Thinking about conclusions


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Writing conclusions for speeches

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Thinking about conclusions

  1. 1. Thinking about conclusions A hard beginning maketh a good ending (John Heywood)
  2. 2. Weak conclusions <ul><li>Unnecessary repetitions: if your speech is brief, and you repeat your points using the same wording you already used. . . </li></ul><ul><li>Empty cliches: “And as for the future, only time will tell. . .blah, blah, blah” </li></ul><ul><li>Ending with an apology: “I guess I’ve rambled on long enough” </li></ul><ul><li>Changing style or mood. If you’ve been funny, don’t go dark and ponderous </li></ul>
  3. 3. Match the tone of your conclusion to the audience’s main need <ul><li>Maybe a summary of key points </li></ul><ul><li>Maybe a personal anecdote </li></ul><ul><li>Maybe an answer to a shocking question you opened with </li></ul>
  4. 4. A good conclusion reinforces the theme <ul><li>You can restate your main points, but don’t repeat them </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ I asked you earlier to think about eating well. I hope it’s clear now that. . .” </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. You can re-connect with your introduction <ul><li>“ Remember the farmer who didn’t need more advice from the government? With the information I’ve shared. . .” </li></ul>
  6. 6. You can issue a call to action <ul><li>Be sure your call is specific </li></ul><ul><li>Be sure it is realistic </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Your audience can’t change the federal government’s policy, but they can vote or work for specific candidates </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Relating the purpose of your speech to their lives reiterates the importance of your topic </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. You can get emotional <ul><li>Tell a heart-felt story or personal anecdote </li></ul><ul><li>Relate your topic to the everyday feelings of your audience </li></ul><ul><li>Recite a couple lines from a song </li></ul><ul><li>Use a clincher: turn your main idea into an easy-to-remember one-liner </li></ul>
  8. 8. Sample conclusions <ul><li>Peace is not something that you pick up off the ground and say, oh look, peace! I found peace. Peace you’ve got to work at, peace you’ve got to create, peace you’ve got to make, peace you’ve got to produce. And the only way I know to produce it is through education, which is our business. Rodrigo Carazo, the president of Costa Rica, has said, “If you want peace, educate for peace.” I agree. He has also said, “War begins in the minds of men and women. It is therefore in the minds of men and women that we must construct the defenses of peace. “ I say let all of us join in building those defenses. Let all of us in our own ways attempt to build on our respective campuses constituencies for peace. We have constituencies for fraternities, constituencies for drugs, constituencies for better jazz concerts. peace, by requiring some kind of internationalized curriculum for all our students. Let’s not leave the critical task of survival to Costa Rica alone. </li></ul><ul><li>Leland Miles, urging universities to seek offer courses in peace studies </li></ul>
  9. 9. . . .conclusions <ul><li>Your ability to make sense of the world which you now enter will depend on your determination to retain your own integrity. If you do that, the rest will follow. Yours may not be what is often called a happy life; it may be battered by adversity. But it will be a life of purpose, of dignity, and of meaning. And that should be enough for anyone. </li></ul><ul><li>John R. Silber, “Beyond the Real World Integrity,” Vital Speeches of the Day 45, no. 19 (July 15, 1979):604-606 . </li></ul>
  10. 10. . . .conclusions <ul><li>Intro : Have you ever felt like you were the little Dutch boy who stuck his finger in the leaking dike? You waited and waited but the help never came. The leak became worse and the water rushed around you and swept you away. As you fought the flood, gasping and choking for air, you realized that the flood was inside yourself. You were drowning and dying in your own mind. According to the American Journal of Psychiatry, as many as half the people in this room will be carried away by this devastating flood. What is this disaster? Mental depression. </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusion : Let’s go back to my illustration of the little Dutch boy. He was wise to take action and put his finger in the dike, preventing the flood. In the case of depression, each one of us must be like the little Dutch boy’-willing to get involved and control the harmful effects of depression.’ </li></ul><ul><li>Michael Twitchell </li></ul>
  11. 11. . . .conclusions <ul><li>Finally, we who avoid computers because we don’t understand them can enroll in a college’s or university’s introduction to computer course, as I have done. Although it is still sometimes difficult to sit behind the computer terminal without becoming nervous or fidgety, I am convinced it is still worth my while. I believe all of us should become comfortable with computers. Only in that way will we be able to perform in the job market and the educational system, in order to become computer literate and to function effectively in our technological society . </li></ul>
  12. 12. . . .conclusions <ul><li>“ I plan to give blood tomorrow morning and I hope to see you down there .” </li></ul>