Modified Transcript for Video Above:
“I’m going to give you two pointers in regards to humor if you’re giving a sales presentation, giving a speech for your company, you have to stand up in front of a classroom, or you are a professional speaker looking to add some humor. The first one, and this is probably the most controversial that a lot of people may disagree with me on, but I do not believe everyone can be funny. What I mean by this is that humor requires a unique skill of timing. People either seem to have it or they don’t. It doesn’t seem to be an acquirable skill to the point of being hilariously funny.
Now everybody has their own unique sense of timing but there is a flow to humor, and the delivery, and the pause, and when you hit the punchline and so forth. Certain comedians have certain rhythms and other comedians have other rhythms. But again, you can hear the flow.
You can learn to an extent, but if you are not naturally funny, I don’t care how many classes you take, I don’t believe that you will ever truly become hilarious. My suggestion for you, if you are not naturally a funny person, is don’t try and be. You can definitely add humor and fun to your speech but you’re going to want to rely, maybe, possibly a tiny bit more, on a visual or even a video, a funny use of a prop.
My favorite is, if you have a signature story that you’re telling, then you are going to want one or two, or maybe three, punchlines written in somewhere into your story to make your story pop and be memorable and funny. Again, that requires a certain timing of when you should have that punchline in there.
The same is true with sales presentations. When you’re talking about pain points for your customers, there are certain places where there’s a nice flow and feel of when you can add a punch, one or two lines here and there, sprinkled throughout, that makes you appear funny without you having to require to have this skill of being hilarious.
Again, if you’re not funny, you’re going to want to find a little bit of help maybe in different areas of just sprinkling that humor, where someone help you write a couple of lines in.
The number two thing, and this is a shocker for a lot of people, humor is not universal. I’m going to repeat this. Humor is NOT universal. What you think is funny is not what everybody thinks is funny. Case in point, if you’ve ever gone to a comedy club, there was probably a comedian that you just thought was hysterical and then three others you didn’t think were any good. Or if you’ve ever watched Netflix comedy specials, more than one, and you’ve watched a couple and you’re like, “These people aren’t funny at all,” and then you’ve heard another one that you were just cracking up. Same with sitcoms, same with certain comedies. It’s your particular style of comedy. Because what you find funny is not what other people find funny, and vice versa.
There seems to be a distinct difference in humor style. I know this is politically incorrect but I’ve sat through enough audiences to know that what men find funny is different than what women find funny. Gender seems to make a difference.
The second is age. Age really makes a difference in the style of humor. I have found that the perfect — and I’ve heard other comedians talk about this — that the perfect age range is 10 years above and 10 years below you. It’s like a 20-year age span, and then the same gender and basically the same demographics, because humor is something that you yourself relate to that’s usually why you laugh. Because you think like that and that’s why it’s funny to you. If they’re talking about a different culture, a different lifestyle, a different age, you might find a couple of things funny but you don’t really relate in the way where you’re just busting out loud when it’s your demographic, your gender, your age. Again, highly politically incorrect but I really think there’s a lot of truth to it.
If you’re trying to add humor to your speech or sales presentation, be careful. Be careful that what you think is funny actually is to a majority of the audience, that you’re not coming across offensive. Because some male humor can be really offensive to women and vice versa. You’re going to want to be careful it doesn’t come across offensive, that it’s general, and that it hits pretty much the age range of whoever it is that you’re speaking to. Again, humor you could talk for hours on because it’s so complicated. Also, just reach out to somebody you know who’s funny and have them help you.”
Need Help Adding Humor? Contact Stacy directly. http://stacypederson.info/consulting