The young man had given the talk of his life. The audience was rapt in his story, an incredible (and true) tale of his journey from a life of struggle to one of faith.
He finished his talk with one simple line. A line which fell flat and left those in attendance with a sense of incompletion and "blah".
He said, "that's all I've got" and walked off the stage.
I see this sort of thing- flat endings- all of the time. Too often, it's at the end of a homily at church. We walk away disappointed and confused.
One recent sermon ended with the preacher accusing the congregation of being against God if they were struggling to figure out their church's moral teachings. Folks were confused, demoralized and left feeling alienated.
Not exactly a spiritual boost!
Some of the worst ways to end presentations/talks/workshops are as follows:
- end on a down note ("That's just pathetic!")
- end with a negative question ("Why would you do that?")
- end in sarcasm ("Here's to another lousy year!")
- end without a sense of hope ("This is just the way things are.")
For your next presentation, why not counteract these "cardinal sins" mentioned above and give your listeners a positive direction or a doable action step?
In future posts we'll discover more of these in detail.