With the 2016 Melbourne International Comedy Festival upon us, most of us will be catching at least one show. It’s a feast of humour and great opportunity to hear from the masters in their craft.
Why are we drawn to comedy? It makes us feel good and forget the stresses of everyday life. Comedy/humour in presentations helps you develop a keen sense of reading an audience, adapting and connecting to them. It adds highs and lows to the presentation and can break tension or break up complex material to easy to understand chunks.
Using humour in our presentations is a winning ingredient to a successful presentation here are 5 reasons why:
It breaks the tension.
Especially when we have to sit through dry technical content people become bored and tense, it’s hard to pay attention for long periods of time and tension builds in the body. I have literally seen the body language change in an audience, the shoulders drop, the faces soften and smile, when speaking after a speaker who’s presentation is full of facts. Humour should be added as a relief. If you bring your audience down in a serious part of your presentation or complex and technical part, use humour as a segway into your next point. This high & low method builds engagement and the audience gets to know the full spectrum of your personality.
Laughing is good for you.
Laughing releases endorphins, it releases stress and tensions. It gives you a short break from the every day stress. A laugh is one of the most important gifts you can give an audience.
We remember when we laugh.
It’s so much easier to learn when we are enjoying the experience. When things are fun its not a chore and we will be able to retain and recall the lesson much easier. Time seems to fly when we are having fun so audiences will be comfortable to sit and concentrate for longer sessions, so that means more face to face time with your customers/ staff/ students to build relationships
People love people who make them laugh.
Make someone laugh and you will win them over. A bond is immediately built with this stranger that just made you feel good, made you laugh. Think about how powerful this is for building your relationship with your customers/ staff/ students.
You don’t need to be a comedian to add humour.
You don’t have to be a master joke teller to include humour in your presentation. It could be as simple as an observation or an analogy. It could be a funny picture, story or experience. Just remember to make it relevant to your topic and avoid humour that puts people down.
Humour elevated my public speaking to a higher level
My experience and training in comedy took me way outside my comfort zone and build a rock solid confidence and presence on the stage. I use my audience reading skills in every presentation or workshop I present, in fact every time I get up to speak and can adjust the pace and mood of the presentation to lift the audience when needed. I try to sprinkle humour throughout my presentations, where appropriate, take my audience on a journey with me with highs and lows, fun and seriousness. Using humour in my presentations made people take me seriously. I love writing, presenting and teaching others how to use humour, contact me if you would like to know more about individual coaching.
Business & Education Communications Specialist