Humour is a superpower. Seriously, we know laughter is the best medicine right? It increases all those good endorphins! When our crowd is relaxed and happy, delivering a speech is so much more enjoyable.
If you have the opportunity to add some humour into your speech why wouldn’t you? When you give off relaxed and positive energy to your crowd, that allows you to deliver your information to an engaged audience, now how much easier is that?
A joke, a funny story – whatever resonates with you, try and think about what form of humour you can add into your next talk. It is this energy that will seriously uplift your talk!
You don’t even have to get people to laugh, just aim to crack a smile!
This has been on my mind for a while. I had been thinking that to be funny or entertaining you had to try and make people LAUGH. So to realise that you just need to make people SMILE was such a revelation!
For me, I felt like old school humour never really came naturally to me. I really wasn’t brought up in a very jokey family – my mum would always say “I hate people telling me a joke because I feel like I have to laugh…” Plus I studied / worked in what you could call a rather serious industry (Pure Maths and Cyber Security) – you get it the picture.
Trying to incorporate old school jokes to make people laugh just didn’t work for me. There were times where I did attempt to joke in a few Toastmasters speeches and it felt so forced and unnatural.
Now, I have realised that in fact you just need to make people smile meant there was less pressure and meant I could do so in a way that suited my personality! So if you feel me, remove the pressure now!
If you want to incorporate humour or bring light heartedness into a talk, think about how you’d do this with friends or family (as long as it’s appropriate for your audience!). If it’s forced humour it won’t work, but if it’s your natural way of being amusing or poking fun at something, it will!
Just look at comedians, they use humour consistently to engage a crowd for an extended period of time – and it works!!
The 5 things comedians can teach us about the art of public speaking…
As I say they really are experts when it comes to engaging and entertaining a crowd. So what can we take away from them and implement into our public speaking arena?
1. Try and make people laugh and have a good time
You really want to captivate your audience and the best way to do this is to make them laugh. When the good endorphins get going, people will be relaxed and engaged.
2. Think about the timing of your words and messages
Timing, the message and delivery is everything. Watch a comedian and how they deliver their joke in the perfect time.
3. Tell stories and act things out where you can
We know I love storytelling – it makes you relatable! People remember stories.
4. Effortless delivery does actually require practise
Yes, some people look natural on stage, but this didn’t happen overnight. Each time you get better and better!
5. Don’t take yourself too seriously, it’s ok to laugh at yourself!
Again, it makes you relatable! People will connect with that and respect you! A perfect example for you…I remember watching a comedian who was joining Dancing With The Stars. He clearly wasn’t a dancer by profession, and whilst the other contestants looked a little stressed and anxious about how they would go, this comedian joked by saying “What’s the worst that could go wrong!? Ahh I could fall flat on my face”… and then laughed and shrugged.
If we can employ more of this type of mindset into our public speaking talks (and life in general), we will no longer allow ourselves to be fenced in by our own harsh expectations and fear of failure.
Think about the art of humour. Think about how you can add it into your next speaking event. One thing you need to remember is, do what feels natural and works for you.
If you are looking to crack a joke, make sure it is authentic to you! If you are looking to just make people smile, that is also great!
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If you’re fascinated by the power of Storytelling, you can access my FREE STORYTELLING MASTERCLASS ‘The Power of Stories’ here.
Emily Edgeley | PUBLIC SPEAKING COACH | www.emilyedgeley.com