Public Speaking Course:
By now you are probably wondering where is the best place to put all your funny material.
Most members of the audience expect you to start off your speech with a story or joke. You may want to postpone your story until the audience has resigned itself to a boring presenter and then you can surprise them your witty humor. A good rule to remember from your public speaking course is "Don't be afraid to do the unexpected." Humor is one of the best attention getting devices that can take your audience to the peaks of intensity.
In order to start figuring out where to put your humor, you first need to find out how long your presentation time slot will be. Once you have this information, divide the time into equal segments. If the percentage of humor is going to be low, you might make a funny comment every six to eight minutes. If the percentage of humor is very high, you might be making a funny comment every minute. Going through this process tells you roughly how much humor or other attention gaining devices you will need during your presentation. Planning ahead for each presentation is taught in my public speaking course.
I'm assuming by now that all the humor you have selected is completely relevant to your audience and your topic. If it is not, throw it out now and start searching for something to replace it with that is relevant to your program. You must have fresh humor for every audience, not canned humor, or canned speeches.
Next, you should be ready to place the humor in your program. Don't make the mistake of forcing humor and other material to fit into a presentation, always choose relevant humor. It makes no difference if one segment goes several minutes longer than another or if you don't hit the funny bone exactly every six to eight minutes. Just use that time length as a guideline. All you have to do now is decide if you want humor in your opening and/or closing.
Finally, the third aspect of timing has to do with 'planned spontaneity.' When it comes to professional presentations, preparation will
be a big factor in your ultimate success. Prepared remarks that appear spontaneous to the audience deserve a mention when talking
about timing. During the course of a presentation, windows of opportunity for witty remarks open and close. They are usually related
What if you waited until you searched out a new marker to say the same line? The opportunity is already lost, the spontaneity is gone and so is the impact.
Many situations can be anticipated. If you are using a slide projector,
the bulb might blow. You may be interrupted by a loud noise. Your microphone might squeal, etc. Prepare comments in advance so you can
Questions (see Funny Question and Answer Sessions
article) from the audience can be treated the same way. Dealing with
awkward questions with humor should be practiced in your
public speaking course. If you've been presenting your material long enough, you
can probably anticipate most of the questions that will be asked. Prepare
a witty answer to each question and use it when the question arises.
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