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Business Productivity Strategies for Success (Collection) by Daniel Silvert, Merrick Rosenberg, Mark I. Woods, Jerry Weissman, Martha I. Finney, Trapper Woods

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24. Bookends

Establish Your First and Last Sentences

Novelist John Irving, the author of the bestselling The World According to Garp, The Cider House Rules, and The Hotel New Hampshire, offers two valuable pieces of advice to writers that presenters would do well to follow. On the occasion of the publication of his thirteenth novel, In One Person, he wrote, “I begin with endings, with last sentences—usually more than one sentence, often a last paragraph (or two). I compose an ending and write toward it, as if the ending were a piece of music.”1

By beginning the development of your presentation with the last sentence—the one in which you make your call to action, just before you open the floor to questions—you give your entire narrative a focus ...

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