In Australia, we love a good laugh. We’re known for our dry wit and our ability to find the funny side of even the most difficult situations. So it’s no surprise that humour is often used in our presentations.
A presentation with humour can help to break the ice and make the audience feel more relaxed and increase attention, which ultimately increases an audiences engagement. If your presentation is all serious and no fun, your audience is likely to tune out. But if you can make them laugh, they’ll be more likely to stay focused and interested.
Humour can also reinforce your message. If you can make a point in a humorous way, people are more likely to remember it. This is because humour to create emotional connections, and these connections can help to make your message more memorable. “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel,” says Maya Angelou, and humour is one of the fastest ways of creating emotion.
Of course, not all humour is created equal. If you’re going to use humour in your presentations, it’s important to make sure that it’s appropriate for the audience and the occasion. You don’t want to offend anyone or make them feel uncomfortable.
But if you use humour wisely, it can be a powerful tool for engaging and connecting with your audience.
Humour in TED Talks
Some of the most popular TED talks are those that include humour. For example, Tim Urban’s talk on procrastination is full of funny stories and illustrations that help to make his point in a memorable way. But one of the funniest, and most informative is ‘Do schools kill creativity?’ by Sir Ken Robinson (watch below):
Monica Rosenfeld is a keynote speaker and also a graduate of the Hard Knock Knocks comedy course. She has successfully managed to merge both professionalism and humour into her presentations, which has made her a popular speaker on the keynote circuit. And she’s also a regular in the Sydney open mic rooms and comedy festivals, as she continues to hone her ‘funny bones’.
So if you’re looking to give a presentation that will leave a lasting impression, consider using humour. Just be sure to use it wisely and appropriately, and you’ll be well on your way to success by making a lasting impression.
Humour in Business Presentations
Here are some tips for using humour in presentations:
- Keep it light and self-deprecating. We Aussies don’t like people who take themselves too seriously.
- Use local references that people will understand. This will help to make your humour more relatable.
- Don’t be afraid to be a bit cheeky. Australians love a bit of cheekiness, so don’t be afraid to push the boundaries a little bit.
- Be sure to read the audience. If you’re not sure if a joke is going to land, it’s better to err on the side of caution.
And of course, if you need a little assistance, be sure to join the next Hard Knock Knocks stand-up comedy course.