The Dandelion Group

Technique of the week

Creating periods of suspense

To deliver a message with power, to get your audience’s attention, to hold your thought with suspense, to build to a crescendo with several phrases, to complete with style, these are challenges a periodic sentence can solve.

Periodic sentences combine anaphoras with listing to increase the audience’s anticipation. The technique makes your presentation tie up all lose ends together and finish with a strong clause. The goal is to show and not just to tell.

“So to conclude, you have now heard about A, B and C. Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you for your attention.” The next time you hear someone wrapping up in such a way, you can suggest to get out of the comfort zone and expand their repertoire.

How do you form a periodic sentence?

  1. Write down the final paragraph of your speech.
    (e.g. In a nutshell, we believe more companies should embrace veganism. Demand for vegan food increased by 140%, in Portugal even by 400%. People in the UK are eating half as much meat as before. The vegan market is set to grow by 25% 2020. Thank you very much for your attention.)

  2. Start each sentence with the same clause.
    (e.g. when, if, unless, until)

  3. Concatenate the phrases according to their importance or length so that they are in one sentence starting in a similar way.
    (e.g. When we see the Brits eating 50% less meat, when the global demand for vegan products increased by 140%, when we see a plus of 400% in Portugal, when outlooks show us that the market will grow by another 25% in the next years, [...])

  4. Put the take-away at the end and try to conclude with a concise sentence after the crescendo.
    (e.g. [...] then it is time that more companies should join the vegan bandwagon.)


You have to strengthen the end of a speech on the value of blockchain and bitcoins. Click here to jump to the final part of Smart Valor's CEO presentation at the Crypto Summit in Zurich this year. Finish stronger with a periodic sentence.

Learn the techniques. Boost your confidence. Make your point.
here and jump the curve.

Ben WilhelmComment