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Chapter Thirteen. Closing the Speech

Chapter Thirteen. Closing the Speech

Someone has said that a speech is like quicksand: It's a lot easier to get into than out of. Actually, you can ''get out of'' a speech rather easily just by stopping when you've said everything you want to say. A simple and gracious ''Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your program'' will sometimes suffice.

But not usually. Most good speeches have strong closes. In the discussion of openings in Chapter Five, I mentioned the ''speaker's grace period,'' that crucial period at the beginning of a speech when the speaker has the audience's full attention. The ending is a similarly crucial time, and the speaker who fails to make the most of it does not do justice to his efforts.


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