How to Write Closing Statements
Closing statements wrap up the end of an argument or speech and give the audience a summary of what they just heard or read. They also give the writer the opportunity to address anything they missed throughout the speech/paper and also allow them to tie together everything in just a few lines. Closing statements also give the audience something to ponder and think about as they digest the information. Writers can apply these tips to the ends of speeches, closing arguments in a courtroom, sales presentations or religious sermons.
Begin by summarizing all of the things the audience should remember, and reinforce the most important points. Begin in chronological order and go through each item point by point to make each detail clear. Use only the most relevant and memorable supporting facts in each point. If possible, connect each point with the next so the entire closing statement flows smoothly. Boldface and highlight each point to make it visual, if relevant.
Address obligations and remind the audience of the rules. Tell the audience of its duty to stay true to the argument at hand. Lawyers spend time in their closing statements reminding a jury to uphold the law and to make the right decision based on the facts of the case. A preacher addressing members of a church would remind them of their duty to follow the commandments or scripture after leaving services. Before closing a sales presentation, a business executive would stress to the customer the obligation to do the right thing and make the purchase. These techniques do employ guilt, but they are often effective in convincing audiences of the writer's point of view.
End with a final thought, message or anecdote. Be sure to write a final thought that relates to the subject matter and is compelling enough to make a lasting impact. Use a moral-of-the-story approach if applicable to drive home a point of view. Use a powerful quote, lasting thought or memorable idea audiences won't forget, especially if it coincides with a colorful character or visual. Put thought into this and make it powerful -- remember this is the very last thing the audience will either read or hear, so make it count. Most importantly, make people care about the entire argument by showing how their decision affects them and society as a whole.
- Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images