We were happy to welcome Jeff Kothe and his lovely wife Tonya to be at our meeting this morning and speak about how to give better presentations. He was duly impressed to see that in the past couple of weeks we had been busy with dictionary “presentations”.

He began with a question for members to ponder: “Where are your presentation skills currently on a scale of 1-10 and secondly, What’s keeping you from being a 10? Some might reply:

  • Stage fright ( over 75% of speakers have it too)
  • Getting and keeping audience attention
  • Bad Power Point slides
  • Lack of confidence
  • A clear path from A to B
  • You don’t consider yourself funny—injecting humor engages and connects us. Adding humor can give you, the speaker, confidence.

Guess what? There are all skills that can be learned.

Jeff used to be terrified of public speaking and now it’s his livelihood to speak in front of groups  -350-400 speeches to audiences from 20 to 400 people. How? He took a class “The Art of Humor”, the final exam of which was a 7 minute performance at a comedy club in front of a lot of people. Terrifying? Yes.  If you can add humor to a presentation, you  appear smarter, there is an endorphin release, your breathing changes when you laugh and you build trust with yourself and your audience.

According to Kothe, the purpose of humor in a  presentation is not to get laughter, rather to get your audience engaged,

When presenting to an audience, they listen to  ore of the message and as a result there is an increase in productivity.

When presenting to a client, they will get better results, they will attain repeat business and obtain more referrals.

Tips for Better Presentations:

  1. Use humor like spice…..sprinkle it in here and there
  2. Intersect worlds…know your audience and make your message relevant
  3. Use stealth humor involving both of those worlds and
  4. Use the technique of listing….Kothe did a demonstration with members coming up with 4 words, further breaking those down either into rhymes or other variations and then inject humor based on the lists,
  5. Try to get the audience to laugh with you and not at you…

In job searching it has been said that 91% of executives search for someone with a sense of humor for management positions. Why?  Their communication styles are far better AND 84% believe that someone with a sense of humor will do a better job. Having humor will increase sales over 14%.

In Essence, Kothe has been doing this work for over 16 years for other companies. His mission is to help people give better presentations with humor and better speakers + better money!

So contemplate the question at the beginning of the presentation: What is keeping you from being a ten ?