What is life without a few laughs and light moments?
Humor adds value to your presentations too. In fact the more technical and serious your topic is, the more you should take care to incorporate a few light moments.
How does humor help?
It relaxes your audience, helps them to deal better with highly technical topics. A post-lunch presentation will specially benefit from a dose of humor to “wake-up” those sleepy Joes in your audience.
How can you incorporate humor in your presentations?
Here are some ideas.
If you are a good presenter, tell a joke or amusing anecdote. It will bring out your personality and make the audience connect with you better. If you are not so comfortable relating a funny incident in the midst of your presentation, then infuse a bit of lightness by adding humor to your slides. You could include a related but funny statistic, or ‘accidentally’ include a picture of your family pet or child and say “How did that come here?”. Just make sure that your jokes and funnies are clean, not racist and not offending to anyone in the audience.
Are you going to include a resume of yourself? How about playfully adding some funny accomplishments such as “Voted fastest burger eater in office for the year 2010” or “Best hands-on dad of the decade”?
They are sure to incite laughs, and make you appear more human especially if you are a very accomplished and qualified person.
You can also use a comic or cartoon, elements that have long been popular with PowerPoint presenters for the brevity of their wit and their ability to connect with audiences. So if you need to convey a difficult to understand operational decision and its impact on an organization use a comic panel such as this one designed by 24point0.
When your audience laughs, you have touched them, and this will make them more receptive to what you are saying.
Ze Frank’s presentations are evidence that one can combine a serious topic like technology with humor. Here’s one of his famous presentations at the TED conference.
Remember, humor is a great way to effortlessly make your audience appreciate you, and remember your presentation long after they have left the room.