Public Speaking Course:
If you want to be able to tell a good joke or story check out these storytelling tips from my public speaking course.
Try not to say the words" funny", "reminds me of", or "story" to start off your story. Don't say "I heard a good one the other day..." These words tell the audience that a story is coming and causes the audience to resist your story rather than getting caught up in what your saying. They feel like saying, "Let's see you make me laugh." or "OK (yawn), here comes another story." They want you to prove to them that you can tell a good story or funn joke instead of just being involved in what you are saying
Never say, "I don't know if I should tell this one..." If there is any doubt whatsoever about whether a story is appropriate for a particular group, don't tell it.
The best way to start a story is to just get right into it. You should be into the story before anyone realizes it is a story. That way they are already deeply involved and don't have time to resist. You could say:
"There was this man ... "
"On the flight here ..." or "Driving in this morning ..."
"In the cab today ..."
"I was talking with ..."
These are all good ways to just begin your story without alerting your audience to the fact that its a story.
Now phrases like, "Let me take you back ...", "Come with me ...", "Imagine ...", "Visualize this ...", are a little different because even though they alert the audience that a story is coming, they also serve to get them so involved emotionally that any resistance is counteracted.
When getting out of a story, never say, "But seriously folks..." If it was a funny story you don't have to say, "Hey Stupid people! That was a joke." Give your audience some credit. To exit a story, don't say anything about it being over. Just make a slight change in delivery, tone, rate, expression, etc., and continue with your presentation.
A change of expression on your face or a different pose, are both body language that can say, "We are moving on..."
Here are some More Don'ts:
I had a terrible day at the beach. I came home with 14 harpoon wounds.
That exaggeration is pretty evident to anyone. Now to twist the humor, you can say,
"Fortunately, they were all in the fish I speared. Anyone for a fish fry?" Now you are the hero, too!
In your public speaking course you will learn how to keep the attention of the audience by telling a story the right way.
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