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Humor in a Presentation

Don't force it.

Brandt Johnson

People love to laugh! But you don’t need to be funny to be effective. If being funny isn’t your thing, don’t force it. Forced humor is painful for everyone involved!

If you’re considering using humor in a presentation, ask yourself a few questions first:

  • Are you funny?
  • Will your audience think you’re funny?
  • Are you comfortable being funny?
  • Is the humorous content you’re considering relevant to your overall topic and appropriate to the setting?

If your answer to one or more of these questions is no, then you may want to reconsider your approach.

Humor is often most effective when it finds its way spontaneously into a presentation and shows the speaker’s personality. The more connection listeners feel to a speaker, the more they will care about what he or she is saying.

The best gift you can give your listeners is to engage them and make really good use of their time. Sometimes that will be funny. Sometimes it won’t.