WHY ARE ENDINGS IMPORTANT?
Well, the last 5 or so minutes of a programme are just as important as the first 5 or so minutes.
And, like your introduction, conclusions shouldn’t be skipped.
Even if you run out of time.
Your programme or tour should always have a structure – an introduction, main body and conclusion. The main body is when you visit a series of objects, artworks or ‘stops’.
The number and timing is up to you although I always recommend less is more. This structure is what makes your programme a cohesive whole and some planning and preparation of both your introduction and conclusion will make you feel so much more confident and prepared for whatever happens on the day.
If the introduction is setting the scene for what’s to come, then the conclusion is most definitely when you wrap everything up, tie up any loose ends and leave your participants wanting more.
Priya Parker has a great chapter on endings in her wonderful book The Art of Gathering where she talks about how you graciously close and end on a high. In this chapter she mentions something improv teacher Dave Sawyer once said to her:
‘“You can tell the difference between a good actor and a bad actor not by how they enter the stage…but by how they exit”
Good actors will enter dramatically, say their lines and when they’re done, assuming their job has finished, they scuttle off the stage.
GREAT actors spend as much time thinking about the exiting as they do the entering of the stage. You don’t want to be someone who scuttles off stage.
Priya sums it up beautifully when she says
“You…have hopefully created a temporary alternative world in your gathering, and it is your job to help your guests close that world, decide what of the experience they want to carry with them, and reenter all that from which they came”.