You Must Be Joking? Incorporating Humor Into A Speech Or Presentation

Using humor in a speech or presentation can help to add an air of authority to your content because everyone loves to laugh! One of the ways to use humour in a speech is to incorporate a joke that is relevant to your content.

Now, in order for that joke to work you need to edit it down and interpret in your own way. Don’t feel that you’re not qualified to do this. You are don’t worry. As long as you can speak and paraphrase you’re going to be fine at editing a joke. I understand that it may be difficult to understand the process of editing a joke, but I’m going to do my best.

The point of this article is not to turn you into a comedian. It’s to help you spice up your content with humor so that you can connect with your audience and have them feel confident with your ability as a speaker or presenter.

Firstly, make sure you’re on your own. Like… sitting in front of your computer. Okay, take your joke and say it out loud. You will probably stumble over the words because jokes that you find in books or on the internet have extraneous words because they help with the reading of the jokes. But these words aren’t necessary for the actual spoken delivery of the line.

Most jokes have a small story element to them and so that’s what is included. For example they will contain words like: “One day…” or “…and says”. Those are structures that we are used to and that help us when we are reading the joke. But they are not at all helpful when you have to deliver that joke.

So read the joke out loud a few times to familiarize yourself with it. Then put it to one side and repeat it a few more times. Just give yourself a bit of “rehearsal” with it. What will begin to happen slowly is that you’ll forget bits of the joke and, as a result, paraphrase the joke into your own words.

You’ll naturally make shortcuts. Believe me, this is not a bad thing. This is exactly what you want to happen. As you do this try to cut out the storytelling elements. Try to get straight to the meat of the joke. For instance if the joke begins: “one day a CEO turns to one of his employees and says sternly…” You can edit the joke so that it reads: “A CEO turns to an employee and says…”

You cut the word sternly because you should say what the CEO says to the employee in a stern manner. You don’t need to tell your listeners how the CEO is speaking because you pretend to be the CEO. So that’s 6 words that have been cut and 1 word that has been added.

It’s also better to keep the joke in the present tense. Even if it’s happened in the past. You’ll say something like “last year…” then the tense will immediately change as if it’s happening right now. That street joke has got to unfold in front of your audience like it’s happening in the here and now. It makes it more immediate for the listener.

How do you know what will make the joke work? Well, the punchline is pretty important. The set-up is important as well, but that can usually do with a bit of trimming. The punchlines are the bit at the end that gets the laugh. Sorry if I’m stating the obvious for some of you, I just want to make sure we’re all on the same page.

I’m going to refer to a joke that I’m sure we all know: “why did the chicken cross the road? to get to the other side”. The punchline in this case is “to get to the other side” so this is important to keep because that’s the line that will generate the laugh.

That said, the set up line is also very important because if you just said the line “to get to the other side” you will get a lot of blank stares. So you need: “why did the chicken cross the road?”. But what you have to be careful of is to make sure that all the important details are there. The chicken is important as is what the chicken is doing.

Remember that editing and delivering a joke are fused together at the hip. You need to practice the joke out loud again and again so you are familiar with it and it flows naturally.

You should also make sure that you personalize the joke if you can. Don’t make it any CEO if you can safely make it your CEO. But obviously you have to be careful that you don’t offend anybody and risk losing your job. The best thing to do is to make yourself the butt of your jokes. By laughing at yourself you are more likely to win the audience over to your side.

So to re-cap: Find a joke that is relevant to your theme or topic in a broad way. If you cannot find jokes specifically about the Human Resources Department, maybe there are jokes on a broader scale. Exactly what point are you making about H.R.? That they’re really organized? That they’re incompetent?

Then you need to say your joke over and over again out loud so that you become familiar with it. By doing this you will naturally edit bits of the joke out that don’t work for you because you will forget bits. Next go through the joke with a fine-toothed comb edit out any story elements. Finally, make the joke personal and in the present tense.

8 Powerful Presentation Tips

Remember that presentations are really a form of brand management. Each presentation is a chance for you to sell your brand to the audience. To make sure you do so effectively, here are powerful tips for persuasive presentations:

  • Understand Your Audience’s Needs. Always start by showing that you understand your audience’s needs. The presentation is about how you meet them – not about you. Communicate your offering’s benefits to the audience; guide their decision making process by giving them the facts they need and establish the trust they want
  • Understand the context. Get to the point, immediately. Focus on what they want to know, now. Don’t repeat what they may already know or not need to know, now. Understand how time of day and the room set-up impacts on your effectiveness.
  • Engage Your audience. Attention spans are shorter than ever. Keep it simple. Be succinct. Use graphics that are appealing. Use powerful, action language to keep them excited
  • Communicate Your Competitive Advantage. You’re probably not the only vendor competing on this deal. Why should they choose you and not your competition?
  • Understand yourself. You present more effectively when you’re competent about the subject matter, comfortable with the presentation and confident that you can present it well. That means practice and channel natural nervousness into relating to the audience.
  • Be authentic. Selling is the transfer of enthusiasm. You can’;t be passionate unless you genuinely believe in your message and care about influencing your audience. They sense your authenticity and it leads to trust.
  • The Medium is the Message. Standing in front of a group with a PowerPoint presentation is NOT always the best way to present. Sometimes you need less (e.g., fewer slides) and sometimes more (e.g., a focused flash presentation). Sometimes a webinar is the most cost-effective way to present to your audience.
  • The Whole is Greater than the Sum of the Parts. So many elements create the presentation gestalt. Don’t fuss over the weakness, unless they’re easy to fix; focus on the strengths of the presentation, and build on them so they dominate everyone’s field of attention!

DIY Debt Negotiation – Complete the Debt Settlement Process Independently

Debt settlement is the most fruitful way of gaining rebate in the total amount of the debt. This makes the debtor very comfortable to cope up with the remaining amount of the debt. In debt settlement, a negotiation is done with the creditor. He is made to understand the various reasons why the debtor is unable to pay the amount on time. A successful debt negotiation provides rebate of a good level.

A negotiator must be confident about the content which he is going to present in front of the creditor. He must be aware of all the terminologies used in financial industry. Although, this thing can be done by the debtors himself but there are various parameters which a negotiator must have with him. In the absence of these parameters one can miss a great chance of gaining rebate in the amount.

The DIY Debt Negotiation is a very good thing because it makes the debtor self dependent. For this purpose, the debtor should be aware of all the things which are taking place in the case, and then only he can negotiate with the creditor for debt settlement. He debtor must try to build up strong communication skills, effective negotiation skills, impressive descriptive skills, good grasping power of the matter and the most important part is to develop soft skills.

It always recommended that the debt settlement process must be carried on in a very polite manner. For a successful DIY debt negotiation, one should not lose his heart if doesn’t get success as expected rather he should try at some higher level. Doing it, definitely it will make the debtor successful in the debt negotiation.
Although, there are various institutions available in the market, they provide a very supportive hand to the debtor for gaining maximum benefit from debt negotiation.

As the debtor he may not be that much experienced and skilled. So for a debtor it always more of a risky task to carry on the entire process himself. That is only the reason; most of the debtors tend to take help from such kind of professionals. But before making any decision for the organization, its credibility should be checked out.