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Public Speaking Using Comedy

Have you ever felt nervous, scared, or angry speaking in front of people? Have you ever wondered how stand up comedians can do it? Have you ever suffered stage fright when speaking to a few people or panic giving presentations to large groups? Most of us have experienced this. Even people in the public speaking industries, stand up comics and others who speak in front of strangers or even people they know, may suffer from anxiety. Comical techniques that comedians use when they are on stage can really help people that are quite shy and have never been the class clown! Did you know the biggest fear for many people is public speaking! Followed by being burned alive! That means more people would rather be on fire than have to give a public speech. It is an epidemic that impedes people from feeling comfortable in social situations to lost business deals because they do not feel relaxed giving presentations.

Below are a few helpful hints to assist when speaking to others …

Flee Your Fear of Failure – This is the main reason most people suffer from "clamming up" when they are in a social situation or giving a speech. They are worried they might mess up, not live up to other's expectations or just feel scared and plain nervous. This is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you think you are going to mess up … well, guess what, you might. You know you are going to fail … you will. Many times when comedians are up on stage, there may be well over 100 people watching, staring, and waiting for it. Well, they do mess up, forget the punch line (usually very important to a comic), stutter over words, or the joke just simply fails (which they wrote, so that's another burn to the ego). Learn to take your mess up and make a joke out of it. Say sarcastically, "Well, I will not use that joke again" or "Hey, that was new, you better start laughing" or if the joke bombs, say, "Let me start over; maybe you could not hear me "He said. Your audience usually starts to laugh because they know you are human, but continue to joke about it and people think it is funny. They actually will like you better because of it. The point is, little mess ups occur, but you should not use all of your energy to dwell on it. Instead, make it work, and it could be better than your original plan. Remember, as you are speaking, you are in control. People assume you know what you are talking about and that you are a success at what you do. You should never fear that people would say that you are a bad speaker. People really only say this about speakers who are monotone or boring.

Making Jokes – If you decide to make jokes, do not use what we call in the industry "hack jokes". They have already been heard, the topic is old, etc. Make a comment about the obvious old building. (ie "If the ceiling does not fall down, I will explain how to …"). It is not hilarious, but it is an icebreaker and the reason you are reading this is to make yourself feel more comfortable in a public speaking format. Another example would be if the building is extremely cold, you could say, "It's so hot in here; someone needs to turn on the AC". If you have someone who is not responding to you, shaking his head, rolling her eyes, or mumbling, ask them a question or see if they have a comment. If they speak up and ask a question or contradict what you say, hear them out and then explain in a little more detail. They most likely will not ask again, considering you embarrassed them in front of a group of their peers.

Bottom line, you are human and like anything else, learning the proper skill-set will take some time and effort.


Source by Sara Stanley

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