One of the most desirable and endearing traits of a great leader is a good sense of humour.

Not only does it leverage your persuasive power by captivating your audience, it also increases your likeability and allows your audience to buy into you.

You have a GREAT message- and even if you think it’s quite a serious one – adding humor to your presentation gives your audience a chance to know you better and they will definitely want to hear more from you once they connect with you. Interesting facts mixed with a pinch of humor and surprise can win you fans.

Don’t try to “add” humor. When you do, it feels “forced”. Instead, “uncover” humor. There are always seeds of humor in your story. You just need to know how to uncover them.

Here are four techniques you can use to uncover humor:

  1. Dialogue

A well-told story is something that will stick in your audience’s mind for years to come. You can do this by creating dialogue between the characters in your story.  Characters are at the heart of any story. Their fortunes and misfortunes are what make people connect with them – and therefore with you.

There are 3 types of dialogue to weave into your presentation:

  • Character to character dialogue: This is the most common type of dialogue. Give your characters some funny lines. Taking an example from one of my stories, I say to my daughter as I try to put my old suit on,“ahm… I think mommy’s suit shrunk”.

My daughter says “no, mommy’s tooshie got bigger!”

  • Projected dialogue: verbalizing what your characters might be thinking or feeling.

Another example from the same story.  When the dessert was served, a waiter flashes me a smile, AS IF TO SAY “go ahead, the time to cheat is now!!” Now, this character may not even be thinking that. But that’s how I interpreted it from the look on his face.

  1. Use the Rule of 3

The rule of 3 comes from the principle that when you present ideas in 3s, they are inherently more interesting, more enjoyable and more memorable. When you present ideas in 3’s – first 2 in the same pattern, but the 3rd has a twist.

For example:

It was a trip of my lifetime. I had everything I needed in my suitcase.
Hot bikini.

When you use the rule of 3 to uncover humor, be very careful that the first two items clearly establish the pattern you’re setting up. You don’t want the audience to have to work to make the connection.

The way in which you deliver your three points is important too.  Experiment using different tones and speed – try saying it fast, try saying it slowly but with more emotion, try rushing through the first two and slowing down for the last one.

  1. Use Non-Verbal Communication

I talked about the importance of non-verbal communication is my last blog. It carries as much weight as the words you use.

Pay attention to your facial expression and your voice (pitch, pace, volume). This is why it’s so important to run through your presentation with a Presentation Coach because there is often a disconnect between how you think you’re coming across and what’s actually being received by the audience.

  1. Analogy

Analogies serve as visual representations for the audience to help them relate to your content.

Let me give you an example.

When I was struggling to give up my “ex-boyfriend” once and for all.  I used the analogy of a chocolate cake that was completely irresistible.  No matter how hard I tried, this chocolate cake kept tempting me in and no matter how unhealthy it was, I still wanted it.

I know too much chocolate cake is bad for you. But it so tempting, like a bad boyfriend. He is so bad, that he is so irresistible….

Now, the audience don’t know my ex-boyfriend, but they understand the temptation of a chocolate cake – so my analogy was instantly relatable.


So there you have it.  4 techniques that I’ve used time and again in my business presentations because they WORK.  EVERY TIME.

If you need help uncovering humor in your presentations, book a FREE Discovery call with me and let me help you identify some sweet spots that I know will get your audience to buy into you and engage with you more.




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