A world champion public speaker reveals the best way to end any presentation

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Dananjaya Hettiarachchi, the 2014 Toastmasters International World Champion of Public Speaking.
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Courtesy of Dananjaya Hettiarachchi

If you don’t consider yourself a world-class public speaker, you probably run into some trouble figuring out how to end your presentation, whether it’s a PowerPoint in front of your colleagues or a toast at your friend’s wedding.

Thankfully, Business Insider had a chance to talk to someone who is actually a public speaking world champion: the 2014 Toastmasters International World Champion of Public Speaking, Dananjaya Hettiarachchi.

He told us that most amateurs, and even some seasoned speakers, leave a lot of potential for impact on the table.

“A lot of speakers, what they do is they end their speech in a low, when they plateau out,” he said. “But really great speakers, they end it on a high.”

“As soon as you’re peaking, you’ve got to stop. Have a cold stop to your speech and people remember that, because you leave them wanting more”

In his championship-winning speech, “I See Something,” Hettiarachchi wrapped up his nearly 8-minute speech by getting to its emotional heart and then smoothly transitioning into an unexpected but appropriate joke that got a big laugh from the audience. Boom – cold stop. Cue the applause. You can watch it below.