Feb 17

How Do You Create a Funny Presentation?

How Do You Create a Funny Presentation? The question of the ages…. Well, ok that’s not strictly true.

In my post 101 Presentation Hacks I provided a few points on how to create funny powerpoint presentations. What a lot of people forget is that even though they are giving a presentation in a business or work environment, they are still speaking to people. People love to be entertained. That’s why reality T.V. has been really popular, aside from the cheapness of the programming, they’re entertaining.

Currently, we love watching competition shows like American Idol, The X-Factor and so on. I enjoy watching these shows, but admittedly I stop watching once they get to bootcamp. I love watching the freaks who think they can sing. It’s hilarious.

So remember that when you’re up there talking about the latest final projections of your department, or your talking about the latest wonder drug to help the lurgie, people love funny presentations. Whether you’re doing a high-level corporate presentation, or speaking to your school’s PTA.

If you have a sense of humour, use it!

A Fast and Easy Way to Use Humour

Ask yourself this… can I safely reduce a certain proportion of my content without losing my message or my main points? If you can, then I would seriously thinking about stripping your presentation down to the bear essentials.

Make everything that you say and show highly relevant. No waffle. Get your message across and get it across well. Aim to reduce your content by about a ¼ or a ½, but make sure that it rocks!

Then, to create your funny presentation, what you do is to use your sense of humour. Go through your material and presentation and see if there is anywhere that you might be able to react using your own sense of humour?

Try not to go too far off base. Even though you’re harnessing the power of your sense of humour, you still want it to be relevant.

Are there any funny stories that you can think of that relate to what it is you’re saying?

Often things come up in a work environment, that you think is funny and when you tell others, they think it’s funny too. But for some reason we leave those golden nuggets out of our presentations.

I’m saying that you should include them. Find places where they might be relevant and fit comfortably with what you’re saying.

Humour Targets

All humour has a target. In a funny presentation remember that rather than attacking a particular person or group with your sense of humour, it’s best if you can laugh at yourself. Or perhaps even have digs at an institution, as long as it’s not the institution you’re working for because you could cause offence.

Be able to laugh at yourself works because you don’t want to seem holier than thou or superior, you want to be able to connect with your audience and seem that you are on an equal footing, even though you might be an expert speaking to non-experts.

Also don’t forget that this isn’t about you being a comedian. I’m not asking you to have your audience in stitches and have them come away thinking that you’re a laugh riot. It’s about throwing in enough funnies that you lighten the mood and help things moving along and interesting.

Funny Presentation Welcome

When you start your funny presentations it is important that you open strong. By having a humorous opening not only do you grab your audience’s attention, but you get to immediately establish yourself as a humorous speaker. Here are two ways that you can use to open your presentation with, or use in the middle:

Use a Humorous Slide

If you’re using PowerPoint (ppt) or Impress can you find a way to include a humorous slide? It doesn’t have to be something that you do all the time, otherwise you’ll lose the impact. But perhaps you can start off your presentation with an amusing image or quotation that reflects the theme or your core message.

I saw an effective presentation done by a medical consultant which opened with a Gary Larson cartoon. This not only helped lighten the mood, but also tied into an entertaining and informative talk. You have a variety of things you can do with ppt and Impress.

Quote Humour

You can also quote someone else’s sense of humour providing that you cite your source. If you can legitimately say something like: “As the comedian Jeff Foxworthy once said…” and THEN you quote the Jeff Foxworthy joke. Or whichever comedian you choose. Make sure that:

a) it’s relevant to your presentation’s content
b) you cite your source.

Did I mention that you need to cite your source? That’s how important it is that it bears repeating several times. By citing your source you are not breaking the law (which is bad) and you are able to get a laughter of recognition as your audience may have heard the joke before. Laughs are good.

You could also quote a witty remark made by someone that’s not a comedian. Presenters are often quoting famous people like Oscar Wilde, Winston Churchill and Dorothy Parker. Jump on your favourite search engine and find something by one of these wags that relates to your message.

Remember, that in your best funny presentation you connect to your audience through humour, but still convey your overall message. Humour is the medium of the message.

If you expressed it as a formula it would be message+funny+powerpoint=success. Powerpoint is last because it’s simply a tool by which you convey your message.

Funny Presentations and Beyond!

Look, if you really want hijack your sense of humour and ben known as the person who gives hilarious presentations I can highly recommend grabbing a copy of the Fast Start Guide to Stand-up Comedy. While you don’t want to do stand-up comedy, the mechanisms for creating and using humour are exactly the same.

I own a copy of everything this author has written.

Alternatively, you might want to check out this hub that I’ve published; learn to be funny?

By using humour you might be able to create your best ppt presentations yet!

Note: There are affiliate links on this page. That means that if you purchase a product via my link I get paid a small commission. This is one of the ways I help pay the bills.

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