Presentation Closing Clunker: Should You Thank Your Audience?

Yes, I know some executive speaking coaches admonish never thank an audience because they should be the ones thanking you. If I were 10 years old, I would say “Puh-leeeze!” That’s ridiculous—and arrogant.

I’ve never bought into this advice. Most certainly, it is appropriate to thank your audience; after all they have invested a top commodity in you: their time. To many busy people these days, time may be considered a more valuable asset than money. But, it is important to be specific in your thanks.

On what grounds should you thank your audience?

  • Obviously for their investment of time
  • For the invitation to speak to them in the first place
  • For their hospitality
  • For their interaction with you and their willingness to share ideas
  • For asking meaningful questions and contributing to the conversation
  • As former National Speakers Association President Naomi Rhode, CSP, CPAE, would say, for the “privilege of the platform”

There’s nothing taboo about offering your audience a sincere thank you. You’ll end on a positive note every time.


To customize a keynote or professional development session that will have your audience laughing and learning, contact Mandi Stanley.

Certified Speaking Professional Mandi Stanley works with business leaders who want to boost their professional image by becoming better speakers and writers through interactive high-content keynotes, breakout sessions, workshops, technical writing seminars, and fun proofreading classes. 

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