Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Public Speaking - Joke Telling

Jokes! Jokes! Jokes! Everyone tells me they can't tell jokes. The good news is that it doesn't matter one bit if you can tell a joke or not. The better news is that if you really want to tell jokes, you can. I'm going to give you some simple techniques that will improve your joke and storytelling capabilities.

Being a humorous NO ZZZZZs presenter is quite different from being a stand-up comedian. Most stand-up comedians must be experts at telling jokes. Their only purpose is to entertain. If they do not skillfully make the audience laugh, they bomb. Laughter is their only desired result. You, as a NO ZZZZZs presenter, however, are using humor as a tool to convey your message or information. You should want the audience to have a good time, but it doesn't matter so much if the audience laughs as long as they get the message. Laughter is a bonus. Realizing this fact should take away much of the anxiety you may feel about using humor.

Let's get back to jokes. I really get tired of hearing people in my seminars tell me they can't tell a joke. I can't iron a shirt either, but I could if someone showed me how and I practiced enough (Note: As long as there is one dry cleaner store left on the face of the earth this will never happen). I might never be as good at it as my mother, but I could become competent if I really tried. It's the same with jokes. If you apply the delivery techniques discussed, if you select appropriate and relevant jokes, and if you practice diligently, you will become competent at telling jokes and successful in your main goal of enhancing your presentations. As stated above, when it comes to professional presentations, being able to tell a joke does not matter. So, don't let it bother you if you have a little trouble at first. Just keep practicing. You will get more positive results out of storytelling, using one-liners, and many of the simple humor techniques discussed. The delivery techniques you'll learn will also apply to these other forms of humor.

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