Whether you are delivering a speech to sway an audience or writing a closing argument for the courtroom, you want to deliver an effective conclusion. A few rules can help guide you.
photo credit: jimduell
The most important emotion in the conclusion of any argument is that of your audience. Ultimately, it is not your emotion that matters, but that of the audience who will judge your argument and make a final decision.
Remember that emotion follows facts, not the reverse. And when it comes to emotion, there should never be any contrivance present. Your goal is to create honest emotions in your audience, and you must make a concentrated effort to go carefully with those emotions.
What is the right amount of emotion to strive for in your final summation? Too little or too much emotion can prove fatal to your argument. The easiest and most effective way to reach out to your audience and make a connection with them is to tell a story. A well-told story always evokes feelings–a simple human response that cannot be avoided.
While you are consciously evoking those emotions, it is important to acknowledge the fact that you have stirred them up.
One of your goals as an effective advocate is to constantly monitor the energy levels of your audience. Energy levels can be gauged in the eyes of your audience. (Hint: if everyone’s eyes are glazed over, they are bored. Very bored.) Keeping the energy level of your audience up is essential.
Reference: Common Sense Rules of Advocacy, by Keith Evans, Chapter 10 The Final Argument
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