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Adding Humor to Your Presentation

by Jim Snack


Humor is a valuable tool for establishing a climate conducive to learning in a classroom.  Appropriate and timely humor in your program can foster mutual openness and respect and contribute to overall communication effectiveness.   Humor can take many forms, including:




 funny stories

 humorous comments


 top ten lists

 comic verse

Here are two simple ways to use humor in a presentation: 

  1. To Introduce Yourself - Use a top ten list to introduce yourselves to the participants, "top ten things you should know about your presenter"

  2.  As an ice breaker or to reduce stress and facilitate creativity  - Have participants share their "goofiest moment as a _________."

Keep in mind threee things when you add humor to your program:

 Humor is most effective when it is appropriate to the situation and reflects the personality of the presenter.

 The appropriate use of humor is a powerful tool to build a sense of community, promote creativity, and reduce conflict. Judicious use of humor by the presenter sets people at ease and reduces the inherent inequity of the status relationship

 In contrast, inappropriate use of humor creates a hostile learning environment that quickly stifles communication and self-esteem.




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Copied with permission of the author, Jim Snack


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