A BIT OF WIT: Can cleverness and humor improve your presentation? [Speak on the Shoulders of Giants]
Speeches and presentations can be serious business.
In fact, you can feel so much tension that you can cut it with a knife!
While some speeches are formal in nature, a moment of lightheartedness and wit can help uplift the mood.
The POWER WIT.
— This is just one of the powerful secrets featured in James C. Humes’ book, “Speak Like Churchill, Stand Like Lincoln.”
A speaker has the ability to lighten up the mood and inject some wit.
You can use this to try and energize the audience and recapture their attention before moving on to a different point in your presentation.
This acts as an icebreaker, especially if you’re in between topics that are too technical or require a lot of brainpower. Using the Power Wit at this point allows your audience some time to reset and prepare for the next part of your speech.
Wit also adds more character to your speech and leaves a memorable impression.
Don’t begin with a joke or simply tack on humor!
While the Power Wit can be a great way to add some humor, there’s no need to do it right away!
Some speakers make the mistake of starting out with a joke early. This can remove the urgency of the topic, and the audience won’t take you seriously!
Adding humor unnecessarily can ruin a speech or presentation.
Just because some speeches have humor, doesn’t mean you have to jump on the bandwagon.
You can add humor as long as you stay true to the message and idea of your speech!
Tell an anecdote!
One of the most effective ways speakers use Power Wit is by telling an anecdote.
These short stories should be connected to your speech or topic, and adds extra details for the audience to understand the point you want to make.
These anecdotes can be about some humorous moments related to your topic or a story that leads to a punchline to brighten up the mood!
You can also use these short stories to make your concepts and ideas in your speech more concrete. You can even tell a related story about yourself or the company you’re representing. This will make the audience connect with you and your speech at a deeper level.
With a great anecdote, you help your audience better visualize what you’re talking about.
Make it relevant and realistic
A speech or presentation is best when an entire audience can relate to it. There are many everyday stories to take examples from.
Your Power Wit can be a joke about things like a piece of news you’ve read in the morning or a popular movie or show everyone’s crazy about. It can be a funny observation of people’s behavior you’ve been wondering about.
No matter what you decide to do as a Power Wit, make sure you know your audience.
For example, if you are speaking at a business event, a joke related to their line of work might give them a good laugh or two! On the other hand, if you make a joke about customs the audience isn’t familiar with, chances are your joke will fall flat.
Relevant and realistic humor allows you to appear relatable to your audience, capitalizing on things you have in common. In the process, this can make your presentation even more memorable.
Know your limit!
It is also important to know when not to add humor and wit.
Humor can uplift a crowd’s mood, but turning that humor into something that is out of line or offensive can turn off an entire audience quickly.
For example, speeches that address emergencies and urgent matters should never have light-hearted or clever lines. They need to be delivered in a serious manner reflecting the weight of the current situation.
Humor or wit is effective, but it should not be a staple in every presentation. Applying this tip loosely can negatively affect what you want to present. It can send a wrong message to your audience.
Use Power Wit wisely.
When appropriate, the Power Wit is a great way to make your speeches and presentations fun and colorful.
This will help you connect with your audience, and project an approachable and relatable image.
Speeches and presentations are serious work, but remember that you can have a bit of fun while doing it!
About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Wednesdays: Speak on the Shoulders of Giants”
In a meeting with one person
…a boardroom with five people
…or a huge venue with hundreds of people
—whatever the situation or setting, it’s very important to learn and eventually master the art of public speaking.
No matter what, you always need to effectively get your message across.
What good is a presentation with awesome content if you don’t deliver it properly?
Every Wednesday, we publish different tips, insights, and secrets on how you can improve your presentation skills to captivate your audience and lead interesting discussions.
The need for great presentation skills applies EVERYWHERE.
(Small meetings with your team, big meetings with your boss, an important marketing pitch, speaking engagements for events with a big audience, etc.)
Learning these skills is not just for the corporate world. Being in other industries such as the Arts, Information Technology, Medicine, and Education while knowing how to present well will definitely give you an edge.
Have that advantage.
Hope you’ve found this week’s public speaking tip interesting and helpful.
Stay tuned for next Wednesday’s Speak on the Shoulders of Giants!
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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This content is used with permission from The I Institute and The Business Builder Daily.