Presentation Closing Clunker: Should You Save Q&A for the End?

At professional conferences, the question-and-answer session is an integral portion of many presentations. I’ve spoken at events where it was mandatory to save time for questions from the audience, and the allotted time can be anywhere from five minutes to sometimes 30 minutes.

However, the Q&A should not be the final element of your speech. You, the presenter, must have the final word for a strong memorable closing. So,

To facilitate Q&A smoothly, follow this process:

  1. After the last main point, provide a transition to open the floor for questions
  2. Repeat the question so everyone in the room can hear and understand it
  3. Answer the question truthfully and to your best ability
  4. Watch the clock
  5. Say you have time for one final question
  6. After answering that last question, close with your final planned remarks—your big bang

Your strong closing comprises these three elements in order:

  1. Closing signal
  2. Time for  Q&A
  3. Final big bang

Your big bang is the convicting closing you have saved for the end. It could be a question to challenge your audience. It could be invoking your strong call to action. It could be using a fitting final personal anecdote or good story you have been saving for the end to drive home and personalize your main point.

After all, what’s the last idea you want floating around in the minds of your audience as they exit the meeting room? It’s probably not some random question someone in the audience asked about a tangential subject. Rather, it should be your well-executed big bang.



To customize a keynote or professional development session that will have your audience laughing and learning, contact Mandi Stanley.


Certified Speaking Professional Mandi Stanley works with business leaders who want to boost their professional image by becoming better speakers and writers through interactive high-content keynotes, breakout sessions, workshops, technical writing seminars, and fun proofreading classes. 


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