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Speakers: You Can’t Force Being Funny

When it comes to public presentations, one of the most awkward and painful experiences is a speaker who tries to be funny but isn’t. I don’t know if there’s a “humor gene” that we’re born with or not, but the truth is, some people are naturally funny (without any effort) and some are not.

One type of speaker isn’t better or more effective than the other, but here’s what we need to learn:

If you have the gift of humor then use it. And if you don’t have the gift, then don’t force it.

I listened to a presentation at a conference recently by a speaker who doesn’t have a funny bone in her body. She understands that, so there were no jokes or light moments. And yet, it was a powerful and compelling presentation.

On the other hand, I’ve heard presentations from people who aren’t naturally funny but tried desperately to be.

It didn’t work. In fact, it was painful.

There is more to a successful presentation, teaching, or sermon than speaking with humor. If you’re uncomfortable with jokes, then stop worrying about it and focus on your own sweet spot. Audiences respond to authenticity. Be who you are, and don’t worry about who you’re not.

Your success as a speaker depends on it.

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6 Comments

  1. I am glad to be endowed with the gift of humour. It’s my natural habitat. I don’t force myself, it just flow on its own. That is what will happen when I preach at my local church on Sunday. My God is a humorous God.
    Thank you so much for posting this article Phil.

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