Humour can be a very powerful tool in presentations; it can cut through the boredom and lighten the mood. It is also a very good way of making a point in a thought provoking way. However, like all powerful tools, it can be very dangerous. Not everybody finds the same things funny and some people can be offended. So, here are a few pointers as to the use of humour. But the best advice we can give is to get other people’s feedback to the jokes before giving your first presentation.
1. Most people giving presentations are not professional comedians. Therefore keep it simple.
2. Be careful of linguistic problems. In other words, keep it even more simple if not everybody speaks the language you are giving the presentation in as a first language.
3. You can play with words. Speaking to a room of pharmaceutical executives “I never thought that drug dealers could be so charming!”
4. Exaggeration. “I know that you are all “dying” to listen to me”.
5. “Don’t worry this presentation will be only 3 hours long…”
6. One that laughs at the industry: “A miracle drug is one that has now the same price as last year”.
7. A relevant quote “Good medicine always tastes bad.” – Ron Hall.
8. Show “the wrong slide by mistake”. This can be very funny as unexpected.
9. A joke or story. “I remember when…” or “A Romanian, French and English pharmacist met at…”
10. You can also use visual jokes.