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An event without some sort of concluding remarks can seem incomplete and unsettling. In general, a basic speech outline can summarize key ideas from the event, offer proper recognition and thanks to those who were involved, and maintain important announcements or reminders for upcoming events.
Summarize key ideas.
Introduce yourself if necessary, then briefly outline the main or key ideas of the event. For example, in concluding a fund raising banquet for some nonprofit organization, mention the purpose of the event, perhaps the main thesis of the keynote speaker, and if applicable, the amount of money raised at the banquet. Be concise. This is not to replay the entire evening or event, simply a recap to tie ideas and events together. The speech should be short and memorable: perhaps a funny anecdote or pithy quotation would work. Make the audience laugh, or give them something short and sweet to remember.
Give credit where credit is due.
Be sure to acknowledge and thank persons or organizations involved with the event. Use names; it’s often best to prepare a short list or cheat sheet beforehand to minimize embarrassing and forgetful mistakes, and to make sure no one is left out!
Look to the future.
Use the closing remarks opportunities to remind attendees of upcoming events or deadlines when appropriate, or give an outlook for the future. Think of this as the “So what?” portion of your remarks. Why does this event matter from here on? Author Richard Dowis suggests "making an appeal." Continuing the nonprofit organization fundraising banquet example, perhaps the event did not raise enough money, or maybe the organization is lacking volunteers. Use this portion of your speech to inform.
Don’t be long winded and don’t summarize everything. Let the event stand on its own power in each individual’s memory, but use the opportunity to bring graceful closure on the event. Depending on the event, concluding remarks should really run no longer than 5-8 minutes.
Rebecca High graduated from Cedarville University, with a B.A. in international studies. As a university student she wrote and edited for "Cedars," the campus newspaper, and was published twice in the "Kamelian," the literary journal of Kishwaukee Community College. She attended the World Journalism Institute convergence course 2009 taught by journalists including Pulitzer Prize-winning Manny Garcia. She has written reviews for Sazze.com