Pachter's Pointers:
Business Etiquette Tips & Career Suggestions


Do You Belittle Yourself? Three Things Not To Say in a Presentation

During my last few presentation-skills seminars, I have noticed that many of the participants start their presentations with self-deprecating statements. These comments belittle the speaker, or his/her speech, and can cause their audience to run for the exits!

Why would speakers do that to themselves?

Some presenters make these kinds of comments because they feel insecure about their topic or their public-speaking ability. Others aren’t even aware they are making these overly modest remarks.

Find out whether you have a tendency to be self-deprecating – record your presentation and get feedback from others. Are you using any of the following belittling comments?

· I hope I don’t bore you, but I am going to talk about… When you say “bored,” the audience immediately expects to be bored. You need to appear excited about your topic, whether you are or not!

· I know you didn’t come here to hear me. You are undervaluing yourself. You don’t need to say this.

· I haven’t had a lot of time to prepare. Why would an audience want to listen to someone who is unprepared? Instead, word things positively and say something like, “I have quickly put together some suggestions for…”

The good news is that once people realize they are being self-deprecating, with a little practice they can eliminate those remarks from their presentations.

Pachter & Associates provides training and coaching in presentation skills. Please call Joyce Hoff at 856.751.6141 to schedule a seminar or coaching session.


  1. Anonymous3/14/2012

    From a reader in New York:

    I am in the process of preparing a presentation for next week, so this could not have come at a more perfect time. I might have been guilty and said something like you’ve shown below, but now I will make sure I don’t. I am also presenting in June, at a vendor conference, and will keep these rules in mind…Thank you so much.

  2. I'm pleased it was helpful. Good luck with the presentations! Barbara

  3. thanks Barbara...very simple things..but usually go unaware of the results...

  4. I can set up my new idea from this post. It gives in depth information. Thanks for this valuable information for all,..