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When to press Play instead of Say

We know it’s important to get a presentation off to a good start. And a good idea, perhaps, to use music to make an impact. A speaker I recently saw at a conference began his presentation with these words, which he surely didn’t intend: ‘I was hoping some music would start then’.

It didn’t. Soon afterwards, with the press of another button or two, it did. So, as it happened, he had no need to say this. We didn’t know. He could simply have looked confident. There’s no reason for a speaker to give us their negative self-commentary. For the benefit of yourself and your audience, you can keep the voices in your head. And then play the music.

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