What’s best? Rob Christeson has some great points on this.
Speaking Tips – Should You Thank the Audience?
I love easy questions.
The real question, though, is how should you thank your audience?
First, the two times you should avoid thanking them: the first 30 seconds and the last 30 seconds of your presentation.
Why not start that way? Because the first 30 seconds is when you need to make that connection. Although this touches on another topic, remember that if you open your speech with pleasantries, including variations of “thanks for having me” will get your presentation off to a weak start.
Okay, but why not wrap up with “Thank You”? I know…you have seen famous people do it, so it must be okay, right? Wrong. Those last 30 seconds (or even minutes) are the last thing your audience will remember. Make it powerful. Make it memorable. Make it something you would listen to.
Now that you know how not to do it, what about the right way to do it? Glad you asked. You are probably thinking that any type of thank you placed in the dead center of your speech will be…well…dead, or at least out of place, right? That is true. The two times to thank your hosts and/or audience are soon after your opening, or…you guessed it: Right before your closing.
“Before I close, I would like to thank Rotary 123 for asking me to speak today…(clap…clap…clap)…the importance of good dental hygiene cannot be overstated…” into your closing. No, I do not speak about flossing techniques. I just wanted to give an example of transitioning into your closing. The point is to treat a “thank you” like you would Q&A: wrap it up before you give your closing statement.
I would like to thank you for reading my post today, you have been a wonderful audience.
Remember the two parts to “Should I thank the audience?”
2. After the opening or before the conclusion.
If you open your speech with power and close it with conviction, you will have time to express gratitude with grace.
Rob Christeson is an IT Project Manager, freelance writer and speaker based in Wichita, Kansas. His Talk to the Human™ blog is based on the premise that while on-line social networking, e-mail and text can be very useful for building contacts and staying in touch, nothing beats real live human communication when you need to get stuff done.