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Don't Bore Your Audience. The Power of Humor in Presentations

Feb 16, 2023
The power of humor in presentations even proposal

You know it. Using humor in a presentation is a powerful tool for engaging and connecting with an audience. When done well, humor can help to lighten the mood, break the ice (yes, even in warm weather) and make your presentation more memorable.

Benefit of Adding Humor in your Presentation

One of the main benefits I find of using humor in my presentations is that maintains the audience's attention and keeps them engaged. I do believe my content is good, but it is very difficult to keep an audience engaged if the presentation is dry and deadly serious. The brain needs relief. You and I and your audience appreciate humor, a well-timed joke or a humorous anecdote. When your funny story or quip is appropriate and – importantly - reinforces your key message, it helps to keep listeners interested and engaged. The funny story will break up the monotony of a long or dry presentation, and can make complex or technical information more approachable and digestible.

You might think you don’t have a funny story for that presentation on The Life Cycle of the Screaming Hairy Armadillo or whatever your topic is. But I bet that as you were writing your script over the previous few days and weeks, you or your colleagues said, heard or read something humorous while you were prepping that speech. When you see, hear or read something that puts a smile on your face, simply CAPTURE it. Quite likely, you will find a reason to use that humor at some stage. The secret to adding humor to your presentations is CAPTURE, CAPTURE, CAPTURE.

Build Audience Rapport through Humor

Once you drop that relevant piece of humor to your presentation, what happens? You build further rapport with your audience and build an even stronger connection with your audience. When you add humor to your speech that is not aggressive or demeaning, you will come across as being more relatable and likeable building further connection with your audience.

In today’s environment, it is so easy to offend people. I never use profane humor in my presentations – unlike when I’m in conversation with my brothers! – but I understand that what might be acceptable to a New York based sales team working in waste management might not be suitable for a presentation to an Amish community in Indiana selling world class furniture. (I’ve presented to both and managed not to offend either group!)

Best suggestion I can give you  on the appropriateness of humor is that if you think it will be offensive, just DON’T risk it. If you lose your audience with inappropriate humor, you will not get them back and even worse damage your reputation as a presenter.

Bottom line is that humor can be a powerful tool for making presentations more engaging and memorable particularly when you personalize it or customize it to your audience.  Remember, the first step in adding humor is to CAPTURE the humor you see, hear, experience around you. Start today. It will pay dividends tomorrow - well, OK, let's say it'll pay dividends in the next few weeks.

FREE: 53 Humorous Quotes & Flubs you can use in any presentation

Blog written by IrishmanSpeaks - Conor Cunneen who has numerous personal embarrassing and uncomfortable stories he recalls when adding humor to his presentations and speeches.


More Blogs on Adding Humor to your Speech or Presentation

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Adding Humor to your Presentation

How to Add Humor to your Presentation & Speeches

More Ways to Add Humor to your Speech

L.A.U.G.H. - The Formula for Adding Humor to your Presentation

LISTEN - Step 1 in Adding Humor to your Presentation

A Good Anecdote Helps Add Humor to a Speech or presentation

Adding Humor to Presentation via Uncomfortable Stories




Interested in a very useful resource to Add Humor to your Presentation?

Get: 53 Humorous Quotes & Flubs you can use in any presentation

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