Public Speaking – 3 Reasons Why Telling Jokes Could Be a Fatal Mistake When Marketing a Business

Public speaking presents many opportunities for solo professionals and small business owners to market your business. You’ve probably heard the following:

“Always start off with a joke.”

“Make ’em laugh and you’ll have your audience eating out of your hand.”

So goes the conventional public speaking wisdom. One of my favorite professional public speakers, Tom Antion, has recently been blogging about ways to successfully use humor in your speeches. But what if you’re not a professional speaker and don’t want to be? What if you’re just a regular small business owner or solo professional who wants to market your business using the most powerful and effective method for getting new prospects and clients in a hurry? Do you have to market your business and be funny, too?

Using humor in your speeches inappropriately can backfire so fast you’ll not only lose your audience, you’ll lose your credibility, and along with it all chances at enjoying the many positive benefits that go along with using public speaking to market you business. Here are three reasons why you would not want to use humor in your speeches to market your business:

1. You’re Just Not Funny

Ouch, sorry. But this one is obvious. If you’ve never been accused of being funny in your life, you only remember the punch line to one joke (and it’s the knock-knock banana / banana / orange joke that kids learn in Kindergarten), and you don’t “get” most of the email jokes that your friends send you… well, I hate to break it to you, but you may have been born without a funny bone. While you may appreciate good humor and enjoy a chuckle with the rest of the world, you may not be able to come up with your own humorous material or deliver jokes others have written. And that’s ok. Not everyone was born with Letterman’s wit or Ellen’s timing. I’ve seen many wonderful speakers marketing their businesses and getting the results they wanted without a joke in sight.

2. You’re New to Public Speaking

If you never before delivered a speech to a live audience except maybe that Shel Silverstein poem you had to memorize back in the sixth grade, you might want to avoid telling jokes in your first few speeches to market your business. Trying to remember all the points of your speech, the organization you planned, your special offer, getting your visual aids to work right, and connecting with the audience in a meaningful way is plenty to focus on without trying to remember to be funny, too. Give yourself a break. Unless you regularly use humor as a way to relieve tension and make others feel comfortable in your everyday life, don’t try to insert comedy as part of your speech just because you heard it was a good idea. Get the details down first and after you have a few presentations under your belt, if you feel comfortable, try adding humor where it fits.

3. You Haven’t Practiced Your Speech with a Live Audience

You risk a couple of unsightly outcomes in this case. First, what’s hilarious to you may not be one bit funny to someone else, especially if you’re not familiar with your audience. If you haven’t practiced in front of a kind, but constructively critical audience, you could be missing the humor mark. The second possible problem could be if the audience does laugh. How is that a problem? If you don’t have experience with a live audience laughing at your jokes while you are presenting, you could have some trouble. What if they laugh at something you didn’t intend to be funny? That could throw you off. You might be surprised that people are laughing and your nonverbal reactions could be telling. Then how do you know how long to stop for the laughter? Or when to keep going? Or if you should get carried away telling more jokes because you’re really doing great? Yikes. Where does that leave your marketing?

Don’t lose sight of the reason you are presenting in the first place: you want to market your business to get more prospects, more clients, and more cash flow. Being entertaining does have it’s place, but you can still deliver a powerful and successful presentation and get the results you want without having to feel like you’re a stand-up comic. Pay attention to the big details of your speech, provide the audience with valuable and useful information, and you’ll be well on your way to effectively marketing your business with public speaking.

Offensive Humour Can Hurt Your Business

Sometimes one person thinks that something is funny but another person thinks the exact same thing is totally unacceptable and offensive. Because of this, it is very important that you are careful about what you say and the type of joke you might want to tell other people.

Have you ever been in a group of people when someone tells a joke that not everyone laughs about? It can be very uncomfortable, especially if you look at the face of the person or people who are not laughing. They might not say anything in response but their body language leaves little doubt that they did not appreciate the joke. Following are some things are you, as a business person, are likely best to avoid joking about:

1. Ethnicity – This is one of the most sensitive areas as most jokes are very degrading and disrespectful of the group that is being talked about. In fact, there are a number of slang words that are used to describe ethnic groups in a derogatory manner. Do not find yourself caught using these words or even stereotyping about ethnic groups.

2. Religion – Everyone is entitled to have beliefs and these should not be put down or treated in any disrespectful manner. Culture and religion are usually closely connected. There are therefore times that when you attack either, the person will be offended.

3. Sex or sexual activities – Making fun of a person’s gender or using crude language to describe sexual acts can be extremely uncouth. Most people are very private about their sex lives and may laugh about something you say thinking that this is polite but, at the same time, be uncomfortable.

4. Disabilities – It doesn’t matter whether it is a physical or mental disability, the fact that you are laughing about it shows that you do not recognize the uniqueness of humans or know how to show respect for others.

I decided a long time ago that it is best not to tell any jokes because they usually are told at the expense of another person. I also try to change the subject if I am with people who start telling jokes – before something is said that is inappropriate. There are many, many things that can be said regarding ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual activities or disabilities that will be negative about other people. It is therefore important that, as a business person, you stay away from hurting others and also risking your reputation.

When I was in university, there was a professor who was so intelligent but he swore in almost every sentence. At the end of the course I was alone with him for a few minutes and asked if I could give him a little advice. He agreed and I said “You are an amazing person who is so successful but you swear so much that it cheapens your act!” He seemed surprised by this but thanked me for my opinion. Sometimes people who are very professional in some areas cheapen their act by telling jokes.

Subscribing to Receive Funny Jokes: The Simple Way to Stay Healthy

If your day to day routine does not leave space for relaxation, you need to alter it. After all, all work and no fun is the perfect remedy that spells disaster for your health, doesn’t it? Well, with the increasing dominance of global business scenario, the work is only set to increase. So, it is up to you to steal those moments from a packed day and manage to de-stress yourself. When it comes to de-stressing, the easiest way to do so is to enjoy funny jokes. Yes! Reading funny jokes can make you laugh and also improve your sense of humour.

For those who don’t believe us, here is how funny jokes can help you lead a stress-free life

1. Reduces the risk of depression: You may find it hard to believe but funny guys are less likely to be depressed as compared to the serious folks that spend most of their life battling with an overload of work.

2. Your efficiency increases: Now, this is one reason, your boss wouldn’t be against you reading laughable jokes even when you are in the office. Research has proved that laughable jokes make you laugh and this laughing automatically relaxes the body. The result is that you are able to handle the pressure situations at work in a better way.

3. It takes you out of the box: When you hit a wall while searching for new ideas, the simplest way out of the situation is to relax your mind with funny jokes. As the jokes make you laugh they also divert your mind from the problem encouraging it to think differently.

How to look for funny jokes?

Now that we have told you about the advantages of enjoying funny jokes, the next obvious step is to figure out how to get them. Given the multitude of options that we have today, looking for laughable jokes is easy. You can conveniently subscribe to a popular funny jokes website and guarantee your daily supply for free. Most of these subscriptions simply ask you to register your mobile number so that the jokes can be sent through SMS.

Share it with others!

As a goodwill gesture, you must share the funny jokes with others in your contact list. This will help to pass on the joy of laughter. Additionally, it comes with a positive feeling of helping others to get rid of their daily stress.