Find the funny. Many people let the funny stuff float by that happens every day.
Tell your story and find the funny things in your specific narrative.
Humor is a learned ability. The average comedian clocks in 7 years of standup before “making it big.” Standup comedians have an incredible amount of stage time, something that business people can learn from.
Even 4-5 laughs spread throughout a 9-minute talk can be successful.
The brain dumps endorphins into the body when you laugh, making the experience more memorable. Doing that with speeches can yield the same results. It’s why The Daily Show with John Stewart is more watched than CNN or the nightly news.
The best business speakers use comedy and humor. The repeat laugh lines to get laughs.
Get your tight 5 (minutes). Eliminate the nonsense and know your laugh lines. It’s better than a sloppy 15 (minutes).
Humor is more likely to get you hired, good leaders are funny, and humor leads to more success in the dating pool.
Companies that don’t have fun in their jobs and think that work shouldn’t be fun are losing the battle. Stop being so serious.
The most powerful thing you can do is deliver material and content that your audience can connect with.
What mistakes have you made in your past that you are now comfortable talking about that were most painful? What stories do you like to tell in relaxed company?
Right about what you know. Be yourself.
Nothing is funny about someone who is confident and successful.
Tragedy + time = laughter.
Build a story list:
The joke funnel. Start wide and grab many more people’s attention. Then make it tighter and relate it to yourself. Allow the audience to see themselves in it.
Don’t get muddled in the details. Brevity is the soul of wit. Eliminate all the excess details and get to the punch line as quickly as possible.
Setup and punch line. That twist or element of surprise is key. The punch line is the big key.
P – Preparation (setup)
A – Anticipation (timely pause)
P – Punchline (joke payoff)
Place the impact word at the end of the sentence.
Knowing where the laugh line helps with delivery and pausing.
Write down all the funny jokes and moments you can per day.
The best speakers and writers tend to use the tactics of comedians.
- Work in the local reference into your writing.
- Write as if you are describing something for a blind person.
- Add attitude to your writing. (Crazy, nuts, and weird)
- Emphasize exactly what you want people to take away from the talk. Say it multiple times. (1,000 songs in your pocket. People don’t follow what you do, they follow why you do it)
- Use Call Backs – reference items that have had a good reaction from the crowd already. Works best when you’ve moved on from the initial joke.
- Use current media references.
- Write I’m present tense (i.e. I’m walking down the street) More engaging with the audience
- Use funny words (underpants is funnier than underwear)
- Brevity is levity (as if you were sending a witty email to a friend)
- Use the rule of threes. Tell jokes in threes.
- Use funny images and videos. (Imgur, Reddit, Pinterest, gifs – their already socially verified)
Link the funny story to your business presentation.
Practice, practice, practice. Don’t wing it!
People have short attention spans. Be short, funny, and information-packed.
Go to open mics, in front of friends and family, and at toastmasters. (Stage time, stage time, stage time)
Learn from your mistakes. Practice exactly as you deliver it. Stand up. Wear what you’d usually wear.
Make eye contact. Don’t look at your feet. Smile. Don’t sit down and practice.
Places you store information in your brain so that you know what stories to tell and in what order.
Your first 30 seconds should be strong and have your second-best joke. Get a quick laugh to start strong. Tell them who you are, what your passion is, and why they should be passionate about what you like.
Go out with a bang – put your best joke last.
Introduce yourself to as many people as you can before you speak.
Videotape yourself and critique yourself.
Use your hands.
Control the Audience
You have the microphone, you can control the room.
You can control how much the audience speaks.
“Clap if you can hear me.”
The best answer or comeback is worth taking the time to answer.
Don’t go out on a flat note. “I’m going to take a few questions before my conclusion.”
Save a summary slide to close with – three key points. Strong clapping at the end makes a better video.
People are more likely to pay attention if they think you’re going to call on them.
Use the bookend technique – fell a story at the beginning and reference it at the end.