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Recipes for a Humorous But Effective Corporate Presentation

Speakers with the innate ability to insert humor into presentations effectively engage and entertain people. While not everyone is a natural at funny yet effective speeches, you can still bring that therapeutic feeling to your audience.

Your clients already have enough problems to deal with outside your corporate presentation. Give them some reprieve by injecting a little humor into your presentation while proving that you’re the answer to their needs. You don’t have to make fun of yourself to give your presentation an ice breaker.

Speech coach Avish Parashar suggests five steps to adding humor to your presentation. Once you’ve identified what tickles the listener’s funny bone, it’s time to put these into action by incorporating a few techniques. We’ve borrowed three of his humor basics and expounded on them below:

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Wordplay

Wordplay is wittily substituting words that sound similar but mean different things. Play with words to lighten up your discussion.

Popular food bloggers and book authors Janet and Greta Podleski are masters of this literary technique. They always use wordplay in their cookbook and recipe titles, such as “Eat, Shrink, and Be Merry” instead of “Eat, Drink, and Be Merry,” “Lord of the Wings,” “Nacho. Nacho. Man,” and “Another One Bites the Crust.”

Even the most serious audiences get tired of straight data, especially in hours-long presentations. Have pun making your audiences smile for even a second. They’ll appreciate the brief reprise from word-heavy slides and complicated numbers. Memorable and witty words also make them remember your story better.

Puns

Puns lie within the realm of wordplay. They’re done by connecting different ideas in a way where the words are deliberately confused with each other. Talking about an intricate financial report? Try this joke: “A bank manager without anyone around may find himself a-loan.”

Puns aren’t limited to those already made by other people. Experiment and make your own puns that fit your presentation’s message. Some of the best marketing campaigns used terrible puns. They may elicit some groans, but let’s face it: they’re easy to remember, which is great at making your audience remember you after the presentation is over.

Exaggeration

Advertisers exaggerate ideas to attract consumers, making things ridiculously humorous while empowering brand images. Exaggeration delivers a product pitch while at the same time catching your viewers’ attention because of how over-the-top you can get.

Most people don’t talk about a typical day at the office, but they do talk about bizarre incidents. Present an idea in ways that are so unusual that audiences will be compelled to remember and talk about it outside of the conference room.

Conclusion

Presentations aren’t meant to be boring. The more monotone you get, the more likely your audience will tune you out.

Mix things up and engage your audience by putting some comic elements into your speech. Whether you use clever wordplay, puns, or exaggerate ideas, a more humorous delivery is often more memorable than a straight-faced presentation.

Let SlideGenius help you with your presentation needs. Give us a call at 1-858-217-5144 or submit a form to request a free quote today!

 

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References

Incorporating Humor into a Presentation.” SlideGenius, Inc. August 15, 2013. Accessed May 14, 2015.
Parashar, Avish. 5 Ways to Add Humor to Your Presentations Without Being a Comedian.” Speak and Deliver. June 16, 2011. Accessed May 14, 2015.

Frank Sinatra: Make Your PowerPoint Presentations Sing

You don’t have to be a singer to make your PowerPoint presentations sing. Just hone your public speaking skills to go with your deck, and you’re set for a winning performance. Emulating famous artists can teach you how to better influence people.

In one of his articles, public speaking guru Garr Reynolds cites Frank Sinatra, one of the greatest entertainers of the twentieth century, as an example of somebody we can learn from for pitching techniques.

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When asked in The Playboy Interview: Music Men what his secret towards successful performances was, Sinatra says, “I think it’s because I get an audience involved, personally involved in a song—because I’m involved myself.” Sinatra believed that getting an audience requires reaching out with total honesty, humility, and adaptability to changes, and he put it into action in his performances.

Let’s dig more into these virtues and how you can use them to enhance your sales pitch.

Present with Genuine Honesty

According to Reynolds, Sinatra’s authenticity attributed his success to the music industry.

Frank Sinatra’s simpatico image is his key for developing rapport with his listeners. When he performs, he sings with his heart—his emotions genuinely reflecting the song’s meaning.

We can’t build relationships without honesty. As a speaker, establish credibility to capture your audience’s attention. A truthful and authentic presentation approach moves your audience and lets them savor your message’s every nuance.

Deliver with Unassuming Humility

It’s important to depict confidence while presenting, but humility also goes a long way. This doesn’t require you to sound clever. It only takes a few humble acts to suggest maturity and professionalism.

In Frank Sinatra’s case, he kept himself collected and confident without going overboard. In his live performances, he used simple movements and natural body language to amuse his audience. Notice his cool reactions when his friends tried to mock him offstage. Now that’s humility.

Body language exudes confidence and project an image that your audience can relate to.

Adapt to Changing Times

Another factor that made Sinatra a remarkable artist was his ability to successfully adapt his music to changing times.

Despite the post-war changes brought by World War I and World War II, he was able to create music that remained relevant to the times. He even changed his singing style to keep up with the changing world of music.

This same principle applies in today’s business, specifically when it comes to giving presentations. You have to adapt to technological advancements and newest trends to satisfy your audience’s needs. Since majority of people now are visual learners, giving them eye-catching visuals like infographics and videos is a great way to make information more digestible.

If you need a model for getting involved with your audience, look no further.

Let Frank Sinatra’s authentically honest and humble performance skills guide you while you craft your PowerPoint presentation and deck.

Involving yourself and your audience with your speech is a good start to building trust. Express yourself with authenticity and honesty to establish an emotional and intellectual rapport. Maintain humility and keep confidence in perspective to constantly impress people. Keep up with the world’s many changes to make your content fit your audience.

Follow these tips and you’re sure to get presentations that’ll have your audience singing praises.

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References:

Communication lessons from Frank Sinatra, 1963.” Presentation Zen. October 2, 2014. Accessed May 8, 2015.
Enrico, Rick. “Go Visual: Use Infographics to Give Your Business Pitch Maximum Impact.” Piktochart Infographics. October 1, 2015. Accessed May 8, 2015.
Longform Reprints: Playboy Interview: Frank Sinatra by Joe Hyams.” Longform. Accessed May 8, 2015.
Sinatra Live You Make Me Feel So YoungYouTube. Accessed May 8, 2015.

Featured Image: “The Frank Sinatra Show” from Wikipedia

The Best Medicine: 5 Tips on How You Can Give Humorous Presentations

The best way to connect with your audience is to elicit an emotional response. That doesn’t mean you have to move them to tears — laughter is just as profound. Humor is a powerful tool that can make your presentations engaging and memorable.

Don’t get us wrong—your entire speech doesn’t need to be funny. This isn’t a stand-up routine, after all. But light, humorous moments strategically placed throughout your presentation make for a pleasant audience experience.

You don’t have to be a professional comedian to do this, either.  You just need to keep these tips in mind if you’d like to start giving humorous presentations.

Act Natural

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Image: Itchmo.com

Go about preparing for your presentation like you normally would. Write your speech without thinking about the jokes you have to make.

When you’re done, that’s the only time you can inject jokes appropriate to your content.

Just Be Yourself

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Image: ZanyJaney.com

It’s awkward to watch someone try to be funny when the joke feels forced. Different types of humor work for different types of people.

Think of the things that make you laugh and try to figure out what you find funny about them. Your favorite things to laugh at is a good starting point in figuring out what type of humor works for you.

Similarly, you can also think about previous occasions when other people found you funny. Others’ feedback is a good way to gauge your efficiency.

Tread the Trend

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Image: KnowYourMeme.com

An easy way to get your audience laughing is to reference current trends. You can refer to characters from the latest blockbuster movie, or a scene in the highest rating TV show that’s everyone familiar with.

You can also add a bit of humor to your PowerPoint slides by flashing popular Internet memes that are related to what you’re trying to say. At the same time, remember the occasion you’re presenting in and the people you’re presenting to. Some references may be inappropriate or irrelevant depending on the setting.

Think About Your Audience

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Image: MemeCenter.com

Generic ‘knock, knock’ jokes are sure to end in stumped silence. Tailor-fit your humor to your audience by thinking about what might make them laugh.

Jokes that are relevant to your audience are more likely to tickle their funny bone.

Deliver Well

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Image: uproxx.com

Practice your speech and figure out the best way to deliver your jokes.

Communications guru Jennifer Flachman explains that the power of your voice can influence the way your audience perceives you. Remember that tone, inflection, and body language can easily alter the meaning behind what you’re saying.

 

Reference

Flachman, Jennifer. “The Body Language of Voice: Use Your Voice to Your Advantage.” BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas. September 16, 2013. Accessed June 10, 2014.

 

Featured Image: Ellen DeGeneres by ronpaulrevolt2008 on flickr.com