Public Speaking Expert
Jokes are a great way to connect with your audience and help them relax while enjoying your speech. However, using humor effectively is not as easy as it seems. Since most public speaking events are quite formal, telling jokes may not always be appropriate. The audience has to trust you before they will laugh with you. Using humor in your speech is an art. Your speech as well as the jokes you tell have a major impact on your image.
Is It Appropriate to Tell Jokes When Making a Speech?
The world’s greatest public speakers have embraced humor because humor works. You can connect with people through appropriate jokes and anecdotes. Even though the purpose of your speech is to get a particular message across, this doesn’t mean that you can’t use humor for breaking the ice. Telling jokes will allow your audience to retain the information easily. It’s also a great way to keep them intrigued and entertained.
Jokes can help you get and maintain the interest of your audience. A recent survey has shown that over 71 percent of business people admit to having fallen asleep during a speech. By telling jokes and anecdotes, you can keep people engaged and connect with them at a deeper level. Here are a few reasons why you should use humor in your speech:
• Arouses interest and keeps attention
• Makes you more likeable
• Helps retain information with ease
• Helps you connect with your audience
• Educates, enlightens, and entertains people
• Shows that you don’t take yourself too seriously
• Makes you look approachable
• Helps emphasize key points and ideas
• Makes a great impression
• Serves as a creative and useful transition
Professional speakers use humor to effectively illustrate their message. If you want to be seen as a great speaker and build relationships with your audience, incorporate humor into your speech. The types of jokes you can tell depend on your speaking style and the situation. Self-effacing humor is always safe.
Using Appropriate Jokes
Before writing your speech and choosing the best jokes, assess your audience. Do not make jokes on physical disabilities, politics, race, sex, or culture. These kinds of jokes might offend your audience and push people away from you.
Many inexperienced speakers tell jokes that have nothing to do with their message. If you plan to use jokes, make sure they are relevant to your speech. Humor should be used for illustrating your message and key points without confusing the audience.