This week marks an anniversary in the ending of the Vietnam War. On January 23, 1973, President Richard Nixon announced that the United States would no longer be involved in Vietnam.
I mention this to make a point about beginnings and endings. In speechwriting we often write speeches about the beginning of things: Our clients speak to launch fundraising drives … to welcome a new executive … to announce a new community project … to dedicate a new bridge … to start a new program.
How often to we write speeches to mark endings? Not so often.
Here’s something to think about the next time you prepare a great presentation to launch something: Follow up with your audience in a few days, or weeks, or months. Let them know how it’s working out. Don’t let your topics just fade away. If a topic is important enough to talk about, then it probably merits follow up. If/when something ends, your audience will want to know about that, as well.