not just the buildings, the streets, the trees, but also the people. What do they look like? Not just that they are old or young or tall or short, but specifically what race are they? Have you ever wondered why your neighborhood looks the way it does? And then she goes on with some more questions. And then she talks about growing up in a primarily black middle class neighborhood in Washington, D.C.

Carol Cox:
and what has happened to that neighborhood since then? Here’s another example of a TEDx talk. This is Debbie Pedraza. I worked with her for Ted Orlando 2018, and she opened with a personal story it had and she works for the public school system here in the Orange County, Orlando area where we live. And so she talked about how when the hurricanes came through in 2017 here in Florida and in Puerto Rico, we had an influx of people moving from Puerto Rico to central Florida. And so she talks about her son coming home from school after meeting one of the kids who had just moved here. And she’s she opens with just after Halloween. My son, David, a second grader at the time, came barreling at me with a question as I arrived home, his normal M.O. I made a new friend today. Not unusual. He’s a Leo. His name is Jose. Also not unusual. His school is 55% Hispanic. Jose doesn’t have a bed. Can I give him my bed? That caught me off guard and said yeah. So then Debbie goes in to the rest of her talk about what does it mean to have a sense of home and so on, because that was a theme of the Orlando Talk. That theme that year was around home. So that was her opening of her talk was a personal story. Now you’ll notice with these personal stories, they’re very specific.

Carol Cox:
So people’s names, the scenes, the dialogue and so on. Here’s an example of a surprising or counterintuitive statement opening. This was my TEDx talk that I gave in 2016 right before the presidential election, and I started mine off in a way to provoke curiosity, and I guess maybe it would be called surprise would fall into the surprising statement. Way to open your talk. So here’s how I opened her voice is so grating I wish she wouldn’t yell so much. She needs to smile more. She’s too ambitious. She’s a man eater. I want a woman president. But why did it have to be her? Oh, Hillary. Sound familiar? Etc.. So that’s how I open the talk. So you notice I didn’t open the talk with people have called these things or people have said these things about Hillary Clinton when she’s running for president? No, I just started with her. Her voice is so great. I wish she wouldn’t yell so much. So I just use the pronouns. And then I got to the Hillary. So I’m setting up the audience with who she talking about and they probably could have guessed by them. So that’s an example of provoking curiosity. You can also start your opening with a story and a prop. I did this for a virtual presentation that I gave last year. This was a corporate training on storytelling and business. And so I opened with this actually.

Carol Cox:
I made up the story. I was using this story on purpose to illustrate storytelling, you know, very meta. And then so at the beginning of the talk, I told the story and I had a prop of a box that had been delivered to me and I didn’t know what was in the box or who had delivered it because it didn’t have a label on it. So I kind of showed the box on the webcam as I was delivering, sharing the story. I just kind of showed the box and I said, you know, do you want to know what’s in the box? And of course, people on Zoom were like, Yes. And I said, okay, well, we’ll look at it. We’ll look in the box at the end of my presentation today. So that was using suspense to kind of because what happens is that when you say to the audience something, it will come back to this later, we’ll come back to this at the end subconsciously. Now they have this open loop in their mind and they’re going to want to close it. So they’re going to keep paying attention because they want to find out what that thing is. So then at the end of of that talk, then I brought the box back into the the webcam view and I said, okay, do you want to know what’s inside the box? And they said, yes. And I said, I open the box.

Carol Cox:
And I said, It’s the secrets of storytelling that I shared with you today. Ha ha. Super cheesy, but it was just a way to illustrate storytelling with a prop. All right, so more examples you can do a cultural reference to. Again, a personal experience or personal story and cultural references don’t have to be movies and TV shows. They certainly can be. They can also be things that are happening in the news. So at our table, beyond live virtual summit that we held in October 2020, we held it shortly after the vice presidential debate had happened between then Senator Kamala Harris and then Vice President Mike Pence. And at that debate, Senator Harris had said, I’m speaking at several times as she was being interrupted by Mike Pence during the debate. So I referenced that in my opening summit speech and then connected that to a LinkedIn post that I had done regarding that in the men who had made snide, sexist and racist comments about Senator Harris having her picture on that LinkedIn post and then connecting that to my own personal story of sexist backlash that I had experienced in politics. Let’s see, you can also start your talk with a personal story, but play with the timeline. You can start at the beginning of your story for sure. So what happened? The very beginning, Diane did this in one of her summit speeches as well.

Carol Cox:
When she was five years old. She started there. And then what had happened from that? You can also start in the middle of your story. One of our summit speakers, Dr. Zoe Shaw, did this. Where beginning of her talk, she says, what kind of mother gives away her child? What boxes your mind immediately put that kind of woman into? Do you think she deserves to have more children? And then Zoe says, 14 years ago I was in labor with my second daughter and said to her, etc.. So she started being in labor with her second daughter and then backs up 15 years to when she was a 16 year old girl giving birth to her first daughter. So she didn’t start the story when she was 16. She started the story when she was 30, 31 years old and then went back in time. So that’s a really powerful way to do that. You can also start your talk with that journey of discovery. So that is a question you had or something that you noticed that led you to kind of dig deeper and figure things out for yourself. Dr. Karen Corbin did this at her summit speech for us in 2020. She’s a scientist and she starts her talk with, I’ve been in the field of science and health care for almost half my life. In normal times, if we’re talking to an audience of would primarily be fellow scientists and clinicians, in normal times that would not have believed that my voice could be used to change the world outside the walls of science.

Carol Cox:
But we’re not a normal times. And this was October 2020, so we were definitely smack dab in the midst of the COVID 19 pandemic. So then she talks about this and then she backs up and says, we’ll come back to this in a moment about what’s happening with science and politics. And she says, I’ll share with you what I’ve learned. But first I want to talk to you about why I became a scientist. And then she goes back to growing up as a little girl in Puerto Rico. Now let’s talk about six ways that you can close your talk. If you started your talk with your story and maybe you didn’t finish the story, which is also a good thing to do for suspense. So you don’t necessarily have to wrap your story up at the beginning. You can tell the audience, we’ll come back to the story at the end so you can finish the story that you started in the beginning. You can make an ask of the audience. So if you’re doing a keynote, you’re not selling them something, but you want to give them some type of a call to action, something for them to do. Dr. Christina madison and her TEDx talk that she recently gave about the messenger being as important as the message for health care decisions.

Carol Cox:
Her ask of the audience was that you can be that messenger for the people around you. The third way is that you can have the audience look inward. So this is kind of like self reflection based on what they just heard you talk about today, what can they do? The fourth thing had the audience look outward. So how can they carry forward into the world what they learned can also leave them with kind of like an inspirational motivational closing, something like, I believe in you, we need you to do X, Y, Z. Now, a lot of times these six ways are kind of all kind of combined together. I usually will combine them together as well because you kind of want to hit these different points. And then so kind of like the inspirational, motivational, I believe in you, we need you. Like here is the ask of the audience. Here’s how you can carry forward this into the world. If you are doing a sales presentation, whether in person or virtual, you definitely want to make that ask of the audience. Whatever your offer is, whatever your call to action is, and then make sure to end your talk with. Thank you. So the audience knows that you’re done. When I whenever we work on the outlines in the scripts for with our clients, I always make sure to write the words thank you at the very end because I want them to make sure to say the words thank you.

Carol Cox:
Now, here’s also the thing that you want to make sure that you do as a reference in the introduction as what not to do. That I have done is don’t run off the stage when you’re done. Let the audience applaud you. I know this sometimes makes me uncomfortable, and I always think back to if I go to the ballet, if I go to see a play. We always applaud the performers because we want to send them appreciation and gratitude for the performance, the experience that they just provided to us, to the audience. And it would be weird if they just ran off the stage and didn’t come back. So don’t run off the stage. Let the audience applaud you and then open it up for questions and answers or whatever happens next. The other thing is that make sure that you know how to close your talk, make sure you’re not rushing your clothes, that you have time. The other parts of your talk. You don’t want to rush your clothes because of the recency bias that we have as human beings. We’re going to remember things that happened most recently to whatever it was. So people will probably remember your opening. They may remember a couple of points along the way that were really impactful, and they’re going to remember your closing. So make sure to have a really strong closing.

Carol Cox:
If it’s kind of high energy, you can have music playing at the end to kind of get people excited and just make sure that you know exactly how you’re going to close. If you need to compress for time like say something in the event went over and now they tell you, okay, instead of 30 minutes, you only have 25 minutes or you only have 20 minutes instead of 30 minutes. Cut something from the middle. Do not cut your end and you may need to shorten your ending a little bit, but don’t cut the end entirely. You still need to have a strong close. We’re going to talk about openings, closings and. How to create a story driven TEDx style transformational talk at our Summit Speakers Reunion happening live coming up on Tuesday, June 21st. It is entirely free. You’re not going to want to miss this. You can register today by going to Speaking Your Brand reunion. Again, that’s Speaking Your Brand slash reunion. Also, make sure to hit, follow or subscribe in your podcast app because we have some episodes coming up with women who have gone through our Thought Leader Academy, including topics on going bold with your thought leadership message, how to exceed expectations as a speaker at an event and incorporating your story into your signature talk. You’re not going to want to miss those. Until next time. Thanks for listening.

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