Using Humour In Your Presentation

Humour is a great tool to use in public speaking and if you can be naturally funny while staying on point, you can really engage and connect with the audience. Funny man John Cleese said “If I can get you to laugh, you like me more, which makes you more open to my ideas. And, if I can get you to laugh at the point I am making, by doing so, you endorse it’s truth.”

The best type of humour to use with Australian audiences in a normal presentation is self deprecating humour. You have licence to recount stories that happened to you. These are the situations that at the time might have been a bit embarrassing or a silly mistake, that now in hindsight are quite funny or amusing. And there are lessons in those incidents, which is why you are sharing the funny story.

However if you tell a funny story about other people, or other situations that you don’t own, be careful as you could offend someone in the audience. Also be careful if you tell jokes and ensure that they do not break any of the rules around being politically correct, including discrimination and equal opportunity.

When you do get the laughs, remember to let the laughter run its full course. Don’t stop the laughter by interjecting or moving onto your next point. Just simply wait and allow for the laughter to stop and the room to be quiet again.

So collect your humorous stories, those funny situations that happen to you and think about how you can use them to make a point and script them into your speech. And as John Cleese said if they laugh at your point then they are endorsing it as true.

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