Humor in presentations

When I ask people what they appreciate in a presentation they tell me most often ‘not too much text on a slide and just reading it’ or ‘a monotone speaker’ and one the first answers I usually get is ‘humour’. Now humour in a presentation is of course something completely different than telling a joke. I started doing some research on what humour exactly is in presentations. I started paying attention to humour in presentations : when do people laugh, why do they laugh, when do they laugh when I am a presenter…I absolutely don’t see myself as a humorous person and I am the worst joker there is (I simply never tell jokes because I never remember them…) but I do succeed in getting people to laugh during lectures. I don’t pretend to have the absolute and one and only answer to this question but I did discover that people laugh about things they know and understand. That can be because they recognize or have been in a situation themselves or because they know it as in a cliché. Let me share an example with you. Mark Gungor is a therapist who gives lectures to couples who are about to divorce. He explains how male and female brains are very different. Now he can do that in a serious scientific way, but he has chosen a whole different approach. The reason why it is humorous is of course the way he brings it on stage and his facial expression, but it is very recognizable for people.


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