No matter how hard you try, the content of your presentation will sometimes be dry and boring. And, it can be quite a challenge to keep your audience interested and engaged while you’re flipping through one slide, chart, or graph after another. Sometimes, even pictures and videos aren’t enough to spice things up.
That’s why more and more presenters are seeking ways to add humor to their presentations. Everyone loves to laugh, and nothing will grab the undivided attention of your audience more than something that makes them smile or chuckle.
What can you to do make your slide deck or speech more amusing?
1. Set the Tone
Start your presentation off on a light-hearted note. Give your audience a big smile, and let them know that you want them to not only learn, but to enjoy themselves as well. They’ll immediately relax and take notice. But be careful, experts warn that it may not be wise to open with a joke. If it bombs, the rest of your session will suffer.
2. 101funjokes (www.101funjokes.com)
If you need a good joke, this is the place to go. Dozens of categories – from jokes about celebrities, the Internet, kids, and the medical profession, to funny bumper stickers, limericks, quotes, and witticisms – make it easy to find whatever you need to incorporate some fun into your slide deck and give your audience a good giggle.
3. Humor Writers
Let’s face it, some people lack a “funny bone”. If you are one of those unfortunate souls, you may want to hire a professional writer to help incorporate humor into your slide deck. They’ll be able to take your existing content, and make it more chuckle-worthy. Check out the Comedy Writers Guild (http://www.comedywritersguild.com), or conduct a search on Google, Yahoo, or other popular search engine to find one in your area.
4. Comedy Coaches
Comedy is about more than just “scripting” jokes and quips. Delivery is also very important when you want to get the laughs. Check out your local comedy clubs or theater groups. Most of them will offer classes to help improve your comedic timing and execution. Or, you can check your Yellow Pages for private comedy coaches who will work with you one-on-one.
5. Learn from Professional Comedians
Many professional comedians measure their success by evaluating one important metric – laughs per minute (LPM). As you gain more experience adding humor to your sessions, you may want to use this indicator to gauge how effective you are. How many LPMs should you strive for? That depends on your content. Some presentations may warrant several LPMs, while others that are more serious in nature may require just a handful of giggles throughout the entire slide deck to lighten the mood.
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Find more great tips and resources at the Presentation Skills Launch Pad.