Rebel Uprising Podcast

Day 2: Make Them Laugh or Fail Miserably Trying

I work with a client who is one of the smartest people I know but not the funniest. We were working on the opening of a professional presentation, and he thought he should start with a joke.

This incident was the inspiration for….

Day 2: Make them laughMake Them Laugh

Unless you are a comedian or Donald O'Connor (watch the clip), starting with a joke is a LOT of pressure to put on yourself. If the joke bombs, you are going to face a room so silent you can hear the clock ticking. Or worse – the audience that gives you the polite “you're not funny” pity laugh.

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Humor can be a great way to start a speech, but it should occur naturally. This means you should not insert a joke or force the humor. If you start with a story that gets some laughs, that is wonderful. Just don't try to put humor in a speech. It's too much pressure on yourself as a speaker and can be very awkward for the audience.

Day 3 will bring a trip to the opera – opening with Me, Me, Me, Me, Me. Did you miss Day 1? Click here to learn about the most generic opening ever.

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One response to “Day 2: Make Them Laugh or Fail Miserably Trying”

  1. I completely agree with this point. Jokes are especially dangerous because they have a distinctive pause before the punchline. If the punchline doesn’t match the audience’s anticipation your speech can come to a halt!

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