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Public Speaking: Why Use Humor?
by Tom Antion

Why should I bother using humor in my public speaking? Can't I just deliver my information and sit down? You sure can and that's what most people do. The problem is that most people are not effective public speakers. They are nighty nite, snooze inducing, say your prayers, hit the sack, unlicensed hypnotists. They are ZZZZZs presenters. They might be experts in their field and be able to recite hours and hours of information on their topic, but is that effective?

According to Bob Orben, Special Assistant to President Gerald Ford and Former Director of the White House Speech writing Department, "Business executives and political leaders have embraced humor because humor works. Humor has gone from being an admirable part of a leader's character to a mandatory one."

A survey of top executives who earned more than $250,000 per year was conducted by a large executive search firm. The survey found that these executives believed their communication skills were the number one factor that carried them to the top. Mastering the use of humor and other high-explosion techniques puts a fine polish on your public speaking skills which can help propel you to the top of the speaking profession.

There are many benefits you can derive from using humor when speaking. Keep in mind that these benefits only help you reach your ultimate purpose for making the presentation. They are not purposes themselves unless, of course, you are only interested in entertaining.

Using Humor in Public Speaking helps you do the following:

  • HELPS YOU CONNECT WITH THE AUDIENCE.
  • MAKES YOU MORE LIKEABLE.
  • AROUSES INTEREST.
  • KEEPS ATTENTION.
  • HELPS EMPHASIZE POINTS AND IDEAS.
  • DISARMS HOSTILITY.
  • OVERCOMES OVERLY FLATTERING INTRODUCTIONS.
  • GETS YOUR POINT ACROSS WITHOUT CREATING HOSTILITY.
  • HELPS RELATE FACTS AND FIGURES.
  • MAKES A POSITIVE IMPRESSION.
  • SHOWS THAT YOU DON'T TAKE YOURSELF TOO SERIOUSLY.
  • HELPS PAINT PICTURES IN THE AUDIENCE'S MIND.
  • MAKES INFORMATION MORE MEMORABLE.
  • LIGHTENS UP HEAVY MATERIAL.
  • YOU WILL BE ASKED BACK.
  • YOUR SPEAKING WILL GET YOU HIGHER EVALUATIONS OR MORE SALES.
  • YOU WILL MAKE MORE MONEY.
  • YOU WILL MAKE PEOPLE HAPPY.

This is my favorite benefit. I get great satisfaction from knowing that I have brightened someone else's life. I had an executive come up to me after one of my humor seminars and say, "You opened up a whole new world for me." I almost cried right on the spot. I'll never forget it.


This article is included by permission from "Great Speaking" the excellent Free Ezine for Presentations Skills Tips, Public Speaking, Speaking 4 Money, Speaking Business Referrals, Speaker Marketing, Speaker Humor, Training, and other Speaking Related Features. Get your free subscription at: http://www.antion.com/ezinesubscribe.htm







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