m62 visualcommunications, the global leader in presentation effectiveness, is today urging presenters to exercise caution when using humour in their presentations.
Many presenters and professional speakers deliberately include humour in their conference or sales presentations, in order to make their presentations more interesting for audiences. However, using humour effectively is not easy, and if a joke goes wrong it can have serious repercussions.
The most obvious mishap that could occur is that the audience do not find a joke funny. This can put a significant dent in a presenter’s confidence, particularly if the joke was at the start of the presentation. Recovering from this kind of failure would not only increase the presenter’s nerves, but it could lessen the audience’s impression of the presenter.
A joke could also backfire by unintentionally offending someone, or by distracting the audience too much from the main message. Irrelevant content, whether in the PowerPoint design or in the speech, will lead the audience to thinking about something other than the message, and could make it more difficult for them to remember the more important content later.
Nicholas Oulton, Founder of m62, commented: “While it can be tempting to include a couple of jokes in presentations, this should be done with caution. It is surprisingly easy to offend someone unintentionally, and this will not help a presenter to win an audience over.
“Not only this, but if a joke fails, the presenter loses credibility. This risk is most apparent when jokes have been planned beforehand, as the presenter is often not used to using humour in such a public setting. The more nervous a presenter is, the more likely the joke is to fail; and the worse the repercussions if it does.”
m62 has produced almost 10,000 presentations for clients worldwide, including blue-chip brands such as Siemens, BP and Microsoft. m62 offers a range of services, from presentation skills training to free downloadable PowerPoint templates.
For more information about m62 visualcommunications, call +44 (0)151 259 6262 or visit m62.net.