The final transition of the speech, which concludes the last supporting point within the final main point, must cue the listeners in the audience that the speech has almost reached its conclusion. This is referred to as signaling the end. One of the simplest and most obvious ways to signal the end is to state, “In conclusion…” Don’t do this. As with mechanical, robotic, and awkward transitions, most people probably cannot imagine using the phrase “in conclusion” in daily conversation. Instead, use the opportunity to get creative! Many speakers choose to employ a time-related reference, such as “I could go on all day, talking about all the benefits to taking additional communication classes, but my time here is limited.” Some speakers choose to employ a more creative and topic-based approach, such as a student’s speech on how to build a fire, where he stated, “Now that I’m done talking about extinguishing your fires, it’s time to extinguish this speech.” Adding creative touches like this, especially near the conclusion of the speech, often works well among listeners, considering that they have just put in a lot of mental effort in digesting all of the presentation’s unique and innovative information.
For example, think about college professors as they near the end of a class session. What do they say that cues everyone to start unzipping backpack zippers, close their books, and put away materials? Sometimes, they make subtle statements, such as, “As you all leave here today…” (which provides a cue that time has almost time expired), and other times, they may get more explicit.