- Inject introductions with humor. Whether you're introducing yourself or someone else, use humor to take charge of your introduction. You'll make it memorable and avoid the usual trite start to a talk.
- Use it along with "I don't know." Saying you don't know the answer to a question is one of the strongest speaker statements--and you can make an "I don't know" even more effective (and less embarrassing) if you say it with some humor.
- Recover gracefully with humor. If you can pull out of a problem or stumble with well-timed humor, you're on your way to being a top speaker. Check out this video of California Governor Jerry Brown, flubbing his lines during his swearing-in...and getting a laugh in the bargain, thanks to his smooth recovery with humor. Then read my tips for dealing with mistakes, including humor as an important tool.
- Humor? In a eulogy? Absolutely. Read that tip and others offered by our readers when one of them had to deliver her mother's eulogy and turned to The Eloquent Woman for help.
- But lose that joke or cartoon right at the beginning. That's because a joke will waste those precious moments when audience attention is highest.
- And the most important reason to avoid jokes for humorous touches is that jokes are the toughest thing to remember...and awful when you forget the punchline. Don't set yourself up.
- Using humor to connect with an audience is high on readers' wish lists. Here are 6 core tips for using humor that will help you make that happen.
- Listen to a speechwriter: Make 'em laugh says Peggy Noonan, in this advice to politicians in the last presidential election in the U.S. She makes the case for humor eloquently.
- Listen to a comedian: It doesn't have to be angry humor to work. Marlo Thomas's memoir about growing up in a houseful of comedians yields wry and useful insights for speakers who want to use humor (and she's got lots of great stories, too).
- Don't turn humor on yourself. Most speakers know they shouldn't make fun of the audience, but often, they fail to recognize when self-deprecating humor doesn't work. A thoughtful guest post that every speaker should read.
Monday, July 18, 2011
Posted by Denise Graveline at Monday, July 18, 2011