I hear this one all the time. After an introduction or three, a speaker gets up and says something along the lines of “before we get started…” or “Now, as we’re getting started…” Trouble with this is, they’ve ALREADY started. In fact, speakers start the moment they’re recognized as a speaker, even before the start speaking. If we’re recognized in the men’s (women’s) room as a speaker, we’ve started. Content and impressions begin before the first word is uttered.Phrases like this essentially tell an audience, “I deem everything else to this point as a complete waste of your time…” It’s a particularly egregious sin when the main speaker uses it, but I often seen introductions done this way, as if the program is limited to just the main speaker. In addition to being demeaning to the audience’s time, it really serves no purpose, so it’s wasted filler.
An entire meeting, program, or conversation matters. If it doesn’t, then why is it being held? Make every second matter.