Effective Presentations: Effective use of humour

Effective Presentations: Effective use of humour

Effective Presentations: Effective use of humour

It’s a bit of an age-old question: How funny should a presentation be? Do you need to kick off your presentation will a belly laugh, do you aim for a few chuckles or is there no room for light-heartedness in presentations? With a background in stand-up comedy, here are my suggestions.

Using humour in presentations

 

  1.  Humour can be a very effective tool if used correctly.
  2. Tell stories or anecdotes in which the humour is directed against yourself.  This is less offensive and the audience is usually sympathetic.
  3. Unless you are accomplished at telling jokes, don’t!  Timing is essential and like everything else, practice makes perfect.  Practice your timing with humorous stories – learn when to pause; learn exactly where to place certain phrases and words for maximum effect.
  4. When you smile, people tend to smile back.  If you smile at a humorous part of your presentation, the audience will be with you.  There’ll be a general feeling of good humour.  You don’t need big belly laughs to be amusing.
  5. If you really want to use a joke, try it out on colleagues first who know your audience and who will be honest with you about its suitability or if it just plain doesn’t work.