As a professional public speaker, you naturally want to entertain your audience, as well as inform them. Using humor as a tool to convey your message, and not strictly to elicit laughter, can take a lot of stress off a public speaker. Once you realize, it doesn’t matter if the audience laughs or not as long as they understand your point, joke telling becomes much easier. Your goal is to simply enhance your public speaking presentations.
Find a person who will laugh.
Most jokes have a few set up lines and then end with a funny word or phrase, known as the punch line.
Deliver your punch line to only one person in the audience. That person is one you scope out specifically to receive the punch line. It’s someone you know will laugh. How do you find the individual? Begin with the pre-program research. If a member of the audience laughs with you on the phone, find out where that person is sitting in the audience on the day of the event. You can also find your punch line receiver by watching when the emcee or program coordinator talks to see who is paying attention and having fun. Another way to identify the person is by watching to see who is nodding their heads in approval as you speak.
The reason you select the punch line receiver so carefully is because you want that person to set an example for the audience. When the audience sees the individual laughing at your joke, they will also laugh. Another reason for choosing just the right person is boost your own confidence and maintain the positive flow during the rest of your program.
Pause before you deliver the punch line.
Just before you say the punch line, pause briefly to draw attention to it. When delivering the punch line, you must punch out the line, that is, say it a little stronger than the rest of the joke and with a slight variation in your voice. To place even more emphasis on the punch line, lean into the microphone and pronounce it more clearly and louder than you said the set up lines. After you deliver the punch line, don’t say another word. Give the audience a minute to get the joke and laugh. If you speak prematurely, you’ll squelch their laughter.
What will make you better at telling jokes?
Using the right delivery techniques, selecting appropriate and relevant jokes and practicing diligently. Then, search out the audience member you know will laugh. Look the person directly in the eye and deliver the joke to the one you know will appreciate you.
Make $5500 or more every time you speak!