The importance of jokes in public speaking
If you are speaking to an audience, no matter if it is your first time or if you are a veteran on the public speaking scene, you’ve probably wondered about adding humor to your speech. If you browse the internet for public speaking jokes, you may have noticed there are many different viewpoints on this topic. Some people swear by adding jokes to a speech, others advise against it. Those on the opposing side of jokes in speeches like to point out that a bad joke can take the air out of the speech, and distract your audience from the message you are trying to get across. While this is true to a certain extent, these people are over-looking a very important part of public speaking humor.
A funny joke or story in a speech will win a crowd over quickly and efficiently. You don’t have to be George Carlin to deliver a good joke in your presentation; you just have to know what you are looking for.
Questions to ask yourself before creating public speaking jokes
What am I trying to accomplish with my speech joke? If you are looking for a simple ice-breaker or just a general joke to get the crowd’s attention this can be easy. Find a common ground, (that day’s weather, the bad traffic getting to the speech, or the bizarre odor in the room that makes you wonder who is wearing the sulfur scented perfume) and make a joke about it. You are just looking to get the audience interested, and go from there.
If you are trying to get a point across using humor the process is slightly more complicated. Your goal isn’t just to make them laugh but to learn something. And that leads to the second question…
Why is this joke the best way to accomplish my goal? Some people say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well then a good joke can be worth ten-thousand words. It is an easy way to say a lot, with only a little work. People want to laugh, it’s enjoyable, and jokes will stick in the mind of the audience. So, if you can find a way to cut the fat and get to the point you are trying to make with a meaty joke, why not use it?
How should I deliver my public speaking joke? Deliver your joke in the style that works for you. If you’ve ever seen stand-up comedy, you have probably noticed the best comedians are the ones who are most like themselves off the stage. Even if you are just going to only tell one or two jokes, they should be delivered in a style that is comfortable to you.
But how do I know that I am prepared to deliver this joke? If you are reading this, you probably are usually a well-prepared person, if not you wouldn’t be looking into adding humor to your speech. In preparing for your speech, prepare your jokes the same way. If you practice delivering your speech in the mirror, also practice delivering your jokes in the mirror. Find the way to word the joke so it sounds like something you’d say, the more practice you have the better it will be.
What if my speech joke fails? The good thing about giving a speech is most of the time you are not expected to be funny. If you’ve practiced your speech jokes enough, even in the off-chance you don’t get a laugh, the audience will think your joke is just another piece of information. Most of the time you will at least get a friendly laugh from the audience, but even if you don’t it will most likely be seen as another point. You can’t lose with a quality speech joke!
Why public speaking jokes are so important
If you have asked yourself these questions, it has probably become pretty obvious by now. You are not only adding humor to your speech, you are adding another tool to your public-speaking repertoire. The same way you may use visuals or props, you are using jokes. You will connect to your audience like never before, and find yourself to be a more effective speaker then you ever imagined.
Thanks for reading,