How to Give Humorous Presentations

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There's no doubt about it. Probably you can count on one hand the presentations you have heard that were built on humor to make their points. Not only do they make the audience like the presenter more, they will take a lot more away from what he says. The problem is that most people don't consider themselves funny, so they avoid using it in presentations. Even if you are are lacking in the humor department, here are a few ways you can add humor to your next presentation.

  • Put yourself in a “funny” frame of mind, especially if you are about to give a humorous presentation. For example, the night before you go in front of that audience, watch something that makes you laugh on television. It will put you in the right mood and even by accident, you will develop better timing.

  • Don't try to be funny just for the sake of being funny. Unless you believe that a story or circumstance is funny yourself, don't include it in your presentation because you think the audience will appreciate it. More than likely, it will fail. Try to find material that you think is funny, then weave it into your presentation. A good test of whether it belongs in your presentation is if your friends would enjoy hearing it.

  • Learn comedic timing. Nothing will kill a joke or funny story faster than bad timing. Although you are not expected to become a comedic genius, there is a something you can do to make humor work. Simply pause when you expect your audience to laugh. Too often, people rush to the next subject following something humorous without letting their audience laugh.

  • Do like the comedians and look for humor in everyday things. Before long, it will become a habit and you will build a bank of humor that you will be able to use in future presentations. Besides, it will help you loosen up and become a funnier person.

  • If your audience does not laugh when it should, move on. There's no greater pain for an audience than to watch a presenter get flustered when this happens. Basically, you are not a comedian, so any laughter is icing on the cake. You might consider including humor within a basic story. If the humor doesn't work, you can keep telling the story without interruption.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be confident with your material. If you are committed to what you will say to your audience, it's likely that the humorous parts will be successful. Actually, the more comfortable you are about whatever you say at the podium, the more likely it will be received warmely.
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