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12 Things The Most Lively Speakers Do To Make Their Presentations Funnier

12 Things The Most Lively Speakers Do To Make Their Presentations Funnier

If you think that great presenters are simply just born then think again as there are proven approaches they use to make their presentations funnier that are available to everyone.

Here are 12 things that lively speakers do you can incorporate into your own presentation delivery

1. Be positive

Being upbeat and positive is a key part of good presentations according to speaker Julian Treasure whose tips are on TED’s speaking preparation play-list. You have to speak in a way that people want to listen to and being negative and critical of others aren’t good ingredients for a funny presentation.

Instead spread a little sunshine, make your audience smile.

2. Pick the right topic

Sebastian Wernicke has analysed TED talks and came up with some fun recommendations such as picking the right subject (combine things like the French, coffee and happiness but avoid men, projects and architecture).

Whilst you might not have perfect freedom on the subject make sure you can frame it in a why that makes it sound exiting. If your topic sounds fun because you worked on the title then you’ve warmed the audience up for a chuckle before you start.

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3. Adopt a confident posture

Lively speakers don’t cower but have confident postures. Body language is key to both how others see us and how we feel about ourselves. Taking a more confident pose doesn’t just help with how we’re perceived it will change our body chemistry and we will act with greater confidence. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy recommends the use of “power posing” to achieve this.

And getting that dose of confidence is what you need to take the risk of telling that first joke.

4. Get visual

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    Being visual is such a clear differentiator for lively speakers with the use of good graphics or photos. Some even dispense with slides and use just a few props or animate their talk with their hands.

    The approach of text based slides being read is never done by funny presenters, it’s a real no-no. You’re wanting people to listen to you, not send them to sleep with some reading!

    5. Connect with the audience

    Carmine Gallo has studied the top TED speakers and written books on them and the Steve Job’s presentation techniques. He recommends that instead of reading your slides (which you won’t be able to because they’ll be pictures) you should make eye contact with the audience.

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    Comedians, who have always known this, often go much further and really get the audience involved. It’s obvious really because if you’re not presenting for the audience who are you presenting for?

    6. Get the energy up

    And there’s a lot more to learn from Comedians. Dave Nihill has compiled an in-depth list. One recommendation is to get the energy levels up if they appear to be a bit low. This can be by simply getting a round of applause going. That can be for anyone – the organisers, you, the audience, anyone!

    7. Tell Stories and Jokes

    Whether it’s comedians or motivational speakers they keep us hooked with their engaging stories and jokes. The more personal the stories the better as research from Princeton University shows that our brains light up when we hear stories. We also find it easier to remember stories rather than random facts.

    This links well with good visuals which help you keep your story on track. The visuals can even be the joke. A business friend of mine once faked the crashing of PowerPoint as humorous way of breaking out of doing traditional slides.

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      8. Ease off the stats

      It takes a lot of work to make stats funny and they’re a great way to switch the audience off. So get the balance between stats and stories right and the presentation will liven up. People can always look up the numbers later if they need to.

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      Personally, the only laugh I’ve got out of stats during a presentation was the story of how a government office (which will remain nameless) made up the stats each year because it was too hard to properly calculate them.

      9. Treat it as a performance

      Funny presenters, also known as comedians, treat the presentation as a performance. They don’t turn up cold with a few rushed slides of dull text to hand. They put in plenty of preparation and practice.

      Performers like Peter Kay, before doing large stadium gigs, practice and refine their material on a small scale first. Working to get each element up to the right level.

      Funny speakers may appear natural and off the cuff but so much of that is from honing the material and putting in serious practice. Even a quick run through with a few trusted colleagues will make a huge difference for you. They’ll at least tell you if you’re jokes don’t work.

      10. Use your voice

      Lively speakers don’t just shout at a rapid pace or mumble in a drawl. They vary their tone and pace to keep it lively and fun. To get the voice right Julian Treasure recommends simple voice warm up exercises to get the voice in shape. These can be really simple such as saying la-la-la for the tongue or some brrrring for the the lips.

      Or you could do a Steve Balmer and just run on stage screaming!

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      11. Don’t go on too long

      The TED guidance is 18 minutes and there’s good reason as going longer cognitively overloads the audience. As they say leave them wanting more.

      Stories can only go on so long before the audience and maybe even you have forgotten what the original point was. The punchline will only be funny if people remember what the start of the joke or tale was.

      12. Recognise the fear

      Acknowledge fear and do it anyway. Find a way to get over the nerves and get going. Everyone feels fear and the fear of giving presentations is a pretty common one. But it is possible to get through, find a way by starting small and focusing on positive outcomes.

      You could start with a joke – maybe even about your fear –  to get the audience on your side.

      So give yourself a real chance of making your next presentation funnier by starting off with humour.

      Featured photo credit: Bill Gates TED2011/Gisela Gardino via flickr.com

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      Last Updated on November 5, 2018

      20 Best Places to Work for a Great Career in 2018

      20 Best Places to Work for a Great Career in 2018

      Looking for a job? There’s no doubt to the fact you will want to work with a company that appreciates you for who you are.

      Well, good news. The labor market today is one that has peened up with more opportunities for advancement and personal employee improvement. This is partly due to the fact that a lot of companies have been made to understand the value of their biggest assets: the employees.

      To wit, here’s a list of companies- across a wide array of industries- that have been able to develop working environments that are healthy and accommodating to workers.

      Take a look at these 20 best place to work for a great career:

      1. Salesforce, San Francisco, California,

        Salesforce is in the information technology business and the company ranks highest due to their commitment to learning and innovation. They are ready to try new things and everyone with a new idea is always welcome to share it at the company. The company has also been known to exhibit an exceptional approach to alignment.

        Find out more about careers in Salesforce

        2. Wegmans Food Markets Inc.,Rochester, New York

          Based in Rochester, New York, employees have been known to enjoy a sense of purpose from working here. The company has been able to achieve an optimal level of engagement across all working tiers and they’ve been able to achieve great things together. They even do deliveries.

          Find out more about careers in Wegmans

          3. Ultimate Software, Weston, Florida

            Employees get amazing benefits here but that’s not the only reason why this place is so awesome to work. Whenever there is a need or a death of an Ultipeep or any of other family members, the company shows love and support like no other.

            Find out more about careers in Ultimate Software

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            4.The Boston Consulting Group, Inc., Boston, Massachusetts

              Development is at the center of anything that goes on here. The business is about people and employees are the company’s biggest asset. Employees are able to challenge the status and also leave impacts on clients.

              Find out more about careers in The Boston Consulting Group

              5. Edward Jones, St. Louis, Missouri

                Edward Jones is admired for their ability to acknowledge history without being mired down by it. The company builds on a solid foundation but there is also a level of flexibility that allows for innovation.

                Find out more about careers in Edward Jones

                6. Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants, San Francisco, California

                  Kimpton is a trendsetter in the hospitality industry. The company always strives to try something different and that perspective is welcomed there at all times. Enjoy the weekends with luxury rooms, conformable mattress, furnished and well dressed service staff. A great opportunity for job seekers.

                  Find out more about careers in Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants

                  7. Workday, Pleasanton, California

                    Newbies will find no issues with feeling welcome and at home here as this has always been a core culture component of the IT giant. Everyone is treated like family and this fosters a sense of oneness.

                    Find out more about careers in Workday

                    8. Genentech, South San Francisco, California

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                      Here, employees are encouraged to be themselves. There is a feeling of care, safety, and acceptance that you get here that you can’t get at many firms. The development of an all-inclusive environment has always been foundational.

                      Find out more about careers in Genetech

                      9. Deloitte, New York, New York

                        Deloitte is one of the biggest professional service providers in the world, noted for their focus on constant learning, development and improvement. They invest in their employees and are concerned about their well being.

                        Find out more about careers in Deloitte

                        10. Baird, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

                          Baird is a financial services provide that is known for adopting a “no asshole policy’ which guides the way people relate with and respect each other, regardless of their position on the company’s hierarchy.

                          Find out more about careers in Baird

                          11. Quicken Loans, Detroit, Michigan

                            At Quicken Loans, the views and opinions of everyone are respected and heard. The organization is revered for the amount of investment they put in their team members and everyone looks for ways to grow and be better.

                            Find out more about careers in Quicken Loans

                            12. Capital One, Mclean, Florida

                              Capital One has adopted a culture that encourages employees to take risks and try new things. They foster a healthy work-life balance and associates are challenged to live better lives.

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                              Find out more about careers in Capital One

                              13. Cooley LLP, Palo Alto, California

                                Cooley LLP is a law firm known for their ability to care about the company culture and being able to develop a working environment that is empowering and fun. Cooley is known to go for the best when it comes to their employees, regardless of the occasion.

                                Find out more about careers in Cooley LLP

                                14. Southern Ohio Medical Center, Portsmouth, Ohio

                                  The medical center has been known for their propensity to delegate so much to their employees, thereby providing them with the ability to grow and learn on the job. In the end, you get a workplace that is all-engaging and super fun.

                                  Find out more about careers in Southern Ohio Medical Center

                                  15. American Express, New York, New York

                                    American Express is a firm that celebrates wins, no matter how small. Everyone is made to share the same attitude towards service and the people they are to serve, thereby making people care about what they do.

                                    Find out more about careers in American Express

                                    16. Adobe Systems Inc., San Jose, California

                                      The culture at Adobe Systems is one that encourages employees to develop their own ideas and get a strong viewpoint. As opposed to encouraging competition, work-life balance is fostered everywhere here.

                                      Find out more about careers in Adobe Systems Inc.

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                                      17. The Cheesecake Factory Inc., Calabasas, California

                                        The Cheesecake Factory rewards dedication and hard work. Promotions come pretty easy, and there is always space for guidance to develop your experience and skills.

                                        Find out more about careers in The Cheesecake Factory Inc.

                                        18. Sap America, Newtown Square, Pennsylvania

                                          If you’re looking for a new career path, SAP might be the best bet for you. The company is adept at recognizing value and transferable skills. And you can always look for a new path while maintaining your employment.

                                          Find out more about careers in Sap America

                                          19. NVIDIA Corporation, Santa Clara, California

                                            NVIDIA is known for looking after even the smallest of things. With even a “pets allowed” policy this company accepts you for who you are, and helps you to work within your personality. Advancement is also fostered, and you are able to collaborate effectively.

                                            Find out more about careers in NVIDIA

                                            20. KPMG LLP, New York, New York

                                              Communication and progressive collaboration are the foundation of this company’s workforce treatment. Regardless of the level you are, someone is always at the ready to help and the company rewards extra effort with gratitude.

                                              Find out more about careers in KPMG LLP

                                              All in all, it’s safe to say that you will be able to find somewhere to apply your skills (whatever they are) that is all inclusive and highly accommodative. Companies today are being made to understand how much they can get when they treat their employees right and this has opened the door to an encouraging work environment for all.

                                              Happy job hunting!

                                              Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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