What not to do: don't say "thanks for coming"

What not to do: don’t say “thanks for coming”

This blog, What not to do: don’t say thanks for coming has been written to help you be an excellent business presenter who stands out for all the right reasons at work!

There are a whole lot of things we shouldn’t say when we’re presenting.


I’m Michelle Bowden and I am an authority on persuasive presenting in business, and welcome to What Not To Do, a segment designed to help you eliminate all those annoying little habits that you’ve picked up over the years and that you should get rid of immediately.


One of the really common things that a lot of presenters say in their presentations is, “Thanks for coming.” Now, you shouldn’t say it. You shouldn’t say it at the start and you shouldn’t say it at the end either. “Why not?” I hear you asking, “After all, isn’t it just manners to thank an audience for coming?” And yes, you’re right it is manners.


There’s a principle in influence called the law of reciprocity and the law of reciprocity states that if I do you some sort of favor, you’re going to owe me in return. If you turn up to my presentation and I’m thankful for that, then I will owe you. When you say to an audience, “Thanks so much for coming today,” or you say to your client, “Thanks for the opportunity to meet with you today”, “Thanks for your attention today” you’re implying is that that other person or that audience has done you some kind of a favour. Now the law of reciprocity kicks in and you are going to owe them in return.You have to work hard to pay them back for their generous gesture of turning up today!


Whilst it is nice manners, it does enact the law of reciprocity and it’s safer and easier not to say it. And instead, just be gorgeous. Say to people, “It’s great to see you,” or, “This has been an exciting meeting,” if you want to pick something to say at the end.


And by the way, it’s also a good idea to remove that slide that you’ve got in your standard slide deck that says, “Thank you,” at the end.


Once again, it enacts the law of reciprocity and it’s going to imply that you now owe your stakeholders something in return. So don’t say, “Thanks for coming.” Just be gorgeous and welcome them without the words, “thank you”.

Happy presenting!

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Michelle Bowden presentation skills trainer signing books after her closing keynote at the LGFP Annual Conference in 2023

©2024 MICHELLE BOWDEN is an authority on persuasive presenting in business. She’s run her Persuasive Presentation Skills Masterclass over 995 times for more than 13,000 people over the past 25 years and her name is a synonym for ‘presentation skills’ in Australia. 

Michelle is a multi-million-dollar pitch coach to her client list that reads like a who’s who of international business: banking and finance, IT, pharmaceutical, retail, telecommunications plus many more.

Michelle is the creator of the Persuasion Smart Profile®, a world-first psychological assessment tool that reports on your persuasive strengths and weaknesses at work, the best-selling internationally published author of How to Present: the ultimate guide to presenting live and online (Wiley) and her new book is called How to Persuade: the skills you need to get what you want (Wiley). Visit www.michellebowden.com.au

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