Stick the Landing

We were recently conducting a training for the senior management team of Prolacta Bioscience. Each executive was given approximately thirty minutes to persuade the Board of their division's achievements and ability to ensure Prolacta's future.

One female exec closed her presentation with power and commitment, whereupon the CEO jumped up and said, "she stuck the landing!" It was an accurate compliment. As Olympics fans, we've seen many gymnasts do a beautiful routine, then stumble at the very last moment, lowering their scores. We also remember many presentations where the speaker trails off at the end, has nothing memorable to say, or weakly hands off to the next presenter.

The closing is your chance to rescue a mediocre presentation or elevate a talk from good to great. Without it, you won't achieve your goal or receive the kudos you deserve. To 'stick it', consider your intention and audience. Then strategically deliver the strongest possible conclusion, whether it's a call to action, appropriate quote, anecdote, or a bookend to your opening. Get a running start, commit, and stick your landing.

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