“Where do many people fail with their pitch or speech?” my client, Amanda, asked.
“They fail to put enough strategy and care into the end of the pitch,” I replied.
We’ll use the N.O.W. process to refine the ending of your pitch so you can gain the funding you want.
N – nurture your words
O – open their thinking
W – wrap up with impact
- Nurture your words
As the Spoken Word Strategist, I find it shocking how little effort people put into the final words of their speech. Many people think they can get away with holding a Question-and-Answer session at the end as if that would leave a good impression. Not true. Because people forget the value of what you presented. They just remember an awkward trailing off that sounds like: “Does anyone have another question … uh … no? … uh … okay, thanks.” That is a weak ending.
You want to leave a strong impression for a positive impact.
When I spoke at the National Association of Broadcasters Conference, Las Vegas (for six years in a row), I saw other speakers demonstrate an awful phenomenon: The Q&A session, Sloppy Ending of a speech. I immediately resolved to end my speeches with a Powerful Summary so that the audience would remember the value I brought to them.
You need to prepare thoroughly and use well-selected words.
Tell your audience how the pitch will end with something like: “In a moment I can take a few questions, and then I will summarize. Who has the first question?” (Then you answer some questions.) Continue with: “I can take one more question, and then I will summarize.”
You answer the final question, and then you say: “And now, I will summarize.” Then you deliver those well-prepared, impactful final sentences.
Demonstrate that you are a professional speaker in command of the pitch.
Your audience will be grateful because they’ve endured so many sloppy speeches in the past.
- Open their thinking
At the end of a pitch or speech, people are closing down their minds into “an impression.”
You must be careful that their impression is not “somehow this pitch became a vague Question and Answer session. I don’t even remember what was good about this product.”
It’s easy for an audience to close their thinking into an impression that your pitch/product was mediocre.
People remember beginnings and endings.
By providing a powerful summary you are creating the final impression your pitch leaves.
You can open the audience’s thinking—when you carefully prepare your final two sentences of your summary.
In working with clients and MBA students, I emphasize you do well to have your opening two sentences and your closing two sentences precisely memorized.
For the middle of your pitch, you can have some variance in how you say the details. In this way, your pitch will not sound stilted or over-rehearsed.
With a precise beginning and a precise ending, your audience will be impressed with your effectiveness.
- Wrap up with impact
Here’s an example of ending with some impact:
“I’ve now shared with you the three major benefits of the XY product. They were ______, _____, and _______. You can see how this XY product is poised to serve a major segment of the marketplace and create an excellent stream of profit. Thank you.”
When you “wrap up with impact,” you use your last sentences well.
If you have used some form of slogan, you can repeat it at the end of your summary.
For example, when I have spoken to audiences about time management, I have used a comment from my book Power Time Management: “Keep score and achieve more.”
I can end a speech about time management with: “Overcoming procrastination is NOT about trying to get yourself in a “rah-rah” mood. It’s about putting in systems. And one of the best is: Keep Score and Achieve More. Thank you.”
As the Spoken Word Strategist, I help clients find the words that feel right coming out of their mouths—and these words make a powerful, positive impact for the audience.
In summary, you will make an excellent pitch that can secure funding, when you take great care with the ending of the pitch. Remember:
N – nurture your words
O – open their thinking
W – wrap up with impact
The better you prepare, the more funding you’ll gain.
Spoken Word Strategist – Executive Coach
Speaker-Author, 45 books so far 🙂
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