There are many different ways to end a speech or presentation. A call-to-action helps your audience to take away something from your speech, something to be done. We’ll give you five tips using a real-life example: raising donations for a charity.
1. Be Clear
There is a reason why it is called a ‘call-to-action’ and not a ‘suggestion-to-action’. Be clear, descriptive and concrete when calling upon your audience. Don’t assume they’ll ‘know what to do’ or ‘figure it out’. Saying ‘Donate to …’ instead of ‘Maybe you could donate to …’ will lead to more donations, which was the point of your speech to begin with.
2. Be fast
The time to act is now. Everyone knows that procrastination eventually leads to doing nothing. People in your audience will forget or neglect doing something if there’s no pressure. Ideally, you should give them the option to act on your call before they’ve even left the room. For example, you could hand out donation forms right after your call-to-action. See that you can cut your speech short by five minutes, so people have the time to fill out your form without having to rush to the next presentation or meeting.
3. Be positive
People will always act faster if they can help out themselves, so underline what they have to win by acting upon your call. For example point out that they can subtract their donation from their taxes and get to come to the yearly event for free. Don’t make it about yourself and what you or your organization has to win.
4. Be realistic
There’s always an excuse to be found for not doing something. Try to take down as many barriers as you can for your audience. Bring pens and donation forms and hand them out, tell them they can donate only a small amount or do a one-time donation. Make the donation form as short as possible, without small print or catches. Clearly state what needs to be filled in in each field of the form. Accept as many payment methods as possible, from cash to bitcoin.
5. Be personal
People act as a person, not as a group, so make sure your call-to-action is personal. Speak to each person in your audience, or at least give them the feeling you are speaking directly at them.
Here’s what your call-to-action might look like:
Donating to Charity X will not just help these children to a better education, but is also tax-deductible and will get you a free ticket to our yearly event, where you can meet our celebrity sponsors and socialize with other donators. We have ten minutes until the next presentation, so there is plenty of time to fill out the form my colleagues are now distributing. Keep in mind that you can also donate a small amount each month, or just a one-time donation if you’d rather just test the water first. As you can see there is no small print and there are no strings attached. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask me or my colleagues with the orange t-shirts.
Thank you for your donation.