End on a Good Note

We’ve all been there. A lackluster Zoom meeting. A presentation that falls flat. A vacation that doesn’t go as planned. If you ever find yourself flopping, here’s a quick tip to salvage the situation: make sure to end on a positive note.

The way in which an experience concludes helps to crystallize a good—or bad—memory. Often enough, if you can end on a good note, people will forgive or even forget an otherwise bad experience. Think about it: a nice dessert helps erase the memory of a bad meal. The last few minutes of a conversation are more memorable than the middle. 

How does this phenomenon work? Think of your memory as a very efficient editor. The brain often solidifies memories by focusing on key moments, especially introductions and conclusions.
Timing things right requires knowledge and skill, but fortunately practice makes perfect. Get off to a great start with our Instaread on Daniel Pink’s When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing.

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