Monday, April 05, 2010

Public Speaking: Take Action to Expand Your Use of Humor

With so much to learn and remember about using humor in your presentations and public speaking programs, you can benefit by devising an action plan to help yourself continuously improve. As with your presentation materials, customize your action plan to give you the most benefit. If you come across useful tips as you study public speaking and other presenters, add them to the suggestions listed below.

* Develop a pre-program questionnaire to gather information about the group to which you will be presenting.
* Write several new introductions for yourself.
* Write a suggestion letter and give it to the person who will be introducing you at the public speaking event.
* Pre-plan adlibs for problems that may happen during your program.
* Arrive at the location of the event one half-hour before your program starts to control as many of the room setup variables as possible.
* Prior to your presentation, visit with as many members of your audience as you can.

Find humor
* Read humorous books or magazines, listen funny audio tapes or watch humorous videos every day.
* Immediately write down anything you find funny, whether you hear it, read it or see it. Adapt the humor to use in your programs.
* Gradually add humor to your presentations. Soon you will be confident that you can make your audience laugh.

Organize your materials

* Start a library of humorous stories, cartoons, one-liners and jokes.
* Create a humor file and cross-reference system.

* Practice using bits, chunks and series.
* Practice stories, jokes and one-liners between 30 and 50 times prior to using them in a presentation.
* Select a joke or funny story and practice it 10 times each day for a week. Create a tool for measuring how much you improve by tape recording the first and the last practice session.

Evaluate your presentations
* Audio or video tape all your presentations so you identify segments that worked, as well as areas where you need to improve.
* Solicit feedback from professional presenters or hire a public speaking coach.

Keep learning, keep smiling and keep your audience laughing.

Make $5500 or more every time you speak!

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