The Dandelion Group

Technique of the week

Lively humour

Although the average person laughs ten times per day, this number may vary during conferences. If your presentation is as exciting as the broadcast of a chess game, jazz it up with a joke.

‘Interact with your audience every five minutes’ is an unspoken rule communication coaches are familiar with. Not even slides prevent members of the audience from turning away and checking their phone. Humour is an effective tool to grab the attention. You can make people laugh by surprising them with a twist in the end.

How to add humour

  1. Write down your key messages and look for unusual connections.

  2. Start with a story in the real world, wide enough so that many can relate to it. Opt for the present tense.

  3. Put the unusual connection at the very end only and deliver your punch line with a different voice.

  4. Practice and add a topper.

Exercise

The 2018 FIDE World Chess Championship is currently taking place at The College in London. Italian-American Grandmaster Fabiano Caruana is challenging the reigning champion Magnus Carlsen from Norway. At the press conference, one reporter asks both if they have any “female support“. Come up with witty answers for each using a quote, factoid or double meaning.

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Ben WilhelmComment