Advanced Technique 2: Make the Final Slide a Powerful Conclusion
I always advocate that the final slide should not be called “Thank You” or “Question and Answer”. In fact, these two slides should not appear in the presentation as they do not present any information about the presentation that you are delivering.
If you want to thank the listeners, you can thank them verbally and sincerely.
If you want to invite the audience to ask questions, just say so.
Leave the final slide as a conclusion to leave a lasting impression of what you want to tell them.
If that is the case, what sort of impression will I leave for the assessors if I were a student you might be asking? I will do this:
- Reiterate my contributions (aka summarise)
- Relate how my contributions impact my project objectives (aka synthesise)
- Resist my urge to provide new information (aka sans as in the Latin word “sans” which means without)
1 and 2 helps remind your assessors to give you marks. Help the assessors recall why you deserve that A, or B. It also helps to
influence guide them in asking questions that are relevant to your contributions.
That’s one way to prepare for a Question and Answer session.
3 does exactly the opposite. It encourages the assessors not to ask further questions. This is especially so when you seem to have delivered the perfect presentation so far, only to be thwarted by a new piece of (usually controversial) information delivered at the end that does not gel with the rest of your presentation.
In short, we are trying to create a lasting impression that the assessors can remember well long after the assessment is over. We would like them to say “That student is very capable isn’t it? He/She can do this, this, this and that!”