Speech Conclusions: Role & Components

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  • 0:01 The Role of a Conclusion
  • 1:40 Signal the End, Refer…
  • 4:09 Review the Main Points…
  • 5:20 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Cathryn Jackson

Cat has taught a variety of subjects, including communications, mathematics, and technology. Cat has a master's degree in education and is currently working on her Ph.D.

The conclusion of your speech is the last thing the audience will hear. Therefore, it is important to understand the role and components of a conclusion.

The Role of a Conclusion

Joshua is creating a speech about the importance of the environment to present to his government class. Today, he is constructing the conclusion of his speech. Using Joshua's speech about the environment, you will learn about the role of a conclusion in your speech and about each component of a conclusion.

First, let's discuss the role of a conclusion and the components of a conclusion. The role of a conclusion is to drive home the big picture, review key concepts, and leave the audience with a lasting impression of the speech.

The most important role of a conclusion is to drive home the big picture with your audience. They can't remember your entire speech, so this is a good opportunity for them to hear the main idea again and make sure they are focusing on the parts that you want them to focus on.

The conclusion also plays a role in allowing you an opportunity to review the key concepts in your speech. Most people won't remember everything you say. They can't re-listen to a speech the same way a reader can re-read a sentence in a book. They are more likely to remember the last thing that you said in your speech. The conclusion allows you to review the key concepts so they're the last thing that your audience will hear.

The conclusion is also important because it gives your audience a lasting impression of your speech. The conclusion is your last opportunity to really impact your audience and leave them with something to think about.

Now let's discuss the components of a conclusion. The components of a conclusion are signaling the end of the speech, referring back to the attention getter, calling the audience to action, reviewing the main points, and giving a closing statement. Let's discuss each component in greater detail.

Signal the End, Refer Back, & Call to Action

First, you will need to signal to the audience that you are wrapping up the speech. You can do this by using phrases such as 'in conclusion', 'in summation', 'in summary', or 'to conclude'.

Then, you will need to refer back to the attention-getter in your speech. You can do this in several ways, depending on the attention-getter you used in your intro. If you used a story or testimony, you can always say something like:

Remember the little girl I talked about in the beginning of my speech? Well today, thanks to the resources given to her by her foster parents, she was able to graduate from college and become a successful banker.

It is important to refer back to your attention-getter because it helps signal to the audience that you are coming full circle in the speech. If you are using a rhetorical or a response question, you can say something like:

Remember when I asked you to raise your hand if you thought it was important to recycle on a daily basis? Can I see a show of hands again?

Joshua used a shocking statistic to get his audience's attention in his introduction. This is his attention-getter:

According to the United Nations and the World Bank, the developed countries of the world (the U.S., Japan, most of Europe, Australia, and Canada) make up about 18% of world population, yet use about 88% of the world's resources and produce about 75% of the world's waste and pollution.

In his conclusion, he can refer back to his attention-getter like this:

I don't want to be a part of the 18% that contributes to the world's waste and pollution. I think it's important to protect the environment and live sustainably.

If you are creating a persuasive speech using Monroe's motivated sequence as your organizational pattern, then the next component you will need in your speech is called a call to action. If you are not using Monroe's motivated sequence or you aren't giving a persuasive speech, then you can skip this component and move on to reviewing the main points of your speech. Check out our other public speaking lessons to learn more about Monroe's motivated sequence.

If Joshua were creating a persuasive speech, his call to action might look like this:

So today, I'm asking each person to sign the petition that I am passing around. This petition asks for recycling cans to be placed in the school and for more water fountains to be made available so we can cut down on our waste.

Review the Main Points and Closing Statement

Next, you will need to review the main points in your speech. You can usually do this by taking your thesis from your introduction and re-writing it to review, rather than preview, your main points. This is Joshua's thesis from the introduction of his speech:

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