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13 Bookending Techniques for Speeches: Powerful tool to Create Memorable speech

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What is Bookending Technique in speech crafting?

The Bookending technique is a literary framing device where you connect the ending of the speech with the same idea or theme as the beginning of the speech and create a psychological illusion of completion, symmetry, and closure in the audience’s mind. It creates an everlasting impression and makes your speech more persuasive.

The concept goes hand-in-glove with the Law of Primacy and Recency: The first and last things the audience sees and hears will be the first things they remember.

Have a Strong Opening technique and Strong Closing. The bookending technique can do it!

13 Techniques to bookend your speech

1)Thought-provoking Question and Answer Method

Start your speech with a thought-provoking question and at the end of the speech answer the question

If your speech is about climate change. 

  • Start with 

“If not Earth, where? If not now, when?”

  • End your speech with

“Now is the right time to save our earth.”

2)Quotending (Bookending technique with the same or similar Quote)


1)Speech on Leadership:

  • Start with 

“A leader is one who sees more than others see, who sees farther than others see and who sees before others see.”

  • End with

So ladies and gentle “The only safe ship in a storm is Leadership.”

*Mic Drop*

2)Using the same quote or statement for bookending technique

  • This will be more effective when you give a new perspective to the audience on the same quote or statement in the body of the speech

3)Use contrasting quotes or statement

  • Start with a statement
  • End with a contradicting statement 
  • This can be used where you want to break a particular stereotype or give a new perspective.


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4)Mystery Reveal

Start a story with a mystery and at the end reveal the mystery.

1) In one of the speeches Emily shares a story about a person’s challenging times in jail and at the end of the story she reveals, that the person was no other than her.
This can be tricky to implement because the way the story is structured should be appropriate and effective. We can’t randomly end a story by revealing who the person was. 

5)Bookending with props

Start with a prop and end with the same prop.

Example: Watch the beginning and end. The speaker starts with a rose, and ends with a rose. This bookending technique is the most effective.

6)Bookending with visual presentation

Start with the same slide and end with the same. Please don’t start with the welcome slide and end with it. Have some context and build a powerful story to connect the beginning and end.

  • Open your speech with a visual slide.
  • Close your speech with the same slide, or perhaps a slightly modified version of the first.
  • This works if the picture you are displaying can be reinterpreted by your audience as a result of your speech message.
  • As a twist in your bookending technique, your opening slide can be cropped to hide part of the image, while the concluding slide can reveal the full image. Again, this allows your audience to reinterpret the original image.

7)Bookending with a song or sounds 

Start with a song and end with a song. Or Start with an unusual sound and end with it.


1) Lara delivered a speech about how her dog changed her life 

  •  Opening:
    “Woof woof” I was a kid when I first heard this. I was petrified.
  • Body

She goes into detail about how she discovered love through her dog and how she felt when she lost her dog to an accident.

  • Closing:

Now the only sound which I was terrified of and now which miss the most is “Woof woof”

2)Rajesh delivered a speech about never giving up and he started his speech with a lullaby that his grandma used to sing and ended with a lullaby. This bookending technique which he used made his speech more memorable.

8)Body Language

Start with body language which visually captures the attention of the audience and end the speech with it.

If your speech is about rising up.

  • Start with falling on the stage.
  • End speech with falling on stage, and continue, “Now even though I fall down, I know to rise up.”
    *Mic Drop*

9)Tell two halves of a story

  • Start with a story and stop in between at a cliffhanger.
  • End the speech by completing the story

Note: The body of the speech and the story needs to be congruent, it shouldn’t be irrelevant.

10) Bookending with the Magic reveal

  • Start with a trick
  • Build a story around the trick
  • Reveal the trick

11)Tell a story with a question and answer at the end

  • Start a situation-based story and ask what would you do in this situation
  • Continue the speech congruent to the story
  • End the speech about what the protagonist actually did in the situation

12) Use humour

  • Start with a humour
  • End with humour

Make sure you use the same/similar punchline for bookending technique.

Example: If your keyword is “Brown shoes” end it with “Brown shoes” so that the audience ‘gets the humour’. And, of course, the entire speech should be in line with it

13)Use similar element

  • Start the speech with a fact, element or phrase
  • End the speech which is similar or the same as what you started with


Place your index finger on your forehead and say “I am a confident speaker.”

“This is a hot topic, so we are curious to see what you have to say. Share your thoughts about bookending techniques in the comments below.”

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