Punchlines, Pitfalls and Powerful Programs



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Punchlines, Pitfalls and Powerful Programs

(10 surefire ways of adding humor to your presentations)



10 surefire tips for adding humor to your presentations:

Tip #1—You Don’t Have To Use Humor,


Unless You Want To Get Paid



Two trends in Speaking:

  1. Immediate application

2. More entertainment
Incorporate the 3 E’s:

Expertise

Entertainment



Experience


Tip #2—Know Thy Audience


The more you know about the audience, the more opportunities you’ll have to play with them.


To be totally spontaneous, you must be fully prepared.
Are you self-centered, content-centered, or audience-centered?

Audience–centered – What is the unique message for this unique group of people?

What do we have in common? I’m there to connect not control.

Ways to Learn About Your Audience:


  1. Pre-program questionnaire—the fastest way to know the inside humor of an organization is to ask. Ask about the characters in the group.


Two benefits of the pre-program questionnaire:

  1. Learn the information you need to target the content.

  2. Learn the “inside humor” to make them laugh.




  1. Website address, past newsletters, copy of the program


  1. Attend meetings and field trips before you speak. Find humor hot buttons and use callbacks. Have standard setups to take advantage of your research.

Ask two questions that you can call back later.



  1. What’s the most unusual thing that has happened since the meeting started?

  2. What’s the funniest thing that has happened?

  3. What are people complaining about?




  1. What are the hot topics among the members? Terms?


Tip #3—The Shortest Distance Between


You And The Audience Is A Good Laugh
Eliminate all barriers between you and your audience.

Put your audience “in-fun.”




  1. Upbeat music – www.JanaStanfield.com

  2. Powerpoint Pre-Show

  3. Add some humility to your introduction.

Be prepared for the unexpected! Be attuned to the mood of the audience.


Create the illusion of control. Approach the audience as though everyone came to have a good time. The purpose is not to control them, but to ask, “What is it we have in common?”
Five Effective Humorous Openings:


  1. Self-effacing humor—creates a bond with the audience.




  1. Physical surroundings—if it’s on the mind of the audience, you must mention it.
  2. Tap into “inside humor”—Comment on what everyone is chuckling about. All of a sudden you’re one of them. You immediately gain respect because you did your homework.


Always check with the person you’re going to poke fun at.


  1. Current events—what is happening in that particular city, around the nation, or worldwide?

Alan Ray www.telejoke.com –araycomedy@aol.com





  1. Place plants in the audience to help set the tone of the program.



**The purpose of your opening is to loosen up the audience and invite them to listen.

Tip #4—Your Success As A Speaker Will Be In Direct Proportion

To The Amount Of Original Material You Use
The harder you are to duplicate, the more in demand you will be.
Jokes versus stories: Stories are always best, because they give the audience a chance to get to know you. Vulnerability is your greatest strength.

Tip #5—If You Can’t Find Funny Material, Change Your Glasses



Where to find humor:

  1. Observe life. Life is filled with funny examples if you look through the eyes of humor. Life is just one long anecdote waiting to be told.

*Start a humor diary.


  1. Comedy clubs




  1. Become an avid reader of magazines and periodicals.


  1. Radio and television




  1. Hear as many speakers as you possibly can.




  1. Surround yourself with funny people.




  1. Humor writers- David@David Glickman.com – 813-920-8283

  2. Software – IdeaFisher




  1. On-Line – www.humor.com or www.FunnyScott.com

www.public-speaking.org
Easy-to-use humor:

  1. Transparencies—Read it aloud so everyone gets it at the same time.

www.cartoonresource.com

www.artbyshannon.com – designed just for you.

www.cartoonbank.com

www.despair.com


  1. Videos

  • Custom made videos or slide shows

  • www.videometry.com

  • www.quickfootage.com




  1. Read funny material.




  1. Exercises/audience participation.




  1. Quote comedians.




  1. Bumper stickers, posters, signs, Internet humor.




  1. Read funny letters from clients.




  1. Props




  1. Make up letters.




  1. Create your own definitions.


  1. Define acronyms.





  1. Analogies




  1. Running gag


Tip #6—Great Humor Is Not Written;

It Is Rewritten

“The most common mistake in using humor is people give up too soon.” —Peret


Practice, Practice, Practice
“Tell people your story so in it they hear their life. We can then change the world one story at a time.” —Max Dixon
“People don’t remember what you say; they do remember the pictures you created in their minds.” —Patricia Fripp
5 steps to writing original material:


  1. Recall experiences from your past that are embarrassing, unusual, or funny.

If you want to add more comedy, add more conflict.


  1. Don’t just tell the story, be the story.



www.VictoriaLabalme.com - 212-645-1101 – Movement Coach.


  1. Re-write. Eliminate unnecessary words and shorten. Put the biggest laugh at the end. A really good story explodes into the punch line, which is nothing more than the unexpected truth that twists reality slightly. In humor, less is more.


Play “Half the Words.”


  1. When you’re comfortable, start telling it from the platform. The pause will dramatically improve your timing and rhythm.




  1. Add laugh lines. Keep editing. Tell it fresh every time.

Get a Humor Buddy!

Play “what if...” Exaggerate ... “I thought you were going to say…”



Tip #7—Spontaneity Is Always Better The Second Time Around

Accidents do happen. When accidents take place, the audience becomes ill-at-ease. Any comment will break the tension.


Being prepared is the key to rehearsed spontaneity.


Before making a remark, pause and look up like you are searching for something to say. The audience will think you are creating the humor on the spot.



Beeper: Time to take my pill!
Ambulance or any siren: ‘Gotta go, my ride is here!

Lights go out:

Why do I have the feeling that when all the lights come on I’ll be alone?

Now we're all in the dark.

I know you’re on a tight budget.
Lose place:

I’m going to have to start over.

If any of you have heard me speak before ... please go on to my next thought and I’ll catch up.
Participant walks out:

I hate it when the audience finishes before I do.

You know there is a penalty for early withdrawal.
What to do with Hecklers?
Pick out hecklers ahead of time.

Don’t let the heckler stay anonymous.

Stand close by and let the heckler know you’re on to them.

Tip #8—If They Don’t Laugh, It Wasn’t Meant To Be Funny

All humor must apply to your speech. Relevance reduces resistance.

When taking advantage of humor of the moment, be ready with a comeback line.

When a joke dies:

1. “ Some jokes I do just for me.”



  1. “I’d now like you to bow your heads, and join with me in silent prayer for that last joke that just died.”

3. “That’s the last time I buy a joke from (key member of staff).”

4. (Look at notes.) “ It says here ‘Pause for laughter’.”

5. “ Jokes are just like children. You like them all the same even when one is very, very bad.”



Tip #9—The Richest Laugh Is At No One’s Expense

You lose respect and credibility when you offend someone in your audience.


Listen through the ears of the audience. When in doubt, leave it out.
The reason you use humor is to enhance your message. If your humor offends, then it interferes with what you have to say.
When someone blushes with embarrassment... when someone carries away an ache..., when something sacred is made to appear common..., when someone's weakness provides the laughter..., when profanity is required to make it funny..., when a child is brought to tears..., or when everyone can't join in the laughter...., it's a poor joke! Cliff Thomas


Tip #10—You Are Your Own Best Style

You need to uncover the style you already have and use it, rather than someone else’s style. Select material carefully so that it complements your style.


If your humor is inconsistent with your own personality, it appears awkward and incongruent. Be yourself!

“People who steal material are destined for doom. They are avoiding the essence of who they are and will never dig deep and discover their own unique way of looking at the world.” —Judy Carter, Stand-up Comedy

The quality of life is determined by the quality of our relationships.

Create “perfect worlds” for those in your life.


Action Steps:




What’s So Funny? Creating Humor from Real Life

by Bill Stainton

Humorous Story Idea Generator - www.OvationConsulting.com


  1. What’s your worst job interview experience?




  1. What mistakes did you make on your driver’s test?




  1. What is the hardest apology you ever had to make?




  1. What’s your most embarrassing moment?




  1. What’s the most inappropriate thing you ever said to someone?




  1. What was your most awkward college experience?




  1. Have you ever injured yourself in a really boneheaded way?




  1. What is the worst gift you ever received? Gave?




  1. Has anything awkward ever happened at one of your family reunions? Class reunions?




  1. What’s the biggest mistake you ever made?



  1. What’s the worse service you ever received in a restaurant or store?





  1. Have you ever thought you were literally going to die?




  1. Who was the worst boss you ever had? Why?




  1. Have you ever had an unusual experience involving a hospital?




  1. What is your biggest weakness or flaw?




  1. What’s the most difficult or traumatic thing that’s ever happened to you?




  1. Have you ever been stopped by a police officer?




  1. What incident has caused you to think, Someday I’ll look back at this and laugh”?




  1. Did your wedding day go as smoothly as you had hoped?




  1. Have you ever been embarrassed by something your child said or did? Your parent?




  1. What’s the most uncomfortable social situation you’ve ever been in?




  1. What does your significant other do that just drives you up the wall?




  1. Has a pet of yours ever done something bad at an inconvenient time?




  1. Have you ever felt awkward on your first visit to a new doctor or dentist?




  1. Has anyone ever accidentally seen you naked or near-naked?

Presented by Scott Friedman, CSP, www.FunnyScott.com* Scott@FunnyScott.com






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