Wrapping up and concluding a workshop or seminar can be difficult. After a day or more of learning, questions, and discussions it is hard to sum things up in just a few minutes, while at the same time ending with impact and excitement.
Why Are Closing Remarks for a Seminar Important?
How you conclude a seminar is important because it provides the opportunity to recap the main points of your presentation. The audience is able to review your seminar mentally and leave with a lasting effect. Closing remarks can also end your presentation on a high note, encouraging your audience to improve upon the subject you taught.
After summarizing the information, a final closing remark, such as a quote or thank you, can let the audience know your presentation is over. Some examples of a closing remark would be:
- Thank you for being here today, I wish you all a good evening.
- It was an honor to present my perspective here today, thank you for taking the time to listen. Have a great day.
- Let me end by saying . . . (include a call to action, express your gratitude, or end on a note of excitement for the topic you discussed)
When conducting a leadership skills session, strategic management workshop, or team training seminar, here are a few ways to be sure you conclude seminars and workshops effectively and end on an encouraging note.
1. Summarize the training by restating the main points.
As you start to conclude a seminar, make sure to clarify the main points. This will tie back in what specific points you want your audience to leave with, and be a quick way for them to connect the whole of your training workshop.
2. Review the objectives and highlight how they have been met.
When you start a training workshop, it’s likely that you created several learning objectives you wanted to teach. Make sure that your workshop includes elements that will enable your audience to learn and have the skills available to enact on the objectives. At the conclusion, point out these new skills and how they’re applicable to the audience.
3. Provide time for participants to create action plans and set goals for applying the training topics.
Once the objectives have been taught, and you showed the participants how to make them applicable, now it’s important to set aside time for implementation. Let your participants write down action plans and goals. Invite them to share, and have a few examples of your own prepared. This will make your objectives more valuable and relevant to each individual.
4. Use humor to end the training session on a positive note.
Humor can be a lighthearted way to conclude a seminar. It can revive the audience’s attention, and show that even though a training session is a serious matter, the whole of it can be a fun experience.
Here is a humorous way David Peoples from IBM frequently closes his presentations: “I fully realize that I have not succeeded in answering all your questions. Indeed, I feel I have not answered any of them completely. The answers I have found only serve to raise a whole new set of questions, which only leads to more problems. To sum it all up, I feel we are just as confused as ever in some ways, but I believe we are confused at a higher level and about more important things.”
5. Conclude the seminar with a quote.
Ending with a quote is also an impactful way to conclude a seminar. Read through the following famous examples for inspiration:
- Confucius said in 451 B.C. “What I hear, I forget; what I see, I may remember; but what I do, I understand.”
- Another great quote that is recommended is by C.S. Lewis, “A man with an experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument.”
- To show how a training is a wise investment for mental growth, use Benjamin Franklin’s quote, “For the best return on your money, pour your purse into your head.”
- Henry Ford, who is a well-known inventor your audience will likely be familiar with, also touched on learning here, “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.”
Adapted from: Robert W. Pike, Creative Training Techniques Handbook.