Let’s hit it and quit!

The most important part of your presentation is the closing line. It is essential that the audience is left in no doubt the purpose of the whole presentation whether that is a TED talk, a teaching session or a case presentation. Finishing lamely misses the opportunity and wastes the presentation. It is essential to build to a definitive point, deliver it perfectly and stop. Or, as the amazing James Brown said, “Hit it and quit.”

The ending of a presentation should be memorable. it should encapsulate the message to be taken by the audience. It must not simply fade away. Mr Brown makes clear that the ending should be considered and definitive; with the band set up, he hits it. And quits. This should be clear from the p1, the p2 and the p3.

It is essential to construct, practise and deliver the ending as effectively as possible.This is the climax of the presentation bringing together the whole and leaving the audience with a single key message to take away. This can be by repetition of the key point, answering the initial question, a call to arms or a challenge. It is not simply about running out of steam. It is planned, specific and punchy. practise this so that whatever happens this is memorable. Hit it and quit.

The good presenter should endeavour to be the last to speak. Questions are valuable but the message the audience should take from the presentation should be that of the presenter, not of the last questioner. If there are questions ensure an opportunity when they have finished to reprise and redeliver the key point. Advising the chairman of the session of this will help. The presentation should not end with a statement from the floor but from the presenter. Hit it and quit.

The point of a presentation is a single message. Ensure that this is effectively delivered. Practise specifically and build to this climax. Then, hit it. And quit.




  1. Cian Brendan McDermott

    Love that quote!
    Am recording screencast of a talk to registrar group – will try to work in “Hit it and quit it” somehow 🙂

  2. Victoria Brazil

    Yes I agree completely. Such an important point.

    When dealing with questions, suggest
    “I’ll summarise and conclude shortly but now we’ve got time for questions”
    Then do the questions, then take control back and do the ‘hit and quit’

    I did also hear a nice way to finish, perhaps more for the humourous after dinner speech, which I have used a couple of times

    “Now it’s time for me to finish, but I’m going to leave you with the two most important rules of public speaking. Number 1, always leave your audience wanting more ……. Thank you


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