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How Telling Jokes Can Make the World a Better Place

How Telling Jokes Can Make the World a Better Place

Comedian Michael Jr. has some thoughts on getting a laugh out of an audience.

But first, a little background info for those who are unfamiliar with the funnyman. Michael Jr.’s rise to comedy fame started when his performance at the “Just for Laughs” comedy festival in Montreal was broadcast live on Jay Leno’s “The Tonight Show” — he was an instant hit. Since then, the comedian has appeared on top shows like “The Late, Late Show”, “Oprah”, “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and networks like Comedy Central and CNN. He has performed in some of the best comedy clubs in the country, including The Laugh Factory, The Punchline, and The Comic Strip. He also regularly visits prisons, shelters, and churches to bring his jokes to a wider audience. Critics have praised him as one of today’s most gifted comedians.

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What does it mean to be a comedian?

The video description for Vimeo’s “I like Laughter” reads, “Michael Jr. is a comedian that sees his career as a chance to ‘give laughs.’ How can you be the punch line?”

None of the shows and comedy clubs are what defined his progress as a comedian, says Michael. When he sat down with a non-profit organization called I Like Giving to share his thoughts on what he “liked” most in this world, it’s no surprise that he chose to talk about laughter. What is most surprising are his reasons for choosing it. In the video, he describes a philosophical shift in how he saw laughter that truly changed everything for the comedian.

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“People ask me all the time: ‘Michael, what was your big break?’ [The Tonight Show with Jay Leno] wasn’t it,” he reveals. “The big break was at a club, and right before I got on stage, I had a change in mindset about comedy…”

Instead of simply getting laughs from people, Michael says that his biggest goal is “to make laughter commonplace in uncommon places.” Watch the video below to hear one man’s thoughts on telling jokes professionally and in everyday life:

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http://vimeo.com/101023966

About ‘I Like Giving’

For more on the organization behind this video and others like it, check out I Like Giving’s description and introductory video on their Web site: I Like Giving is a non-profit created to inspire a generous world. The website ilikegiving.com serves as a platform for unique storytelling and idea sharing. I Like Giving believes a generous world is a better world for all of us. What we want is your action. Go check out a story today and then go create one of your own.

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Laughter health facts

Need even more proof that laughter is a force for good in the world? Whether Michael Jr. knows it or not, the laughter he generates has a number of health benefits. Some of the benefits of laughing include:

– It increases oxygen intake. Laughing creates deeper and more frequent intake of oxygen, providing more oxygen for your brain and stimulating other organs in the process.
– Laughter stimulates blood circulation and muscle relaxation. Hearty laughter can also stimulate circulation and muscle relaxation, further increasing oxygen flow and even reducing symptoms of stress.
– Improves your immune system. Stress and negative moods have been proven to reduce the effectiveness of the body’s immune system. The positive thoughts and feelings that come with laughter do the opposite, releasing protein-like molecules that help fight off illness.
– Pain relief. The human body can produce its own natural painkillers to help manage some levels of pain. Laughter may stimulate production of these painkillers, as well as provide temporary relief from muscle spasm pain.
– Lasting improvements to your mood. Beyond the joy of the moment, the positive affects of laughter can last past the funny moment and improve your mood all day. It may even help alleviate symptoms of mild to moderate anxiety and depression.

Featured photo credit: I Like Laughter/I Like Giving via vimeo.com

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.

You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:

1. Connecting them with each other

Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.

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It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.

2. Connect with their emotions

Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.

For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.

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3. Keep going back to the beginning

Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.

On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.

4. Link to your audience’s motivation

After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.

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Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.

5. Entertain them

While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.

Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.

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6. Appeal to loyalty

Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.

In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.

7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation

Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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