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Ending a Presentation in PowerPoint 2007: The Difficult Last Slide

written by: Profacgillies•edited by: Bill Fulks•updated: 9/28/2009

A good ending to your presentation is important. An “Any Questions?" slide has become a real cliché. This article offers some alternatives to end your presentation. The first majors on visual style, the remainder offer a more reflective option.

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    The Difficult Final Slide

    The “Any Questions?" slide has become a real cliché at the end of PowerPoint presentations. In a previous Bright Hub article (http://www.brighthub.com/office/home/articles/14200.aspx) I described how to create a visual metaphor based upon an homage to Baz Luhrman's Moulin Rouge in PowerPoint 2003.

    In PowerPoint 2007, the key commands needed can be found as follows:

    • Custom Animation is found on the Animations tab, in the Animations group
    • The Shapes tools can be found on the Home Tab, in the Drawing group

    With this information, you should be able to create the Moulin Rouge homage ending described in the previous article. This provides a visually striking ending but alternative, more thoughtful possibilities do exist.

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    The Moulin Rouge Ending

    Finish with a strong visual flourish
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    A More Reflective Ending

    There are a range of things that you might wish to do with your final slide. If you want to finish with a visual flourish, then the curtain visual metaphor is a good solution.

    An alternative opportunity is to use the final slide to communicate a take home message, which you can leave on the screen while you answer questions and discuss points from your talk. See the example below.

    A third option is to use the final slide to pose questions which you would like your listeners to reflect upon following your talk. If your talk is effective, then presumably you would like your listeners to either do something differently, or think about something differently. For example, if you had just finished a talk on time management, then you could pose the following questions:

    • What do you spend most of your time doing?
    • What are the three things that you do that waste the most time?
    • What three things could you or your manager do to help you waste less time?

    Alternatively, if you had just finished a talk on improving customer service, then you could pose the following questions:

    • What issues in customer service did you recognize within the talk you have just heard?
    • What are you going to do differently when serving customers as a result of hearing this talk?

    These messages do not need to be discussed verbally, they can be left visually displayed and left for listeners to contemplate.

    Isn't that better than "Any Questions?"

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    Alternative Endings

    The take home messageReflective Questions 1Reflective Questions 2