You’ve walked into a room, knowing that heads are turning to look at you. You’re exuding this charisma-drenched air of confidence, controlled power, and poise. You have all of the magnetism of Bond (the original…Connery’s Bond).
And you wear the tuxedo with a panache, an élan, a savoir faire…and a lot of other fancy talk for style. Your physical presence is matched by your vocal command, which, like the Pied Piper, lures those around you to focus solely on you and the air of authority you impart with every syllable.
You spin a web of believability, possibility, and expectation for a world made better by the message you are delivering, without a hitch in the delivery or a single bead of sweat at your temple. You’ve made every single man and woman feel moved to act; special because your message seems designed for him or her alone.
You smile a knowing, but charming smile and with a deft, Astaire-esque smoothness, you turn to leave, your audience fixated on your every move.
As you reach the door, your energy buoying you like a jet stream, you know they’re all following you with their eyes, willing you to stay just a little longer to enthrall them with your magic…
Then you hear the chuckling…the giggling and guffawing. The derisive, dismissive snickering reaches you at the same time as the breeze. The breeze being the cooler air tickling the fabric in the seat of that well-fashioned tuxedo.
The tuxedo with the rip in the backside!
This is your fate when you don’t know how to close your presentation.
People hang on your every word, not just because of the tux, but also because you speak with authority and self-assurance. You have them in the palm of your hand; they’ll follow you anywhere you wish to lead them.
Your degree of credibility is off the charts! Your data is current and compelling. Your anecdotal evidence is rich with relevance and connects you across the Aristotelian spectrum to your rapt audience.
You have done all that you can to capture their attention, you’ve won their loyalty with your precision and insight, and then you undermine all of that “magic” because you haven’t given your conclusion as much thought or choreography as the rest of the presentation.
Know not only when to stop talking, but also the precise words you’ll use to finish. Don’t straggle to the end with an offer to answer any questions, which puts all of the control in your audience’s hands. Restate your communicative purpose, ask for action, thank them for their valuable time and attention…then stop (leave dropping the mic or doing that “Blam!” gesture for your weekend karaoke gig).