My wife threw a 50th surprise birthday party for me five years ago. One of the highlights was when my three sons roasted me. My oldest son, Brandon, approached the microphone and relayed a conversation that he CLAIMED he and I had. He said, “As most of you know, I am a starving college student. So, one day I went to dad and said, ‘Dad, can I borrow some money to buy some food?’ My dad replied, ‘ Gee son, I’d really like to help but I have to buy your mother a horse.’”
That story came to me when I read Mike Michalowicz article, 6 Thinks Comedians Can Teach You About Public Speaking. The article outlines some good points about public speaking that can be even be used in many business settings, especially presentations.
1. Humbling personal stories: Don’t be arrogant, humble yourself.
2. Just say no to PowerPoint: If you have to use a PowerPoint, use it sparingly and face your audience.
3. Gesticulation: Move around and be more animated. If you stand behind a mic and recite deadpan, you may be mistaken for a Pat Paulsen reincarnation
4. Laugh-cry-laugh: Eb and flow with your talk through emotions, but always get back to your point. Don’t go off on rabbit trails.
5. No lectern: Don’t hide behind a podium. Of course, you can use it as a prop and take off your shoe and pound it like Nikita Khrushchev did at the UN back in the 1960s.
6. No notes: Now this is a tough one. I use an outline to keep myself on track, but the article said if you take you eyes off the audience, they will take their eyes off you. Use mnemonic techniques.
7. The loop-back: You’ve seen comedians do this when they bring a point back at the end that they mentioned at the beginning. But in any meeting, refer back to your point when doing a presentation.
You don’t have to be funny telling dumb jokes, but the biggest resource in any business are people. The more your act like one, the better you can address the business culture. Use these techniques in the following situations:
If done right, you will be happy with the results.