January 4, 2010

An important rule of presenting is NEVER APOLOGISE.  In particular, do not start with an apology.  It is a very natural thing to do, because by apologising upfront you are diverting any potential criticism.  You are in effect saying sorry in case you do not give a great presentation.  If you apologise in advance for your material you are saying you did not give it the preparation time the audience deserve.

An apology at the start sets you off in a negative frame of mind, it has the reverse affect to the one that you want.  It saps your confidence and it saps the audience’s confidence in you.

The other reason never to apologise is that most of the audience will probably not have noticed.  Only you know what you were intending to say.  If you miss a bit out or repeat material the audience will never know that you did not mean to.

‘Apology is only egotism wrong side out. Nine times out of ten the first thing a man’s companion knows of his short-comings, is from his apology.’  Oliver Wendell Holmes

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