In his book Do You Talk Funny?: 7 Comedy Habits to Become a Better (and Funnier) Public Speaker, David Nihill introduced seven tips he learned as a stand-up comedian in order for business people to become better speakers and, why not, even a little more funny.
I liked his book because unlike most public speaking books which all tell us that humour is an important element for a successful presentation but don’t actually explain how to use it in practice, that’s what this book does. It explains the techniques used by comedians and how we can apply them when presenting in a business environment.
If you think about it, if the goal is to improve our public speaking skills, we can learn a lot from stand-up comedians. Consider that most top-performing comedians prepare themselves for 22 hours for every minute of an hour-long show. 22 hours of preparation for every minute! These are real pros.
Now, in a business environment no one will ever ask you to be funny for an entire presentation. In our world it’s easier – if only we could get a few laughs in a standard 20-minute presentation, we would already have given a much more fun presentation – and much more effective – than most others. That’s because most business presentations are boring.
And here’s the important thing: you don't have to be funny by nature in order to give fun presentations. This can be learned. Of course, just reading a book isn't enough to be able to apply all the techniques. However, if you read a good book, practise a little, see what works and what doesn’t, then practise a bit more, for sure you’ll improve.
Do You Talk Funny?: 7 Comedy Habits to Become a Better (and Funnier) Public Speaker, recommended!