This is Why You Should Never Thank Your Audience


After joining Toastmasters International, and completing one of my first speeches, my ending line was to “thank” the audience. Saying thanks after a speech is a “usual” and traditional ending. My mentor and the founding member of the club quickly gave me some wise advice:

“Never thank the audience”.

I asked why…

He said that

“We, the audience, should be thanking you the speaker for allowing us to be in attendance during your speech.”

He continued; “As a speaker, YOU are the expert. We are here to learn from you and should be grateful for the opportunity.”

I must say these were wise words and a wonderful ego-booster too!

Ever since that day I have kept these words in my mind. This has helped me to quell my nerves before and during any speaking opportunity since.

Just as with any business or self-help book I’ve read over the years, I know I can learn from this opportunity.

No matter how many pages the book may be or how long I must sit in the audience listening to another speaker, I can take away something of surprising value from it. Even if it’s only 1 small piece of advice, it may help me in my personal or professional life. That makes it well worth the time or money spent.

Let’s face it; nerves will always be a part of any presentation. But what has helped me greatly is that I know I am sharing valuable information and insights with the audience. I am there to help, to educate, to inform and even to inspire.

Does this make me an expert? No, not necessarily. But it does make me someone that can share knowledge and wisdom garnered through my years of experience.

With this mindset it’s amazing how quickly your nerves go away. Try it…

So remember: Public speaking provides a sensational opportunity to teach, coach and develop others. Believe that you ARE the expert and are there to help. The heck with nerves, you have more important things to do…

► If you agree or disagree and have something to say about this post – I’d love to hear it. Leave a comment below…


>>>This article was originally featured on Steve DiGioia’s blog and is republished here with permission.


  1. Hey Steve,

    I couldn’t agree more with you on this topic. You really nailed it here:

    “Public speaking provides a sensational opportunity to teach, coach and develop others. Believe that you ARE the expert and are there to help. The heck with nerves, you have more important things to do”.

    For me, the confidence we are to deliver when speaking in public must often emerge from understanding the subject matter and explaining it in a very simple manner!

  2. Hell Steve,

    Indeed, nerves would always be part of a presentation. However, it is important that we be in control of actions that make us take deal with nervousness before, during and after public speaking.

    Whenever necessary, we must thank the audience for showing up.

    After all, even if we have the noblest ideas or presentations to make, the delivery and acceptance of the target audience still counts.

  3. Hello Steve,

    I guess this is a way of making us be in control of our nerves when it comes to public speaking. Knowledge that you are the ‘expert’ and that the audience depend on the information you are dishing out readily makes good sense.

  4. Hi Steve,

    I guess this is a handy tip that could bring me closer to a more perfect presentation. I love your reaction to Amit’s(@rachelamitsharan) comment above:

    We should always thank our audience, but the thank you should not be the final words spoken. We can give thanks anytime throughout the speech but leave the last words for a unique thought, famous quote or inspirational call to action.
    Leaving the audience with something great to ponder has a profound effect. Thanks.

  5. Hi Steve,

    I was reading one of your comments and you said that is OK to thank your audience, just not in your final words.

    So I would think it would be OK to thank your audience in the beginning of your speech for inviting you to speak.

    I personally run support groups that encourages interactions, so maybe this is a bit different than a speech. If everyone participates well at the end, I like to thank them for their participation and the advice they gave.

    This might be a little different though as it isn’t necessarily a speech but a discussion.

    Take care Steve and have a blessed day!