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Don’t Self-Destruct at Presentation End!


presentation endDo you do A or B type presentation endings?

  1. “So, uh, that’s, uh, it.  Um, what, uh, do you, um, think? (Aaagh!  Disaster!)
  2. “If you agree, then, going forward, the next step is to schedule a meeting with the marketing people. When would you like to do that?”  Or, “Sounds like you saw the value in our software. [Yes] Then, the next step is to set up a group meeting.  Can you get the team together next week on Tuesday or Thursday?

Type A endings lack confidence, authority, and credibility, which erodes a listener’s belief that your product or service can, in fact, do the job. (What if your doctor said, “Um, so I think, um, we should, like, do open heart surgery on you. Like what do you, um, think?)

Type B endings communicate strength and confidence and create momentum for advancing the relationship.

Solution: Think through and practice the appropriate, specific, crisp closing next step for that buyer, before you do your presentation. Make it easy for your listener to say, “Yes!


The abovenotwithstanding, here's a very powerful and respectful way to close out a presentation. Ask your clients what they liked about what they saw and what you both discussed as it applies to their situation Expect some silences as your clients reflect on the recent conversation Typically, buyers will say they liked some number of features and benefits of your offer  Whatever they say, their remarks tell you how broadly your message was communicated and accepted.

If they omit what you think are key selling points, gently remind, or ask, them about those. Often, they will agree, or, indicate that those are not the most meaningful for them, which can lead to a deeper discussion.

Bottom-line, when clients state the value of your service, they believe what they say far more than what you say the value is for them. It is then very simple to say, “Sounds like you see the value in working with us. When would you like to start?” or, “Terrific. What’s our next step?”  If they raise objections, that will be disappointing, but the good news is you are still there to deal with those last lingering doubts, which, if you can neutralize them, allows you to move the meeting forward to the next step.


A closing step in a presentation is not a trick. It is the natural outcome of a good client-centered presentation conversation. Remember, nothing happens until the client agrees to do something. Here's your next step: Before your next presentation establish the likely specific next step appropriate to that buyer at this stage of your selling cycle.  Will you do that?

Anne Miller is a demo and presentation pro who helps clients win business in high stakes situations. Author, speaker, coach, and seminar leader, Anne is passionate about helping people be their communication best to get the results they seek. For more information and free resources: Contact Anne at 212 876 1 875 or

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