Conclusions are not the place to introduce something new. They are rather a time for review; a moment for looking back over what has gone before. More than just a rehash of ex-material, a summary of main points in your conclusion allows you to chew over previously digested mental food so as to remind the audience of all of those great arguments that convinced them earlier. Although you may have hit the spot with your proofs as you went along, it is likely that as your audience was introduced to each succeeding main point they forgot the former. This is natural and to be expected. A concluding summary will bring back to their minds just what you want them to remember at the time when you are drawing your conclusions. A concluding summary will do two things: Draw attention to the theme Draw attention to the main points Often all that is necessary to accomplish this is to list off the skeleton of your main points in order. If you have done your job throughout your speech, and your main points have stood out as clear and distinct from each other, then this might be all that is required. Perhaps you might have used a remarkable illustration or example somewhere in your speech body. If this has proved to be a highlight with the audience then it may also merit mention in your concluding summary. Don’t retell it though. This is a time for only listing things not explaining them. When you have listed off your main points and so reminded your audience of the fine arguments you have made in supporting them it is time to draw attention to your theme. If you have chosen your main points wisely right in the beginning then they will all closely relate to the theme anyway. Simply stating your theme after listing your main points should have the effect of tying your main points together for the audience as the relevance of them becomes clear. Remember that your speech is all about getting your theme across. Using your conclusion to highlight any other part of your speech outline will consign your speech to dismal failure. In summarising your theme and main points you of course do not have to literally state them word for word again (although this simple approach might be very effective). Use of similes or similar phrases to your main points and theme may be all that is necessary to remind your audience of them. Your conclusion is not a time to confuse. More than any other part of your speech your conclusion deserves ultra-clear, succinct language that will be readily understood by your listeners. Short sentences with simple and direct language will serve you best here. Not only will such clear reasoning and language drive home the points with clarity to your audience, but they will also add to the motivating effect. Excerpt From: Mark Porter. “The Way With Words.” iBooks. This discussion is continued in detail in “The Way With Words”, by Mark Porter.