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.
I remember one presentation that I gave, it was the first time that I had given a company’s new corporate presentation in front of all the staff. My reputation as a Presentation Developer and Giver was on the line. About half way through I lost my way, missed out a fairly crucial benefit that they provided, and ended up stating another benefit twice. I was able to recover and carried on with the rest of the presentation.
Afterwards I apologised to the MD for becoming confused in the
middle, but he did not know what I was talking about. He thought it
had all gone perfectly.
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