The overlap between happiness & a great presentation

I was sitting next to a wellbeing expert recently on a plane and she said there are three simple keys to happiness: laughter, music and exercise.make-me-laugh

We hopefully do a reasonably good job at incorporating one or two of these keys into our daily lives.  Sometimes exercising to old eighties aerobics videos lets me integrate all three keys.  Did I just over-share there?

But our challenge as communicators and presenters is how to incorporate laughter into every presentation.  Laughter is definitely one of the keys to delivering an inspiring presentation.  When your audience laughs, they connect with you and your message.   Motivational speakers  know that humour and drama (usually in story form) will get you past your audience’s defences.

Some presenters think they’re simply not funny, or they worry about introducing humour to a serious topic. Some of us might have to work harder to engineer humour into our presentations, but generally it will be rewarded in spades by our audience’s engagement.

Our muse on how to do this well, even for serious topics, must be professional public speaker Hans Rosling, who presented a TED talk titled ‘The best stats you will ever see’.  Rosling presents complex, longitudinal, global stats on child mortality, but he does it with drama, urgency and humour in the persona of a sports broadcaster.  It’s magic and it works without minimising the seriousness of the issue he is dealing with.

When I mentor clients who are about to make a presentation I always challenge them with: “So, what’s your story?”  And to this I now add: “What’s your funny?”

So, what’s your funny? Where have you seen humour used well in a presentation?  I would love to hear your thoughts – please comment.

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  • Amanda

    Great YouTube Ted talk. Thankyou for highlighting it. So often you hear the same old, same old and you do wonder what change has actually occurred because things in fact feel different. And you know, they are different but we don’t have the data to explain it. Do you think this is linked to the fact that a majority of people find it hard to embrace change, some don’t mind change, a few of us nervously, excitedly anticipate change while others positively push for it.

    • Yamini Naidu

      Hi Amanda
      Thank you – you are right we are all spread across the bell curve of change – so different strokes for different folks.

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