Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Humor in Presentations

My buddy, Brad Montgomery, good looking guy on the left, made a simple but astute observation: Want to be Funny? Hang with Funny People! Brad is a great comedian and also a fellow Colorado blogger.
Many business presentations don't incorporate any humor-and that's a shame becasue audiences today are demanding great content delivered in a humorous way! The big shift is on. Last week I was talking with an owner of a speakers bureau. He told me that in the future he was going to emphasize speakers who could deliver great content with humor. I was glad to be included in this group-and really couldn't we all use a lot more humor in business presentations? You don't really want to look like Alan Greenspan, on the left, as you are presenting your brilliant sales presentation do you?

Here are some tips to get you thinking about adding some humor to anchor your key points:

1. When you see a cartoon or hear a comic say something, do you laugh out loud-even if you are by yourself? That's a good sign that you may be on to something.

2. Practice your humor attempt on a few folks who won't laugh just becasue you are the boss. Novices tend to step on the punch line so practice until you can snap that baby off!

3. Only use the humor if it anchors a point that you want the audince to take away-otherwise it could distract from your main points.

4. When in doubt-keep your humor short and sweet-don't take 5 minutes to make a humorous point!!

5. Don't tell your audince you are going to humor them-just surprise them with your comic brilliance as you make those fantastic points :)

I will be the first to admit that it is challenging to find clever and concise humor in many business presentations but it's there you just have to dig it out. But if you are humor challenged remember my buddy Brad Montogemey's advice: Hang With Funny People and have them give you some pointers! Good Luck.

Steve Mertz
Did Alan Greenspan Ever Smile??
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Anonymous Chris Kettner said...

A trained professional salesperson uses small talk to try and qualify the prospect and make sure they are indeed a prospect. Real estate agents are notorious for it. They slide in things during the small talk like “Oh, where do you work?”, or “What do you do for a living?”, or “How long have you been doing this?”, that it sounds exciting?

The problem with most sales persons is that they do all the small talking and forget “The Specialist’s” golden rule of sales, you must be a good listener! To the really advanced salesperson the relaxing and qualifying takes but a few seconds even for the most standoffish prospect. What my small talk is about is closing the sale. I am listening and searching for clues on how to close this prospect. What will it take? If I am a good listener the prospect will tell me exactly how to sell them. I have proven that thousands of times in front of trainees and experienced sales persons alike. I also use the small talk to give the prospect time to like me. When I am done with my small talk the sale generally is already closed! The presentation is just a formality.

I have seen countless times the salesperson talk the client out of the sale. Over and over again. I once saw a very nice young couple come onto a car lot and the young wife kept telling the salesperson how her dream since she was little was to have a cute red car. The salesperson showed her everything on the lot BUT a red car. He was too busy “selling” her, his idea of what she wanted instead of picking up on the GIGANTIC KEY she gave him in the small talk! Cute RED CAR! I heard it, her husband heard it…Why didn’t the salesperson hear it? Needless to say he didn’t get the sale.

12:34 AM  
Blogger Mike McQueen said...

Thanks for sharing these tips on adding humour in presentations.

Mike @ Presentation Skills Training
Black Isle Communications

5:32 PM  
Blogger Lara Lang said...

Very useful blog for improvement sales presentation skills.

Sales Presentation Training

2:17 AM  

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