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The Conclusion

The conclusion is an essential though frequently underdeveloped section of a presentation. This is the stage at which you can summarise the content and purpose of your talk, offer an overview of what has been achieved and make a lasting impact. Important elements of a conclusion are:

  • a review of the topic and purpose of your presentation: "In this presentation I wanted to explore ...";
  • a statement of the conclusions or recommendations to be drawn from your work: "I hope to have been able to show that the effect of ....";
  • an indication of the next stages (what might be done to take this work further?): "This does of course highlight the need for further research in the area of ...";
  • an instruction as to what happens next (questions, discussion or group work?): "I would now like to give you the opportunity to ask questions ...";
  • a thank you to the audience for their attention and participation: "That's all I have time for. Thank you very much for listening."

As with your introduction, you should try to address the audience directly during your conclusion, consolidating the impression of a confident and useful presentation.