Use Humor To Connect With Your Audience

If you can connect with your audience, then you can get them to laugh
If you can connect with your audience, then you can get them to laugh
Image Credit: micadew

Speakers know that there is power in laughter. If we hear our audience laughing (with us) then it will provide us with a sense of confidence. Everyone likes to hear it when an audience starts to laugh after you have gotten done delivering the punchline of your joke. This is exactly what it takes to provide you with a shot of energy and it can launch you into the main point of your speech. However, the challenge that many of us have is using the importance of public speaking to get our audience to laugh when we want them to. What we need are strategies that we can use to get our audience to laugh.

Become Relatable

One of the most powerful ways that we can share information with our audience is by letting them in on a shared experience. If you’ve had an experience that they have also had, then all of sudden you are not just a person standing on a stage, you are truly somebody that they know and can understand. What this means for you is that you need to find a way to provide your audience with a shared experience. When you provide them with this kind of insight into who you really are, this will be delightful for them.

Most of us think that we really don’t have any experiences that our audience could relate to. However, you’d be wrong – you do. These experiences can range from embarrassing things that your children have done to frustrations that you encounter during your everyday life. When you are sharing with your audience, make sure that you get into the telling of your experience. Use hand gestures, change how your voice sounds, and move around on the stage. If you are able to use your shared experiences to get your audience to laugh, then they will want to hear what else you have to tell them.

Make Yourself Self-Deprecating

If you have ever taken the time to listen to some of the most popular comedians, you may have discovered that they have created an entire career out of making fun of themselves. When you have the ability to laugh at yourself, your audience will see this as being courageous. The thing that speakers need to understand is that an audience loves it when a speaker shows them that they don’t take themselves too seriously.

There is a point that we have to be very careful about. When you are being self-deprecating, you are going to want to make sure that you don’t make fun of your expertise. You don’t want to tell your audience that the thing that you’ll be talking about is something that you are bad at doing. Instead, you are going to want to find something that is more universal to make fun of – make sure that it is something that is trivial.

Appear To Be Vulnerable

If we really want to connect with our audience then we need to stop trying to appear to be a superman. It can be all too easy to make fun of our audience and point out their failings while at the same time trying to portray ourselves as being almost bulletproof. What we are missing when we do this is that there is real power in us taking the time to allow our audience to see us as being vulnerable. This can be a powerful thing to do because it is going to allow our audience to laugh at a world that can be a difficult world.

The way that you can go about showing your audience your vulnerability is by sharing with them the challenges that you have faced in your life. If you show your audience that you are vulnerable it will make your audience feel like you trust them. When you do this, they will start to trust you. As speakers we need to understand that when we are giving a speech, we are all in this together. If we are able to show our audience that we are vulnerable then they will give it back to you.

What All Of This Means For You

Speakers always want to find ways that they can do a better job of connecting with their audience so that we can share the benefits of public speaking. One of the most powerful tools that we have that we can use to accomplish this is humor. When we get feedback from our audience that they find what we are saying is funny, it can provide us with an increased sense of confidence that will allow us to deliver a better speech. In order to do a better job of adding more humor to your next speech, you should use the following three strategies.

In order to connect with your audience, you need to be relatable. What you need to do is to use a shared experience to give them an insight into their own lives. During your speech, you can win your audience over by being self-deprecating. If you can show your audience that you can laugh at yourself, then they will be willing to laugh with you. None of us is perfect. If you can reveal to your audience some of your vulnerabilities, then you’ll get them to laugh even though life can be tough for all of us.

A connection with our audience is what it takes in order to deliver a successful speech. As speakers, we are always looking for a way that we can get closer to our audience during our next speech. These three strategies provide us with a way to get our audience to start to laugh with us. Once that happens, we’ll have them on our side and all of sudden they’ll be interested in what we are going to be saying next.

– Dr. Jim Anderson Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills™

Question For You: Do you think that it is possible to be too self-deprecating?

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Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

The goal of any speech that we give is for us to find a way to connect with our audience. There are a number of different ways that we can go about doing this; however, one of the most powerful is to include humor in our speech. Humor is a tricky thing for us to deal with – what is funny to us may or may not be funny to our audience. We are always looking for new ways that we can add more humor to our next speech. What we need are ways that we can increase the humor content of our speech so that we’ll have a better chance of connecting with our audience.