effective speakingWe might be going out on a limb here but we can’t think of a single good reason to present a speech without humor. It’s a basic law of effective speaking. We’re not saying you need to stand up there for an hour and keep the one-liners and jokes flowing like Jerry Seinfeld – you don’t have to be a joke teller at all – but you do need the insight into humanity that allows you to poke fun at yourself and the foibles common to us all.

A speech without humor is like eating a plate of sawdust for dinner. Sure, it might be loaded with fiber that’s technically good for you but it sure goes down hard. What’s the deal with humor anyway? Why is it so powerful? Here are a few reasons:

1. Humor dissolves anxieties and puts your audience at ease.
2. Creates a oneness between audience and speaker. When everyone is laughing, it lowers the force shield between speaker and audience.
3. Makes people laugh. When people are laughing, they have a good time. When eating sawdust, not so much.

Even if you don’t consider yourself a funnyman (or funnywoman), there are a few easy ways to work humor into your presentation. First, start with a story and set the tone early by working a few laughs in. This helps break the ice. Also, don’t rush your lines. Humor is about timing. Give it time to settle in their brain after you say it. Finally, using humor for effective speaking requires you to be dynamic. Use different voices, talk louder, then quieter, use body language to act out the point.

Humor. It’s almost guaranteed to make you a better speaker.

The Speaking of Wealth Team