Presenters say darndest things…
- “I’m sorry but I have a cold today so my voice may sound a little funny.”
- “I just found out about this presentation yesterday, so I didn’t have as much time to prepare as I would have liked.”
- “I wanted to get copies of our reports, but couldn’t…”
- “I meant to bring…”
- “Oh, I should have told you about it earlier…”
CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?
I call these APOLOGIES, EXCUSES, and CONFESSIONS. It is always surprising how often and how easily presenters use these kinds of NEGATIVE phrases in their presentations.
Up until now, that is.
If you want to WOW your audience, you have to adopt and live by motto: NO APOLOGIES, NO EXCUSES, NO CONFESSIONS.
I can tell you from experience, it isn’t easy to do--but it will serve you well in your business career.
Here’s why you should avoid these kinds of negative comments. When you APOLOGIZE, MAKE AN EXCUSE, or CONFESS at any time during your presentation, you are in essence saying to audience, “Don’t expect a lot from me today because I’ll probably disappoint you.” It never fails to amaze me how many presenters do this before, and often many times throughout, their presentations.
DOING YOUR BEST MEANS NEVER HAVING TO SAY “I’M SORRY”
The kinds of APOLOGIES I often hear in presentations go something like this: “I apologize if you can’t hear me too well, but I have a cold today.” OR “I’m sorry I didn’t bring in a sample, but I couldn’t arrange it on such short notice.” OR EVEN “I’m sorry, I forgot to tell you that earlier in my presentation.”
The truth is, if you have a cold or don’t feel well, sooner or later audience will figure it out and because you didn’t use it as an EXCUSE for why you might not perform well, they will respect you for your effort. I have given some of my best presentations when I wasn’t feeling 100%. I attribute it to fact that I overcompensated by really being “on.” It is possible to perform well despite feeling poorly. And, at minimum, you owe it to your audience to try!
Instead of statement “I’m sorry I didn’t bring in a sample, but I couldn’t arrange it on such short notice,” try framing it in positive, “I am working on getting you a sample and I can deliver it next week.” Isn’t it just as easy to PROMISE, rather than APOLOGIZE?
As for statement, “I’m sorry, I forgot to tell you that earlier,” my question is, why would you APOLOGIZE to audience for forgetting something they had no idea you’d forgotten? If they think you’ve done it exactly as you were “supposed” to, what possible benefit do you receive from clueing them into your error? I advise you never to APOLOGIZE for making a mistake that audience didn’t notice first.