Having the opportunity to deliver a meaningful message to an audience is an awesome responsibility. Not only are you charged with a specific task of attending your expertise but it is also in your best interests to have the audience engaged in your presentation. Nothing does this better than humour.
Hitting the funny bone of your audience not only makes your presentation more enjoyable but also adds to the retention of your information. Humour is a must-have ingredient to all adult learning. Your audience members, who may be there under strict instruction to attend, will love you for it. The decision-maker who hired you will love the fact that the attendees were engaged and took away much-desired skills and tools enabling them to be more effective. And you will have a much better experience being on the platform.
Use the following steps to add humour to your presentation.
* Know Your Audience:
First and foremost you must know your audience and understand what is acceptable humour and what is not. Staying away from jokes which are designed to make a particular group of people the butt of the joke is a must. If you are not sure if a joke is acceptable to the audience, leave it out. Always err on the side of caution.
* Have a Point:
Unless you have been hired to be a stand-up comedian, your presentation is meant to provide new knowledge and/or skills to the attendees. You will not, then, be delivering a series of one-liner or jokes but rather relating some humorous anecdotes illustrating your point. Audiences love to listen to funny stories … just do not tell them you’re going to tell them a funny story. Just do it!
* Exaggeration is Memorable:
Where possible, exaggerate what happens when things do not go as planned or when someone chooses not to follow advisable procedures. This is a prime time to set yourself up for some self-effacing humour which is a sure winner with an audience. People love to laugh at the ridiculous and can relate to how this can occur so naturally.
* Embarrassing Stories are Key:
The best stories are the embarrassing ones. Everyone has one and is automatically drawn into hearing about someone else’s. If the embarrassing story is about you, so much the better. It will make you more human and your audience will empathize with you.
If you concentrate on adding these elements to your presentations, you will find that your audiences will be more accepting of you and your message. Your clients will be looking to bring you back time and again because they’ll know you have met their objectives.
So go out there and make them laugh.
Related Article: How to Be Funny