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4 Simple Ways to Add Humor to Any Presentation

4 Simple Ways to Add Humor to Any Presentation

According to Forbes; Seventy percent of employed North Americans who give presentations agree that presentation skills are critical to their success at work.

Prezi, the cloud-based presentation platform company, collaborated with Ticker to survey employed professionals about their attitudes on presentations. The findings reflect just how important presentations skills are to one’s career, and also reveal the extreme measures people take to get out of giving a presentation. Over 20 percent surveyed said they would fake being sick to avoid giving a presentation at work on any given day.

Poor presentation skills mean that leaders fail to inspire their teams, products fail to sell, entrepreneurs fail to attract funding, and careers fail to soar. That seems like a big price to pay for neglecting such a basic skill that anyone can improve upon.

So with that said, let me give you some simple tips on how to add some humor and story to your presentations.  And no, you do not have to be a comedian or a ‘naturally funny person’ to get this.

Process 1:  
In the beginning of all of my presentations, I like to lob one out there, it can be about something you just watched on TV, or a movie or even the news. It could be something that happened at one of your kid’s sports. For me, this is how I check the pulse of the audience. Really good presenters/speakers know how to read an audience. If they don’t pick up what I lob out, I will reel back my humor. If they grab it and laugh, I’ll ramp it up.

Process 2:  
You do not have to be ‘naturally funny’ to add some humor to your presentations. Yes, that means you, CA’s, Engineers and CEO’s. If you want anyone to actually “hear/care” about what you are delivering, show some humility. It can be done with an easy visual.   It could be a photo of your kids or yourself doing something like camping, trying wake skiing for the first time, or just pull something off of Google Images, there are millions of examples. Keep your eyes open for an image opportunity and take it with your phone. Even if you don’t have somewhere to show it at the time, keep an ‘interesting photos’ file. Believe me something will come up. Oh ya, and the more you look for funny, the more you will find it.

Process 3: 
I use humor to wrap my content, so the audience can actually hear (be present) to what I am delivering. It allows me to go much deeper with my participants. They don’t resist the idea of change as much. In fact, change has never been this painless.

Process 4:
I have always used self-deprecating humor to draw in my audiences. They laugh at my stories because they can see themselves in them.

Here’s the major point of using humor:  We all have our own sense of funny. Just keep working on yours. Are you willing to dare and lob one out there?

If you want some coaching to help you with your presentations skills, contact me through my site or phone me at: 250-717-6079

Linda Edgecombe
Canadian Speaker Hall of Fame