How to Captivate an Audience with Laughter
No matter what group I’m speaking to or what program I’m giving, I always start off with 5 to 10 minutes of non-stop comedy. Why? Because nothing can captivate an audience and hold their attention more than “The Power of Laughter.”
As soon as the laughter starts I can actually feel the tension in the room dissipate. The energy level is cranked and everyone is primed for a good time and a great learning experience. We are living in an age where the attention span of the average audience is about 30 minutes out of a 60 minute span. To make matters more challenging, audience members are tweeting, texting, e-mailing and even answering their cell phones during a presentation. Unless a speaker has some kind of entertaining quality, they run the risk of loosing their personal connection with the audience.
Laughter isn’t the only way to engage and captivate an audience. But I believe it happens to be the most powerful way. Nothing can make people feel good and grab their attention more than laughter. Not even sex. And this is coming from someone of the male gender. What I mean is that, to most men sex is like pizza. When it’s hot, it’s great. When it’s cold…it’s still great. But I digress. A physiological and mental reaction takes place when you laugh. Laughter charges your inner battery and helps you cope with tough times. Laughter is an instant mind-shift that comes from a higher part of you. It has a soothing quality that can lift your spirits and instantly break down barriers that can otherwise stand between a speaker and the audience.
Let’s face it, people love to laugh and they love people who can make them laugh. This is where “the-trust-factor” comes into play. In other words, if they like me they will trust me. This gives me the opportunity to gradually weave my message in and around the laughter. Through the guise of humor I teach people the skills they need to get to a better place at work and in life. Here’s the big pay off: my ability to make the audience laugh not only helps me to hold their attention, but also aides in them enjoying the entire process. Studies have shown if you are having fun as you learn you will ingest more information. As one of my clients said, “Never has my group laughed so hard and learned so much in one sitting! Thanks for the ride!”