When humor goes wrong

Sometimes a joke or story may not go over the way you’d planned. Oh no, you just want to die or, at the very least have a big hole open up and you can just disappear into the centre of the earth!

Humor doesn’t always go the way you thought it would. The delivery didn’t work, the audience is inattentive or a heckler yells out the punch line. 

My most important tip is – not to show the disappointment on your face.

If it’s obvious that your joke or story didn’t work then you can always say “I thought that was going to be funny………..but obviously I was wrong” this can sometime elicit a laugh on its own, as it helps to release the tension that was built up from the failed attempt.

Every speaker will experience a “dud”, it’s how you handle the experience that separates the good speakers from the less experienced ones. 

My second most important tip is – be confident and continue on with your presentation as if nothing had gone wrong.

Humor can take a little bit of time to get right, but when things go well, you’ll feel on top of the world.

Keep speaking – Carrol

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One Response to “When humor goes wrong”

  1. Dr. Jim Anderson Says:

    Been there, done that. The one thing that can save you is if you spend just a few moments before your speech thinking about what you will say if your humor does not work. This doesn’t take that long and it can be a real life saver. One of my favorites (and I’ve had a lot of practice at this) is to stop, look at the audience without saying anything for a minute, and then say “Well it didn’t work last time so I’m not all that surprised that it didn’t work this time!”.

    Corey: ah, the theme. This always seems to be the hardest part of creating slides. I guess that it’s because it is were having some artistic talent sure would come in handy! Oh well, I agree with your suggestion to keep it simple – let the audience focus on the slide content, not so much on the theme!

    – Dr. Jim Anderson
    The Accidental Communicator Blog

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