The overlap between happiness & a great presentation

August 27, 2014

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.

Light of the party

‘Yamini is to storytelling as apple is to pie.’
Peter Baines OAM, Founder, Hands Across Water

Let me show you how to make storytelling your new superpower.

This book is for everyone – yes I am on a quest to make everyone in the world a better storyteller. It is the perfect gift for someone you love.

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