Humor @ Presentations

There’s something common between good presentations and humorous presentations – they both click with the audience!

Every trainer/presenter wants to learn that how can he/she be more humorous (am just being optimistic that all of them already are 😉 ).  Some of the FAQs are –  How do I add jokes and still don’t look like a  stand-up one? How can I use humor and still drive the point or stick to the content? How can I mix fun with some serious stats?

Now with my reputation of writing small articles, will do my best with this subject…

Types of Humor:

1 Incongruity – Refers to two unexpected situations put together. For example – You are on a slide-run, full of stats and words till slide#8 as slide#9 has a funny random pic (hungry dogs, clowns, still-pic of an upcoming movie etc.), say ‘ouch’.

2 Irony – An example of situational irony – once a presenter and her participants were distracted by an attendant who started serving beverages in the midst of the presentation. The presenter paused and said, “now that you know who my husband is and how he distracts me, let’s get back to the objectives.”

3 Exxageration/hyperbole – Example – “by the end of this session, we all shall be enlightened” (wear a halo-expression).

4 Dark/black – deals with serious social/personal matters.  For example –  racism, war etc.  Dilbert, comic-series, classic example of dark office-humor.

5 Satire/innuendo – not as acidic as dark is. For example – “we are always up so dressed at work (stress and pause), didn’t know how to over-dress for this presentation today!”

6 Other more famous forms of humor – pun, PJ, oxymoron.

Personally, I stay away from type 4&5, esp. in a presentation, because it can get serious with them!

When using humor, here are some very important aspects:

1 modulate your voice; (strategic) pauses have a major role to play here

2 use an appropriate, non-over-the-top, body language and facial expressions

3 smile; make and feel comfortable

4 plan some of the above types

5 stay alert

Happy Stimulating!