When was the last time you gave a speech? I gave a big one a month ago, and I practiced my butt off. Midway through, I realized something...my intro was great. I knew it like the back of my hand. I'd messed up somewhere in the middle so often and restarted so often that I'd said the beginning about 50 times. I said the middle probably 25. The end...maybe 10.
I'm listening to the Republican debate right now. Mitt Romney just spent a great two minutes talking...then blew it with a weak ending. All politics aside, the ending ruined an otherwise very strongly argued point. Seth talked today about first dates, first impressions, and how well crafted they are. But what happens at the END of the first date? Matters probably more than when you pick her up? Mess up the first kiss? Have you ever seenHitch?
When I realized I knew the beginning of the speech I spent a lot of time practicing the end. Your last sentence has to be as good as your first. So next time you have something big, sure, practice the handshake, but have a plan for the goodbye.