So many of my clients are dying to use their humor in their presentations. “People tell me I’m a funny guy!” is what I often hear. And, yes, humor is an important and even life-saving speaking device at times. However, it can also be a crutch.
For some of us, nailing a punch line is fun and easy and keeps us safe. Giggles from the audience feel great. They mark engagement and provide a kind of feedback that is almost addictive. But every strength has a weakness, and every weakness has a strength.
In my coaching, I’ve seen the strength of humor become a weakness when it begins to undermine your message. When you use humor to stay on the surface and to relieve tension where tension is required for us to truly understand the message. So, great…you’re funny.
But what else in your range can you draw on as a tool for taking us on a journey with you on stage? If humor is your go-to speaking technique, it will be worth your time to explore the opposite end of the spectrum to see what new strengths you can build that will inevitably have their own weaknesses. Figure those out. Then we’ll talk.