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Do you end with a ‘thank you’ or ‘questions?’ slide?

February 9, 2011 Filed under Blog, Featured, Popular, Presentations 

If you do, you are wasting a valuable opportunity to leave your audience with your take-home message.

Of course, you should express your appreciation to your audience by thanking them for their attention, but I am not impressed by a speaker who thinks that a slide is the way to express such sincerity.

Likewise, everyone knows that when most speakers are done speaking, they are given time to answer questions. So, why show a slide stating just that?

Leaving your principal conclusions or take-home message for your audience on the screen while you answer questions allows the readers to focus on something meaningful. The longer that message sits in front of them, the more likely they will remember.

Take the pledge: Say no to “Thank you!” or “Questions?” slides.

(Image from SSW consultants from their Web page that advocates “Always end your presentation with a ‘Thank You’ slide. More than being polite, it makes clear that this is the last slide and presentation is over.” Duh.)

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4 Responses to “Do you end with a ‘thank you’ or ‘questions?’ slide?”
  1. Tanya Otte says:

    Thank you (!) for raising this topic. It’s also one of my presentation pet peeves, as is the “Outline” slide for a 15-minute talk, which is another waste of space. If you need a road map to where I’m going to take you for the next 15 minutes, maybe you should pick a different presentation to see.

  2. Prof. David M. Schultz says:

    Thanks, Tanya. I already had a blog entry on outline slides lined up. It’s now posted.

  3. Lucas says:

    While I fully agree, I have a problem not having a ‘thank you. any questions’ slide.
    I always end with a graphical summary showing figures people have seen before, and say: ‘that’s it. any questions’ or something like that. The problem I’ve had is that the audience is often not sure that the talk is really finished.
    Have you had this problem?

  4. Prof. David M. Schultz says:

    Hi Lucas,

    The graphical summary sounds like a great way to close your talks. When you said everything you are going to say, you could close with “Thank you for your time and attention, and I will now take any questions that you have.”

    I find it hard to imagine that any member of the audience would not understand that the talk is finished at that point. 😉



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