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7PUBLIC SPEAKING TECHNIQUES THAT WORK
Laughter is a form of stress release. Keep in mind that your audience is under some stress during the presentation as well. You are in this together and one of the best approaches to creating a warm, welcoming atmosphere is to integrate humor into the mix.
You do not have to come up with knock-out one liners or delve into a book of jokes. Humor is most effective when you harness your nervous energy during your delivery. You can either create a public speaking persona or you can be your honest self in your delivery. Either way, a lighthearted approach can work wonders.
There are some obstacles to trying too hard to be humorous. Comedy requires a masterful sense of timing. Avoid trying to create a comedy routine. Just make the presentation warm, friendly and full of energy. Remember that you can not control every aspect of the audience’s response. Laughter is not always what you seek.
The key to taking a humorous approach is to focus on making yourself and your audience comfortable. This involves smiling, eye contact (if possible) and an overall outpouring of well harnessed nervous energy. Think of being humorous as being personable.
CREATING A WIN-WIN SITUATION
When you address the audience as a warm, humorous person you help to create a win-win situation for you, your presentation and your audience. There are various elements that naturally occur to just about every public speaker that may seem to work against him. However, these very obstacles can be used in your favor as well.