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How to Make a Public Apology

Public scandal threatening your legacy? Make an apology and get back in the world's good graces.


  • Step 1: Get intimate Make your public apology in an intimate atmosphere, not at a huge press conference -- a short speech or an interview with one reporter whose questions you can answer with a lot of emotion and very few facts.
  • Step 2: Look the part Make sure you look sorry, with bags under your red eyes from sleepless nights spent crying and your head slightly bowed with the weight of your crime.
  • Step 3: Know your audience Ready to speak? First, apologize to anyone you let down -- family, friends, the public, and your chosen deity. Save a special apology for the children -- merely mentioning the next generation implies a future in which people will have forgotten what you did.
  • TIP: If you're publicly admitting to adultery, don't apologize to your illicit lover.
  • Step 4: Don't go overboard Discuss how sorry you are -- both for your actions and for how much they bothered people. Remember: you're a bad person, but half the crime is that the public found out.
  • Step 5: Plan your escape Tell the world how you plan to get help. If you suffer from an addiction, discuss your plans to enter treatment immediately. If you're just a scumbag, mention that you'll be taking some time away from the public eye to focus on developing at least a basic sense of right and wrong.
  • Step 6: Get on with it To wrap it up, reiterate how sorry you, are and appeal to the paparazzi to leave your family alone -- it's not their fault that you're a jerk. Then, thank everyone for their time, walk away, and write the memoir that'll resurrect your fame before long.
  • FACT: In 2010, over 6 million people watched Tiger Woods' public apology for adultery live on television.

You Will Need

  • Intimate atmosphere
  • Contrite look
  • References to children
  • Addiction (optional)

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