How to Wrap Up: 9 Tips and Tricks to Close Effectively

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Nothing can undercut a great training session like a conclusion that fizzles out. Maybe you're running short on time or simply find yourself a little flat footed as the end of training approaches. This is a mistake both rookie and veteran trainers can make from time to time. Luckily a lackluster conclusion is an error that's easy to correct.

You want to leave your participants with a fantastic last impression - you want them buzzing with positive energy when they leave your training session. These tips and tricks will make your conclusions memorable, energizing, and foolproof.

The Basics: Summarize

Any good speech or essay is going to have a conclusion during which the author (or speaker) makes it a point to remind everyone of what was discussed. The same basic idea is true of training. So, as you reach the end of the session, you may want to:

  1. Summarize your main points: Going over what was learned throughout training is a critical step. That’s because most training programs cover a lot of ground. And even when you’ve done a fantastic job, it’s still possible for participants to lose the thread. A good conclusion will reinforce the important lessons and concepts.

Advanced Tips

Most trainers know that they need a good conclusion, but there are often obstacles that pop up and derail you. That’s where the advanced tips come in. These are ways to help make your closing stronger, both in terms of planning and in execution.  

  1. Pop a Quiz: Forget what you learned about quizzes in high school. When you’re drawing a training session to a close, you can use quizzes as an engagement tool more than an assessment tool. Going over quiz questions and answers can help you reinforce important material (it’s like summarizing, but more fun).
  2. Make an Action Plan: As your training session draws to a close, give your participants some time to develop personalized action plans based on everything they’ve learned. A good action plan will help connect material to participants’ everyday lives and reinforce your main themes.
  3. Group Presentations: If you’re leading a participant-centered training session, then it makes sense for your closing to be learner-led, too. Divide your participants into small groups (if applicable) and invite them to provide presentations on what they’ll take away from your shared experience.
  4. Sprinkle in a Dash of Humor: No training session should be so dry as to avoid all semblances of humor. And humor can be a great way to close out your day. You can place a funny meme on your final PowerPoint slide or share an amusing story or anecdote. Participants that leave laughing and energized will remember more of what they’ve learned.
  5. Set Some Goals: Like action plans, structured goals can help get participants thinking about the future. Goals can serve as nice memory joggers, helping participants connect what they’ve learned to what they’re going to do. And inviting participants to share those goals is a great way to close out the training session.

The Real Trick: Time Management

However you decide to end your training session, one element is essential: time. If your conclusion is crunched for time, any method of closing will be undercut. It’s important that you manage your time effectively. Try these tricks to stay on track:

  1. Set an Alarm: Figure out how much time you need for your conclusion, then set a timer (make sure it’s something that gets your attention).
  2. Plan Your Breaks: Structure training so that you have a break right before the closing section begins. Participants will never let you be late for a break.
  3. Use Transitions and Blank Slides: Blank slides in your PowerPoint or presentation material give you a chance (and reminder) to transition into your closing statements.

Keeping an eye on the clock can really help save your conclusion. Don’t be afraid to do what you have to in order to keep things on track!

Make a Lasting Impression

Making your conclusion work can help ensure that participants leave energized and prepared. These tips and tricks will help you wrap up your next training session with style and polish!

Learn more about presentations and how to construct a participant-centered approach with the Train-the-Trainer Boot Camp and Presentation Skills Workshop.

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