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Types of closings

In listening to and reading many, many speeches, I have identified seven basic kinds of closings: summaries, wrap-ups, direct appeals, thesis closings, reference closings, inspirational closings, and humorous or anecdotal closings. In considering these types of closings, remember that closings, like openings, are rarely so neatly packaged. Most often, a good closing is a combination or two or more kinds and may have elements of several. My purpose in suggesting categories is to encourage you to think both logically and creatively about how best to close a speech and to fully appreciate the closing's potential for making the speech more effective.

In a summary closing, the speaker briefly summarizes the high points of the speech. A wrap-up is a closing in which the speaker closes the circle, so to speak, and brings everything together. In a direct appeal, the speaker does what sales trainers call ''asking for the order.'' In other words, he asks audience members to take some specific action. The thesis closing is a restatement of the thesis, or main point, of the speech.


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