Keynote apologies

“This is the first time I do this talk, so bare with me..” is the kind of sentence which a lot a different keynote speakers start off with these days and this something that is really starting to piss me off. Why this excuse upfront for a talk that might fail once or twice? Didn’t you prepare well or are you not self assured enough to be on stage?

Lately it feels like it is some trend to tell that your talk is still in ‘beta’. Every keynote speaker seems to start with some apology or excuse for a talk that’s either new or not well prepared. The reason behind this? Perhaps it’s an unconsious effort to lower expectations.

Personally I believe that it’s okay to make a mistake or two in a presentation and apologize for this during, but don’t make the apology upfront. Did the audience spend hundreds or maybe even thousands of euros on conference tickets to listen to people apologizing for a new or unprepared talk?

So to all speakers; being nonchalant on stage is not cool, we are hoping for quality, a good and well thought of story and not a talk that hasn’t surpassed it’s beta version yet.



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