Typically, there are two types of police oral board closing statements. One brief and the other more detailed. Further along in this blog I will give you a demonstration of the brief closing statement for candidates testing at the captain rank. As you saw in last month’s demonstration video blog on Opening Statements, having a well prepared opening statement can launch your success for the remainder of your oral board exam. While not all processes provide you with the opportunity to give an opening statement, if yours does you want to knock it out of the park.
Similar in importance to the opening statement is the closing statement.
Again, not all processes will give you a closing statement opportunity, but if yours does you do not want to take it for granted. The reason this statement is so important is that your oral board closing statement will likely be the last words that the oral board panel will hear from you before they start determining your final score. For that reason, your closing statement is a major influence opportunity.
The Detailed Closing Statement
Generally, the detailed closing statement is used when you only have the opportunity to give a closing statement and not an opening statement. Now that does not mean that you will be giving an opening statement but just at the end of your oral board. You will want to craft the detailed closing statement so that it fits appropriately for your process.
While I suggest to many of my coaching clients that a 3 to 5 minute opening statement is the right length, I believe a detailed closing statement – unless you have been told otherwise – should be in the 1½ to 2½ minute range. As with my opening statement recommendation, I do believe the detailed closing statement should be chronological and I also believe that you should begin your closing statement by thanking the panel members for assisting your agency. Bottom line, think of the detailed closing statement as an abbreviated opening statement.
The Brief Closing Statement
If your process allows you to give both an opening statement and a closing statement, this is where I recommend brevity for the latter. Having served as an oral board assessor in the past, I know that it can be irritating for the assessors when a promotion candidate overstays their welcome by repeating in their closing statement everything that they said in their opening statement. A more effective approach is to summarize the highlights of the opening statement so that the closing statement serves as a 25 to 35 second refresher of your qualifications.
Oral Board Closing Statement Demonstration
Here is a demonstration of a brief closing statement for a captain process (click the graphic):
When done right, the brief closing statement is a reminder to the panel of the qualifications that you possess that have earned you the right to serve at the next rank. Think of it as your exclamation point as to why you deserve to be at the top of the promotion list.
If you’re looking for more guidance on how to excel at your police oral board, see if one-to-one confidential coaching or the online e-Learning Oral Boards Made Easy for Police Promotion course is right for you.