Do I Need to Tell Jokes in a Presentation?

With her permission, here’s helpful advice from Laurie Schloff, author of *Smart Speaking* and *He and She Talk*:

Yes, go ahead and tell a joke if all of the following apply:

~ Your joke makes sense for the topic and the environment.

~ You can immediately tie in the joke with the larger theme for the presentation.

~ Your joke is simple and short — audiences can’t remember more than three types of guys meeting Saint Peter at Heaven’s gate.

~ Your jokes won’t offend women, Caucasians, Afro-Americans, Protestants, Catholics, Jews, or Seventh-Day Adventists; Republicans, Democrats, or Independents; cat, dog, fish, or bird lovers; people who don’t like jokes, and so forth.

~ You like telling jokes and not just for speeches.

~ Not only that, you’re good at telling jokes, especially for speeches.

Otherwise, don’t tell a joke. Read Schloff’s “suggestions for being jocular without telling a joke.”

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