How to Close a Speech About Someone
Public speaking can be hard enough for many people, but when your speech is about someone else, it can be even more difficult to get up in front of a room of people and speak confidently. While the beginning of your speech might be well-crafted, the closing is what everyone will remember most. By the end of your speech, you've built rapport with your audience and have a chance to sell the main idea you want to advance about the person.
Read through your speech as it stands. List in bullets the most important points you've made that you wish to reiterate.
Sum up each of these bullets into one or two sentences. For example, if the most important points you made about the person you're speaking about were, "Jeff has been my best friend since third grade," "Jeff helped me through the darkest times of my life" and, "Jeff brings the best qualities of out of people," combine these points into a solid sentence. This solid sentence may look like, "Jeff has been there for me my whole life, never leaving me in my worst moments, there to celebrate with me in my best."
Provide one brand new point to leave with your audience after summarizing your speech. Using the above example, this new point may be, "This is a friendship that's taught me how to be selfless, and one I hope to maintain for the rest of my life."
Provide a short story, either real or fictional, to sum up the message of your speech. Parables help you end with a strong message, or you could provide a joke or a quotation that sums up the speech. If you opened with a joke or a quotation, choose to end with one that reiterates the point you made the first time.
Call your audience to action at the end of the speech. If you're speaking about someone in celebration or because of an achievement, ask the members of the audience to follow in his example.
Provide a relevant statistic or other concrete fact at the end of your speech. This statistic or fact should be compelling, unusual and important.
Thank the person you're speaking about, the institution or organization you're speaking for and the audience for listening.
Michael Monet has been writing professionally since 2006. At the San Francisco School of the Arts, he studied under writers Octavio Solis and Michelle Tea, performed his work in Bay Area theaters and was published in literary journals such as "Paradox," "Umlaut" and "Transfer." Monet also studied creative writing at Eugene Lang College in New York and Mills College in Oakland.