Why you should use calls to action instead of thank you phrases in your presentation

Calls to action or “call-to-action” – you can’t do without them

With every presentation you pursue a goal: Either you want to provide your audience with information or convince them of something. In any case, there is some purpose behind your remarks.

If you simply end your presentation with the words “thank you for your attention” and then pack up your materials, you will miss the most important moment of your entire presentation.

Before the presentation, be clear about what you want to achieve with your audience. Even at the time you start creating your PowerPoint slides, you should be aware of what you expect to get out of your engagement in the end. After all, if you pursue a clear goal with your presentation, then you will also be clear about what your audience should ideally do after your presentation. Rarely will you want your audience to just leave you alone. The least you would like to have after a presentation is feedback from the auditorium on how your
message was received. How did you like the presentation, was everything understood, are there any questions?

Very often it is desirable that the listeners do something specific afterwards. Either one wants to sell something or expects binding commitments to further joint actions. Perhaps you want an additional budget for a project, permission to continue research in a particular area, or you want to be moved from your association to a more influential position. It will rarely happen that your audience will bother to guess your intent between the lines. You already need to be specific about what you expect at the end of your presentation. This is also called a “call-to-action“. If you don’t give specific calls to action, your audience probably won’t either.

Spot landing by means of last sentence

So it comes down to finding the right deal to achieve your goal. You should be fully aware of the last sentence or sentences of your performance beforehand. Feel free to rehearse what you want to say. The last sentence will probably stick in the memory of your audience the longest if it is pointedly worded. So put a lot of emphasis on preparing your last words.

Have the courage and be very clear about what you want. Calmly make a clear request to the audience. Examples:

– I am convinced that I have thus presented you with the best solution. Please support our project with your vote!

– It is now in your hands. I have given you all the information you need to make your decision. Please make the right choice!

– Now you know all the advantages of our solution. What steps do we want to take together now?

– I have outlined to you the steps that I believe are necessary. Become active yourself now! Let’s go to the realization!

For an internal presentation, the next steps can be quite simple. Together with the participants, following the presentation, an agreement is reached on the tasks that each person must complete by a set deadline. From these agreements, a record of the conversation is made, which is emailed to each participant as a binding instruction.

When presenting to an external audience, the approach depends on the objectives. If you want to sell a course or a book, the call is clearly going in the direction of signing up for a sales list or buying on the spot. If you wish to be elected to office, all eligible voters should cast their vote to you. If you have introduced your company to potential clients, you will naturally want to determine the next steps of cooperation.

In each case, you decide on your target achievement with a precise call to action.

Dipl.-Wirtsch.-Informatiker Matthias Garten is the expert for multimedia presentations. He is an entrepreneur, speaker (TOP 100 Speaker), trainer (TOP 100 Excellence Trainer), multiple book author, presentation coach (presentation training), member of the GSA and Club 55, organizer of the Presentation Conference, Presentation Bootcamp and Presentation Rocket Day. In addition to PowerPoint and presentation training, he inspires and advises companies to present themselves even more effectively and thus stand out from competitors. He is the business owner of the presentation and PowerPoint agency smavicon Best Business Presentations and with his team has created over 15,000 presentations for over 150 industries since 1993.