Executive Speaking Weblog

Communication – the future of business

No Thank You

Posted by Presentation Skills on September 18, 2008

Should you open a presentation, a sales pitch or training session with, ‘Good Morning’ or ‘Thanks for coming along’?

When you stand to speak (or are seated at a team meeting) you need to grab your audiences attention right from Word Won. This means that you have to be giving them information, setting the scene or otherwise involving them in your presentation right from the first word. You have very little time to get and keep their attention. Don’t waste it!

But I hear you say, ‘People do not make judgments that quickly!’

Yes they do! Just watch someone channel surfing in front of the TV. Within a few seconds they have moved on to something else. Your audience will do the same mentally to you, so don’t waste anytime.

There is also another reason why you don’t want to start with ‘Good morning’ or something else as pointless. When you say ‘Good morning,’ or ‘Thank you’ you are putting the focus on you, and not your audience. It is about you giving the audience something and – in social terms – you are asking for something in return (them to say Good morning to you). And 9 times out of 10, the audience wont say anything, so they are not giving back and the relationship is broken before it begins.

I am not advocating losing all social niceties!

You can say Good morning to your audience once you have set the scene. Once you have them wanting to listen to what you have to say, you can greet them and go through the pleasantries if you must. When you do this, it will mean more to the audience and they will keep listening after it! This is what you want.

So don’t waste the start of your next presentation. Start with a bang and leave the salutations for later.



You liked this tip? There are many more great points like this in my latest book, Speak Motivate and Lead.

5 Responses to “No Thank You”

  1. Kathi said

    Hello Darren, I ran a course this weekend to a group of women and took your advise to open on a more powerful note than “good morning”. It was actually amazing, how the energy of the whole intro changed and became engaging and attention demanding. Thanks and keep up the good work. Cheerio, Kathi

  2. Hi Kathi,

    That’s great to hear. Well done on taking a different approach.



  3. Hi Darren

    I’m amazed at how much ‘Good morning and thank you so much for having me, I know you’re busy people…’ suck the life out of the room.

    A silent ‘Here we go again’ goes around the room…

    Obviously, a cheesy attention getter is just as bad in a different way, but starting by engaging helps people to expect to be engaged all the way through.


  4. Dr. Wright said

    Say something interesting. I get bored when people try to create that long thank you list. Since I dont know who these people are, it is not important to me. And telling me how each of these people is essential to you is NOT the reason I came.

    Be exciting!

    Dr. Wright
    The Wright Place TV Show

  5. Technocrat said

    Hey Darren,

    Thats a nice point to hear..I had always made a point to start off my presentation as quoted by you. In future, I will try the different approach suggested by you and keep the salutations later.



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