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….
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.
[youtube_sc url=”http://youtu.be/2oWk4ZiuSHE” title=”Make%20Them%20Laugh%20-%20Singin%27%20In%20the%20Rain”]
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.
[ois skin=”Relationally Speaking”]