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Archive for the ‘public speaking humour’ Category

Lies, Dam Lies and Statistics

Posted by Presentation Skills on January 30, 2011

Lies, Dam lies and Statistics

How to make statistics interesting…..

Cheers

Darren Fleming – Australia’s Corporate Speech Coach

http://www.executivespeaking.com.au

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Posted in Executive Speaking Skills, Executive Speaking Video, Language of Leadership, presentation skills, Presentation skills training, Presentation skills training Adelaide, Presentation skills training Brisbane, Presentation skills training Melbourne, Presentation skills training Sydney, public speaking, public speaking courses, public speaking humour, public speaking tips, Sales Presentations | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Jokes and Presentations – Don’t do it!

Posted by Presentation Skills on January 7, 2011

Real Leaders know how to uncover the humour in their message to make their audience laugh.

When speaking to any audience, it is important to build a rapport with them as quickly as possible—and humour can be a great way to make this connection. However, it’s often best to leave the punch-line jokes aside and focus on more subtle types of humour.

It’s a misconception that beginning a presentation with a joke will get the audience on your side. In fact, jokes will fail far more often than they will succeed. There are several reasons for this unfortunate outcome:
• The funniest jokes are usually not appropriate for the work environment.
• Most jokes rely on a victim—and chances are that someone will identify more with the victim than with you. If the audience identifies with you more than the victim they will find the joke funny.  However, there will be people in the audience who identify with the victim and will think your joke is in poor taste.  If there are too many of these people in the audience, the joke will fail.
• Jokes require exact wording, good delivery, and perfect timing.  If you don’t carry off all three of these things, your joke will fall flat and leave you struggling.
• If you are constantly opening with jokes, you will get a reputation for it. You would be better off building a reputation as someone who has something important to say than as someone who cracks jokes.
• If you do happen to find the right joke and deliver it properly and everyone thinks it’s funny, they will probably remember the joke more than what you had to say.  If your joke overshadows your content, it will  prevent you from delivering your message.

Although structured jokes with punch lines are almost always a poor choice for your a presentations, humour is an important aspect of all public speaking presentations.

One type of humour that works well when applied to speeches is situational humour. Situational humour can involve making observations on what is going on around you at that moment. Chances are good that if you find something in your immediate environment is funny, others will too. Situational humour can also be used in the stories that you tell.

Another type of humour that works well in a speech or presentation is self-deprecating humour. In this case, you are the only victim of the joke and no one else is hurt or offended. More than that, self-deprecation shows the audience that you are not taking yourself too seriously and helps them build a fondness and respect for you.

Remember: even though humour can be a useful and fun tool to utilise, it is not required to successfully communicate with your audience. If you know that you are lacking a sense of humour, don’t try and force humour into your presentations—focus on your strengths instead. If you are unsure of whether or not a line is funny, try dropping it into a casual conversation and gauge the reactions—even if it doesn’t meet with laughter, it’s a better option than having a bit of humour flop in the midst of a speech.

Posted in Executive Speaking Skills, Executive Speaking Video, humour in presentations, Politics and speaking, presentation skills, Presentation skills training, Presentation skills training Adelaide, Presentation skills training Brisbane, Presentation skills training Melbourne, Presentation skills training Sydney, public speaking, public speaking courses, public speaking humour | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

Just Because You Can Does Not Mean You Should

Posted by Presentation Skills on June 1, 2010

Last weekend I attended a conference where the presenters would just not stop talking. Each person on the agenda felt they had a duty to congratulate the last and next speaker for the job they had done. Then there were other speakers who to 20 minutes to say what could have been said in 5.

What was the result of this? because there were so many speakers (5 in 20 minutes) the whole event lacked rhythm. We could not settle into the speakers and listen to the message they had. It was like trying to watch TV with the ads coming thick and fast. Those that did have extended times to speak lacked substance and the audience stopped listening.

What is the solution?

Make sure that every person who gets up to speak will add value to the event message and deliver value to the audience. If they don’t add value, do they really need to speak? Just because someone can speak, doesn’t mean that they should. As the great philosopher Groucho Marx put it, ‘Very few sinners are saved after the first 20 minutes of a sermon.’

Cheers

Darren Fleming

Australia’s Corporate Speech Coach

Posted in Business Presentations, Executive Speaking Skills, humour in presentations, Martketing your speaking skills, nervousness, Politics and speaking, PowerPoint, presentation skills, public speaking, public speaking courses, public speaking humour, public speaking tips, Sales Presentations, Toastmasters, Understanding your audience, World Classs Business Presentations | Leave a Comment »

How to Give World Class Business Presentaions

Posted by Presentation Skills on June 4, 2009

When you are speaking, you are selling.

You could be selling your latest widget to your next customer, your ideas to your staff, or selling yourself in your annual performance review. What ever it is, you are selling.

But the reality is the results that you achieve will be a direct result of how well you present your ideas, as opposed to how good your ideas are. The world is full of bad ideas that were sold correctly, while the good ideas die with their creator.

If you want to sell more products, if you want your staff to listen to you, or if you want to be able to get that pay rise, you need to be able to sell your ideas, and sell them well.

Recorded in front of a live audience, in this audio will give you the reasons why you need to:

  • Include stories in your next presentation
  • Control the room from the moment you enter it
  • Why you need to make your very first word interesting
  • Why PowerPoint fails more often than it succeeds…and

The one thing you must remember at the start of every presentation so your audience will listen to you

At just $15, this could just be the best investment you make in your next Business Presentation.

Get it now

Posted in Business Presentations, Executive Speaking Skills, Executive Speaking Video, humour in presentations, Martketing your speaking skills, Network Marketing, presentation skills, public speaking, public speaking courses, public speaking humour, public speaking tips, Sales Presentations, Toastmasters, Understanding your audience, World Classs Business Presentations | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

The New Baby and You

Posted by Presentation Skills on June 1, 2009

Last week I was speaking with a new client and arranging some dates for coaching. I asked how his diary was for early June. He replied, ‘It’s full. My wife is expecting our first baby and I will be very busy. Can we look at a bit later down the track?’

Now being the proud Dad of the 2 most beautiful little girls in the world, I asked him if he knew what he was going to have. He nervously said he didn’t and was feeling anxious about it all. I assurred him, ‘Mark, you are in for the best ride of your life! It’s going to be a lot of hard work, but it will be the best journey that you can possible go on. I hope you have a little girl as they are the BEST presents a Dad can ever have!’

His response to that surprised me. He said that he was glad I had told him that as most people just said that his life as he knew it was going to end. He’d been told that in 20 years he might see some money again – if he could get the kid to move out! He’d been told that all his fun was going to end and was not sure if he really was ready for that. He’d heard this from a number of people.

Now we have all been guilty of spreading this sort of stereotype and generalisations – me included. But have you ever stopped to consider what the impact of this ‘standard response’ is on your audience? Do they fully understand your mindset and background when we pass this type of comment?

When we share our ideas, we do not always know where our audience is and what they are thinking. Potential fears and anxieties (all very natural just before a new baby arrives!) will shape how your message is heard and interpreted. Humour will often fall flat and be totally ignored!

Where possible, learn a little about what is important to your audience and frame your message so they will understand what you are saying. This will give you a greater chance of delivering your mesage in a way that your audience takes it on board and adopts it as their own.

I have not heard if the baby has arrived yet, but will let you know as soon as it comes along.

Cheers

Darren

Posted in humour in presentations, nervousness, presentation skills, public speaking, public speaking humour, public speaking tips, Sales Presentations, Understanding your audience | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

A Presentation is a Lot Like a Marriage…

Posted by Presentation Skills on November 13, 2008

A presentation is a lot like a marriage; you spend a lot of time setting up good intentions and preparing for what you will do; then when you get into it, you end up doing whatever you want.

 

Whilst this may not necessarily be true of marriages, it does highlight the power of the analogy – and that is why you are still reading.

 

Why do analogies work?

 

Analogies work because they draw on a well known topic (a marriage) to explain another (the difficulty of giving a speech). As we can all relate to failed intentions in a marriage (even if it is only a truism!) it highlights how we can have failed intentions in our presentation.

 

Analogies can be drawn between similar objects – ‘The human heart is like the fuel pump in a car”, or dissimilar concepts – “Pupils are more like oysters than sausages. The job of teaching is not to stuff them and then seal them up, but to help them open and reveal the riches within.”

 

The best analogies are those that draw on dissimilar objects to make a point. Using dissimilar objects creates dissonance in our thought patterns and causes us to think more thoroughly about what is being presented. This helps us remember the point. By showing that two dissimilar objects are closely related (marriage and presentations, students and oysters) you break the chain of thought in your audience and plant a new thought.

 

How can you use this today?

 

Consider how you can use analogies to more clearly explain your message. Will an analogy help clarify your point, make it more memorable and cause people to think about what you have said? If it does, then you will change the way your audience thinks, and to having the impact that you are after!

 

Cheers

Darren Fleming

Australian Public Speaking Courses

Posted in humour in presentations, presentation skills, public speaking, public speaking humour, public speaking tips, Understanding your audience | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »

Serious Message? Then Lighten Up!

Posted by Presentation Skills on October 18, 2008

 

Should a serious message—a life saving message—be entertaining? Only if you want it to work!

 

When VirginBlue first started operating, it had a reputation for being a fun airline on which to travel. The most obvious thing that the flight crew did to help keep the flight less boring was to have some fun with the ever dull safety demonstration before take off. They would have lines such as, ‘Don’t smoke in the toilets as there are smoke detectors and cameras watching you’ and ‘life jackets have a light to read by and a whistle for attracting sharks’.

 

Whilst these elements of humour were never going to get the crew invited to appear at the Melbourne Comedy Festival, they did get the passengers attention. Passengers paid attention if only to hear the odd line out.

 

On a recent flight I asked the flight attendant why they no longer used humour in the safety announcements. She said that the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) had directed them to stop adding humour as the safety demonstration was a very important task that everyone needed to be taken seriously.

 

So what has been the effect of removing the humour? We ignore the demonstration and safety message. We know we should listen, but simply could not be bothered. This puts us and all the other passengers at risk ‘in the unlikely event of an emergency’. The safety message is less effective and does not convey the necessary information we need to hear.

 

Advertising companies know this very well. That’s why they spend lots of money trying to come up with funny ads! It helps to grab our attention so we listen to the message.

 

How are you using humour in your presentations? You don’t have to have them rolling in the isle and you certainly should not use jokes. Aim to entertain your audience so they are paying attention long enough to hear what you have to say.

 

Cheers

 

Darren Fleming

Australia’s public Speaking Coach

 

Posted in humour in presentations, presentation skills, public speaking, public speaking humour, public speaking tips, Understanding your audience | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Permission to Speak

Posted by Presentation Skills on July 6, 2008

“I’m not very good at public Speaking, so please bare with me”

How often have you heard a speaker open with this line? Unfortunately it is all too common.

Why is it used?

People use this line as a fall back position, just in case they don’t meet the expectations they think the audience has. They use it to give themselves permission to give a presentation that is less than it could be. They use it so at the end of their presentation they can say, ‘I told you I was not very good at public speaking!’

This type of opening statement is the worst way you can open a presentation. Despite the speakers desire to use it to build a connection with the audience, it prepares the audience to feel sorry for the speaker, and draws their attention to any mistakes they may make. At best it makes the speaker look amateurish; at worst it make the speaker look foolish.

The speaker who opens with this type of line has not given them-self permission to shine. They have not given them-self permission to share their message with those that need it and they have not given them-self permission to have an impact with their audience. Is it any wonder that they don’t give a great presentation?

Before your next speaking event – even if it is just a team meeting – give yourself permission to deliver a great presentation. This does not have to be standing in-front of the room – it can be just from your seat. But give yourself the permission deliver your message in a way that makes a difference. Give yourself permission to share your message in a way that will make a difference to your audience. The benefit will be two fold. Firstly, this will reduce your nervousness amazingly. Once you have permission to perform nervousness will disappear.

Secondly, the audience will be able to benefit from your message. If you have been asked to present some information you obviously have something of value to share. By giving yourself permission to present it, your audience will benefit from your message … and when we speak, isn’t that what you are trying to achieve?

‘Thil next time,

Cheers

Darren Fleming

Australia’s Public Speaking Coach

Just Published Speak Motivate and Lead: How Real Leaders inspire others to follow

Posted in nervousness, presentation skills, public speaking, Public Speaking books, public speaking humour, public speaking tips, Sales Presentations, Understanding your audience | 1 Comment »

Speak Motivate and Lead

Posted by Presentation Skills on July 4, 2008

Do you want to know how to influence others at work? The you need this book. 

How to influence in today’s work place. The

complete guide to speaking as the Real Leader

you are.

 

Learn how to speak to your boss, your staff and your clients so they listen,

 

understand and then take action on what you say.

 

If you are a Section Manager, Sales Manager, or Chief Executive Officer, connecting with your audience and getting your message across is often a challenge. This power-packed e-book is the answer you have been looking for.

 

Here is what the Head of Psychology Services for the Australian Olympic Team (1992, 1996, 2000) and Business Psychologist Graham Winter had to say:

 

“Darren Fleming has created a simple reference guide to the tricky task of getting your message across in a way that doesn’t just inform but actually engages the audience.  The many useful tips will make it a valuable tool for the busy manager and team leader.”

 

Graham Winter, Consultant Psychologist and Director, Graham Winter Consulting.

Head of Psychology Services, Australian Olympic Team (1992, 1996, 2000)

Author of Think One Team, High Performance Leadership and The Business Athlete

Adelaide, Australia

 

In this e-book you will learn:

  • The 5 rules of PowerPoint that must be followed so you don’t send your audience to sleep
  • The 7 rules for Presenting in Boardrooms
  • How to control your nervousness when speaking
  • How to make every person in your audience feel as though you are speaking directly with them
  • How you can make any topic interesting – even statistics training can be interesting!
  • How to use your stories to connect with every person in the room
  • And much, much, much more.

 

Click here to get instant access to Speak Motivate and Lead: How Real Leaders inspire others to follow.

  

“Don’t be deceived by this seemingly thin book (of 34 pages)! It compresses many nuggets of solid speaking advice that will take you years to find in other public speaking literature. No fluff and straight to the point! Oh, and you will feel really good about yourself because you finally get to read a book in one sitting!”

 

Eric Feng,

Public Speaking Coach and Author of The FAQ Book of Public Speaking

Singapore

After reading this e-book you will know how to:

  • Press your audiences’ ‘hot-buttons’
  • Construct your message so people will want to listen
  • How to get the right mental focus for your next sales presentation
  • Connect with your audience in the most powerful way possible
  • Put forward a different opinion and have others buy into it
  • How to use stories to connect with others

 

And all this for just $17!!!

Here is what other speaker and business leaders have said about Speak Motivate and Lead:

  

“Effective and persuasive communication made easy. An insightful guide to motivating by speaking – a must for people who deal with people”

 

John Tindall

MLC Australia

Sydney, Australia

 

Click here to get instant access to Speak Motivate and Lead: How Real Leaders inspire others to follow.

 

In Speak, Motivate, & Lead, Darren Fleming offers a quick but effective look at many areas of public speaking. He includes examples from his personal coaching and speaking, which are effectively mixed with mini-case studies.

He also offers concrete solutions and methods to many speaking situations, including impromptu speaking, handling boardroom meetings, and appropriately tackling humour.

 

A quick read, Speak, Motivate, & Lead is an excellent resource to keep nearby to refer to again and again.

 

Rich Hopkins

Speaker – Author – Coach

Judged in the Top 100 Speakers in the World by Toastmasters International 5 times since 2002. Author of Win Place and Show

http://www.richhopkinsspeaks.com

 

At just $17 it is a great investment in your career.

Click here to get instant access to Speak Motivate and Lead: How Real Leaders inspire others to follow.

  

If you have to stand before any group and motivate them to follow your directions, you need to speak as a real Leader. This e-book will show you how to do that.

 

“The information is concise yet detailed with great examples that illustrate the fundamentals in presentation skills.”

 

Palmo Carpino

Applied Communications Inc

Alberta Canada

OK! Get the e-book now!

Posted in comedy, humour in presentations, nervousness, Network Marketing, Politics and speaking, PowerPoint, presentation skills, public speaking, Public Speaking books, public speaking humour, public speaking tips, Sales Presentations, Understanding your audience | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Arguing with Whiskey

Posted by Presentation Skills on March 17, 2008

Have you ever struggled with how to structure your message so you will get buy-in from your audience? If you are in a management position you will know what I mean. T0 truly get full buy-in from your audience, you need to get inside their heads and understand what they want and what they are thinking.

One of the greatest examples of understanding your audience comes from the 1933 Mississippi Lawmaker Noah ‘Soggy’ Sweat. During the debate about prohibition he was asked for his thougths on Whiskey. This is what he had to say:

If when you say whiskey you mean the devil’s brew, the poison scourge, the bloody monster, that defiles innocence, dethrones reason, destroys the home, creates misery and poverty, yea, literally takes the bread from the mouths of little children; if you mean the evil drink that topples the Christian man and woman from the pinnacle of righteous, gracious living into the bottomless pit of degradation, and despair, and shame and helplessness, and hopelessness, then certainly I am against it.

If when you say whiskey you mean the oil of conversation, the philosophic wine, the ale that is consumed when good fellows get together, that puts a song in their hearts and laughter on their lips, and the warm glow of contentment in their eyes; if you mean Christmas cheer; if you mean the stimulating drink that puts the spring in the old gentleman’s step on a frosty, crispy morning; if you mean the drink which enables a man to magnify his joy, and his happiness, and to forget, if only for a little while, life’s great tragedies, and heartaches, and sorrows; if you mean that drink, the sale of which pours into our treasuries untold millions of dollars, which are used to provide tender care for our little crippled children, our blind, our deaf, our dumb, our pitiful aged and infirm; to build highways and hospitals and schools, then certainly I am for it.

This is my position, and as always, I refuse to be compromised on matters of principle.

This is a classic example of how to structure your message to include certian parts of your audience.

The strength of this speech lies in the listeners opinion. For example, if you are against whiskey then you would love the first half of his speech. If you were for whiskey, then you would hold on to the second part of his speech. But the clever part is that the speech shows the strength of the opposing views. This helps to bring the two sides together.

How can you use this in the workplace?

If you are presenting an argument, consider the opposing sides view. This is often called playing the Devils Advocate. By understanding where you audience is positioned, you will be equipped to present an argument that they will accept and adopt.

‘Til next time.

Cheers

Darren Fleming – Australia’s public Speaking Coach

http://www.executivespeaking.com.au

Posted in comedy, humour in presentations, Politics and speaking, public speaking, public speaking humour, public speaking tips, Understanding your audience | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »