“Do I have to be funny?” the speaker asked. “Only if you want to get paid,” the speaker agent snapped back. We were at the annual convention of NSA – National Speakers Association – with 1200 people in the room. It’s a whole new world. People want to be entertained. The truth is if you’re not funny, people won’t want to listen to you. When I coach TEDx speakers, we find the funny – a lot.
Chances are you’re not a paid speaker, and adding humor is a major challenge for most people. Because many business professionals perceive humor to be so difficult, the most common tactic is to either tell a joke or avoid even making an attempt to be funny. This is unfortunate. Using humor energizes your audience and increases the buy-in factor.
People retain information better when it entertains them. Your audience thinks, “If you can get an important idea across to me and make me laugh at the same time, I’m going to remember it – and you.” Do we crave entertainment while being “taught”? Yes!
Why use humor? Here are 3 reasons:
1. Laughter is good for the health of your audience. It relaxes the whole body, boosts the immune system, and triggers the release of endorphins, which promote a sense of well-being. Who doesn’t want that in a potential client?
2. Sharing the pleasure of original humor creates a sense of intimacy and connection between two people – qualities that define solid, successful relationships. Notice how often people end up together in an intimate relationship because “he/she made me laugh.” Just as humor keeps things exciting, fresh, and vibrant in a relationship, it can have the same effect on an entire audience.
3. Laughter is contagious. Just hearing one or two people chuckle can make the whole audience laugh. It can win over the tough customers who are not sure they like you – make them laugh and they’ll think you rock.
When you make your listeners laugh, you have given them a gift. They feel a connection with you and are more likely to “feel” like giving you a gift back – their business.
I can help you do that. Please call or write me to schedule your 30-minute complimentary value discover call. You get value because I turn my attention to your business and how you can have people saying the magic five words after you speak: “I think I need you.” And, we discover if we are a match to work together.
Next month, this blog will be “How Can You Be Funny?” You will get 3 humor techniques to bring a smile to the most serious of businesses. Watch this space.