This website is all about giving effecting business presentations, rather than the more general topic of speaking in public. As such, there is inevitably a reason why you are presenting which is more than just to entertain. You may want to educate your audience but invariable you are also trying to influence them or persuade them into a particular course of action.
Think about why you are presenting, what is it you would like the people to do as a result of your presentation. It may be that you want them to buy your products or services then and there, or maybe you have slightly more modest ambitions to move them on to the next step in the sales cycle.
You may want them to change the way they think about something.
If you have given them an excellent, informative, entertaining and persuasive presentation, do not end it without a call to action. If you just leave people to go away and think about it, and no matter how fired up they are by your presentation, they will go off back to their normal world. Back to where other pressures are placed on them, where interruptions are rife, back to what they are used to. Even with the best will in the world, they will be distracted and may not follow through.
You need to get them to buy in to your proposition. Then, you need to set them a challenge, a call to action that will move them further forward in the direction of your goal.
Ending a business presentation without a call to action is essentially a massive waste of time. You have wasted your time and their time, because without the call to action the chance of someone taking action off their own initiative is very low.
Presentations are not one off events; they should be part of an
integrated plan to achieve your goals. The call to action coming at
the end of a presentation tells the audience what they should do
next. Without it, you are giving control over the process back to
your audience, which means you no longer have control. Control that
you have invested a great deal of time and effort in, by creating
and giving the presentation.
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