Ever wonder how some people are perennially remembered by their audiences more than others? Take a look back at all the events, conferences, and meetings that you have witnessed. Which one are you most likely to re-attend? It is probably going to be the one where the speaker made you laugh with a meaningful message alongside.
If you can make somebody laugh, you’ve already got 90% of their minds into your speech. The next 10% comes with how you integrate humor with your presentation in an effective way. Let us look at some key points of this blog.
Why is Humor Essential for Your Audience?
Human psychology makes people like and listen to those who use comical satire to convey their message. Thus, using it appropriately can help you win the hearts of your audience. Here are a few other reasons why humor is essential.
- Keeps Your Audience Engaged
Believe it or not, your audience is more likely to be hooked to your presentation or performance if you crack them up. It drives them away from any distractions or intrusion and helps them keep their eyes on you. This can be understood best by looking at the example of Conor Cunneen, a motivational humorist speaker who not only makes people laugh in his speeches but uses humor as a means to improve people’s performance and productivity.
Video Link — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UH1F8U6MlRA
2. Eases the Atmosphere
Whenever you sense a vibration of discomfort or excessive seriousness, try to burn it away with a wave of some light comedy. This will release any stresses that might have built up and brings back the attention to the stage.
3. Makes Your Content More Relatable
If there is a particular message that you are willing to share with people, incorporate it into your laughter and make them laugh with you. Curate a joke that is funny with your message, and your audience will remember it forever.
4. Prevents Your Speech from Being Flat
If you keep speaking about your chosen topic, its history, pros and cons, and finally conclude it, it will make your speech boring. In order to make it captivating and enthralling, add a few puns to make your audience giggle, thereby preventing your performance from hitting rock bottom.
5. Helps the Audience Remember You and Your Speech
If you can manage to bring the house down with your presentation while being able to convey your message, you will always be remembered by your listeners, and this will embed your speech in their hearts.
Ways to Make Your Audience Laugh
- Use a Funny Incident or Story
Try to subsume anecdotes that are hysterical and can relate to your presentation. People love to hear stories that come from individual experiences. These create a connection with each person in the audience and help them associate more with you.
2. Use Short Punchlines
Instead of using elaborate examples, consider using short punch lines that are intriguing and instantly capture attention. This can be done by researching your genre and finding the one that suits your presentation the most.
3. Put Jokes on Your PPT Slides
One intelligent way to incorporate humor is by adding it to your PowerPoint slides. Instead of always expressing it verbally, you can portray it digitally. This lures everybody’s eyes and keeps them occupied on the screens.
4. Use the Rule of Three
The rule of three, as per Dale Carnegie, suggests you to divide the presentation into three parts where you tell people what you are going to tell, then tell them about it, and finally conclude by telling them what you just told. Read it twice to understand what it means.
Similarly, using humor thrice throughout the entire course of your presentation is a strategic way of neither overdoing nor undermining it. It helps create wider engagement and appreciation from your audience.
5. Be Specific
Humor is a vast ocean with plenty of fish to pick from. Hence, you must always choose topics that are closest to the theme of your presentation.
Whenever you crack a joke, remember not to use areas that do not align with you. Try to be as specific as you can when it comes to sorting subject matters for your riddles and jokes.
Do’s and Don’ts
- Research about your audience’s cultural, ethical, and religious backgrounds to avoid making any hurtful or controversial remarks.
- Do not use inappropriate humor just for the sake of cracking up your audience.
- Remember to limit your funny examples in order to create a meaningful impact.
- Do not objectify or make fun of somebody from your audience just for the sake of it.
- If you are presenting anything overseas, make sure to research what can and cannot be taken as humor in their region and speak accordingly.
- If your audience is getting uncomfortable with your jokes, stop these right away.
- You might offend somebody during your speech, don’t take it personally and let go of that easily.
- Remember a golden rule of humor — if it makes you laugh, it will make them laugh too. But if it doesn’t feel good to you, don’t use it.
Long story short, if you can manage to make even half of the people in the room laugh with your wittiness, consider that your performance has leveled up. So, every time you step on the stage, try to make more people laugh than you did the previous time, and gradually, you’ll conquer the art of incorporating humor in your performances.