Laughter is the best medicine. Have you heard that saying before? There’s a lot of truth to that statement.
As you write out your speech, be sure to either being with a joke or tell a funny story. The reason for this is because every person who gets in front of an audience knows that they must connect with the audience as quick as possible.
Laughter will build bridges between enemies simply because they both laugh at the same joke. Have you ever sat next to a stranger in a movie theater or a comedy club? What did you do when something was funny? You laughed and turned toward others to share the laugh with the people around you.
The truth is that audiences want to have a good time while learning. So give them an opportunity to laugh. My advice is to write out your speech and look at the areas where you are heavy in content. This would be the perfect place to add a joke or use humor to revive your audience. Humor can be used as a commercial break between you and the audience. It can also be a way to reconnect with your audience.
Most speakers start off funny and then get serious and stay serious throughout their speech. You must find a way to keep your audience engaged and humor can help you as you transition from one point to the next.
Don’t overdue humor. If you give too much humor than audiences may not take your material as serious as you want them to. Find a balance and let your audience guide you. I always look for ways to say jokes that can relate to the audience that I’m speaking to.
Below is a video of a guy that gave a great speech. As you watch this clip, take a look at a couple of things that could work against him but his humor still wins over the audience.
1. He’s reading his speech. A true speaker will not read off his speech. Usually people who read their speech do so because they are nervous or they have really good one liners that they really want to say to an audience. Others usually use a notecard or a bullet list.
2. He speaking at a hotel using a podium. This is a hard venue because you are behind the podium which puts an object between you and the audience. The podium keeps you from walking back and forth on the stage. Most speakers grip the sides of the podium, but this speaker using two of his fingers and has it on the podium most of the time.
There are others but regardless, his humor makes him real and the audience ate out of his hand. He also knew what his punch lines were because he paused to allow his audience to laugh. Watch the clip.
Now think about your life, your upbringing, your current life scenarios, find something that is funny that audiences can relate to. You may consider hiring a person who can help you find humor in your stories or help you extend jokes. If you could use comedy to motivate people, the battle may already be won.