Posts Tagged ‘Joke’

Humor in Speaking – “Should I or Shouldn’t I”?

Why is Using Humor So Important in Speaking?

Humor is essential to every speaker. Speakers who don’t use humor in their presentations will eventually have trouble connecting with their audience and for that matter, will probably not get hired very much. So why is humor so important? Because humor connects! It’s as simple as that. It has been proven, that when people laugh and are in good spirits, they are at their best “emotional state” to receive the message of the speaker.

Never start your speech with a Joke

Most speakers start off their speeches with a classic joke. These speakers all have great intentions. They want to captivate the attention of the audience, make them laugh and then go directly into their speech. Unfortunately, all of these speakers are completely misguided.  Starting off your speech with a classic joke, will not only NOT captivate your audience, but can also be extremely risky (This will be the topic of Commandment number two).

One of the golden rules of public speaking, is to come out with a “Bang” you want to come out  “punching”.  You have 7 seconds to captivate the attention of your audience and your audience spends the next 23 seconds deciding whether  they should tune in or out of your presentation. If your boring and not captivating – your done! Speakers who start out with a joke are on the right track, thinking that they want to captivate their audience at the beginning of their speech, but they are misguided in the “thinking” that telling a joke will captivate their audience.

The Psychology of Captivating

The art of captivating an audience and starting your speech with a “bang” is to go where the audience least expects you to be. When you give the audience the unexpected, you have in essence captivated them. However, after years and years of listening to speakers who starts off  with jokes, audiences of today, have been conditioned to “expect”  speakers to start with a joke and when that is the case, you no longer  are giving the audience the “unexpected.”

So How Do You Start Your Speech with a Bang?

There are a number of ways to start your speech that will captivate your audience. One of the best ways to do this is by going directly into a story. Just like people love to watch a great movie with a great plot, people also love to hear a good story. When you learn how tell a story with a built in “message” you will not only connect with, but you will also captivate your audience.

Another good way to start your speech is by asking a question. When you ask your audience a question, you force them to think and when your audience is thinking, they are involved in your speech.  Take a look at the following video clip. This is the first 23 seconds of a 7 minute humorous speech that I gave. You will see me start off – first, by asking a question and then going directly into a story. You can hear the the entire speech by clicking on the video on the  home page of my web site. with each additional commandment that I will be posting on my blog.


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