Skip to main content
9.1: Why Conclusions Matter
- Last updated
Save as PDF
- Understand the basic benefits of a strong conclusion.
- Explain the serial position effect and its importance on public speaking.
Signals the End
Aids Audience’s Memory of Your Speech
- A strong conclusion is very important because it’s a speaker’s final chance to really explain the importance of her or his message and allows the speaker to both signal the end of the speech and help the audience to remember the main ideas. As such, speakers need to thoroughly examine how they will conclude their speeches with power.
- The serial position effect is the idea that people remember ideas that are stated either first (primacy) or last (recency) in a list the most. It is important to speech conclusions because restating your main ideas helps you to take advantage of the recency effect and helps your audience remember your ideas.
- Think about a recent speech you heard either in class or elsewhere. Did the speaker have a strong conclusion? List the elements of the conclusion that were particularly effective and ineffective. Identify two ways you could have made the speaker’s conclusion stronger.
- After listening to a speech or class lecture, close your eyes and say aloud the main points you remember from the presentation. Does your memory follow what you would expect according to the serial position effect?