Running Thank You's

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Being the opening act isn't easy. The opening presenter at an event has two responsibilities:

1) Warm up the audience, and

2) Get through the logistical stuff that needs to be said before the person everyone is there to see takes the stage.

It can feel pretty grunt-level at times, but your role as an opening presenter is important and ought to be approached with the same passion you'd have if you were delivering the keynote address.

If there is one thing that is universal about presentations, it's that a presentation without passion is a presentation without meaning. That's why I am too often disappointed when I hear an opening presenter say something like this:

“Ok, so we’re about to get started! But first, I need to run through a list of thank you’s. It will only take a second.”

Run through a list of thank you's? Tell me, what is the point of a thank-you when you run straight through it?

A thank you is meant to be something gracious. As much as people enjoy hearing their name read out loud, I don't think hearing it quickly read from a list is going to give anyone the warm fuzzies inside.

A "running thank you" has no meaning and might as well be left out of your presentation.

The next time you're an opening presenter and have people to thank on stage, take the time beforehand to understand why you are thanking each person. Slow your delivery down a notch and mean what you say. The audience will notice the difference, and I promise it will make your presentation better.