The conclusion of your presentation is the perfect moment to repeat and emphasize the core message of your presentation, so as to make sure that everyone in the room will remember it. Here are a few suggestions to help you take advantage of this opportunity to reassert the main points you would like the participants to bring home when they leave.
REGAINING THE AUDIENCE’S FULL ATTENTION
There are good chances that a certain number of attendants, at some point, will not be fully focused on what you are saying. This is not only because some of them might not be that interested in your presentation, but also because its length can exceed some people’s strengths (due to weariness, hunger, an urgent need, etc.).
It can therefore be useful, in order to regain the public’s maximal attention for the grand finale, to send a signal that your intervention is coming to an end. This may for example be achieved by observing a short moment of silence, followed by an announcement that you are now going to conclude. Moreover, if you wish to give the participants an opportunity to interact, you should announce a time limit for the Questions & Answers session, so the public will know that it won’t be open-ended. This will allow them to give you their full attention during these last 10-15 minutes, knowing that they will be freed very soon.
ANSWERING THE AUDIENCE’S QUESTIONS
As you expose your views on the topic, discuss the main issues and present your solutions, you will indeed certainly trigger interrogations. Therefore, if you wish to reach out to those who need clarifications, allowing them to ask a few questions could be a good way of addressing their concerns.
In order to make it more comfortable for those who have questions to ask them, you might use a phrase such as "And now, I’ll be glad to answer your questions", which makes it clear that interactions will be welcome. It may indeed be more engaging than an abrupt phrasing like "Any questions?". A Questions & Answers session may also offer the opportunity for some participants to enrich the discussion with their own experiences.
In case you decide to include a Q&A session, you may try to incorporate some elements of the discussion and adapt your conclusion accordingly. This will be valorizing, as it will show that the participants’ interventions were relevant and that they did bring something to the debate. You can finally thank your audience for coming and listening, and for making the session more interesting with their questions and the sharing of their experiences!