Bringing abstract ideas to life is a job of work for a presenter. Humor can lighten your load.
“If I can get you to laugh with me, you like me better, which makes you more open to my ideas. And, if I can persuade you to laugh at a particular point that I make, by laughing at it you acknowledge it as true.” – John Cleese
I know that when I get rolling on creating a presentation, humor is far from my mind. I have a task. It is important to me. I want believers not gigglers. I want to change minds not entertain. I’m in a particularly serious mindset.
But read again John Cleese’s understanding of the power of humor. Used well humor is a magic Kool Aid that makes quick connections, converts skepticism into agreement, establishes credibility and brings down walls between presenter and audience.
If you have a serious message, should you avoid humor? Shakespeare would say, no. There are very funny moments in “Hamlet”, for example. A presentation with one tone is monotonous. But what if you are not a humorist yourself? What should you do if your attempts at making people laugh fall flat? Use a photo to introduce humor into your presentation. The wacky dog, above, with his high-flying ear is just plain funny. If you use him to illustrate the value of, say, listening or paying attention, you’ve used humor.
Try humor. At least you can amuse yourself.
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