Ebook: How The Punch Line Impacts Your Speech
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As a professional keynote speaker, you are always looking for that edge to ensure that when you are on stage, you leave a lasting impression. For some, this can be quite a daunting task especially when your subject matter may not be very compelling. However, some argue that no matter what it is, you can always deliver your presentation in a way that makes a powerful impact. And one way to do this is by using a punch line.
The punch line gets its name from the delivery technique used. You must punch the line out a little harder and with a slightly different voice than the rest of the joke. Lean into the microphone and say it louder and more clearly than you said the setup lines. If the audience does not hear the punch line, they are not going to laugh. Just before the punch line you should pause slightly to emphasize and draw special attention to the line. All of this is part of what it means to be a keynote speaker.
After you deliver the line, don't utter another sound. Give the audience a chance to laugh. Words or phrases appended to the climax tend to delay or impede laughter. Until you get some experience, it is really tough to wait. Beginners tend to be afraid that no laughter will come, so they keep going. If you keep talking during this period, you will easily squelch the laughter. As your confidence builds, pausing will become easier and easier. Sometimes waiting the audience out will actually give them a cue to laugh even if the joke wasn't that great. "Public speaking includes emphasis, timing, and silence" says Emily Miller, a writer for the website Keynote Speaker. Deliver the line to one person.
This is an important point in the art of public speaking. When you deliver your punch line, deliver it to one person and one person only. It doesn't matter how large the crowd is, you can look one person right in the eye and deliver your line.As you master the Public Speaking Jobs you learn the person to whom you deliver the punch line is NOT randomly chosen. I deliver punchlines to a person I know is going to laugh. How do I know? I pay attention. That's how I know. It all starts with my pre-program research. If I have spoken to any of the audience members and they were laughing with me on the phone, I'll seek them out before the program soI know where they are sitting. That way I can look directly at them during the program.
Before the program starts, I mingle with the participants, not only to meet them, but to see who is and who is not in fun (mingling with them helps to put them in fun (see the "in fun" article on this website).In addition, I watch the audience when the emcee or program coordinator is talking. This gives me a mental note of the people who are not only having fun, but also paying close attention to the person speaking.Again, knowing your audience is an important part of the art of public speaking.
Watch out for alcohol. Don't be fooled by an audience who appears to be having great fun. It could very likely have been induced by alcohol at their social hour.They may be oblivious to what's happening on-stage.Head nodsAfter you have begun your presentation, another way to tell who to deliver to is by closely watching the audience. Some audience members who are really in tune with what you are saying will nod their head gently in approval. You should have great success delivering to these people.
Speaking includes seeing who is most receptive to your message, to help you lead the others in the audience.Why deliver to the laughers?There are two reasons for delivering your punch line to someone you know will laugh. The most important is that you want that person to be a good example for the rest of the audience. If you direct a punch line or comment to a person in the audience, the other members of the audience will naturally look in that direction. If they see someone laughing, there is a high probability they will laugh too.
If you deliver your line to some sourpuss that hasn't laughed for 20 years the rest of the audience will see an example of someone NOT laughing and they will be negatively influenced.A 1976 study by Antony Chapman and D. S. Wright supports the notion that the lack of laughter or inappropriate laughter (the kind of laughter you would get if you pick on someone or some group inappropriately and they laugh to save face) are inhibitors of laughter.
Being aware of studies on how people react is part of your mastery of public speaking. The second reason for delivering your punch line to someone you know will laugh has to do with confidence. There is little chance that you will get old sourpuss to laugh no matter what you do. If you kill yourself trying and fail, as you probably will, it will knock your confidence level and affect the rest of your performance. Combine this with the fact that you will be ignoring the rest of the audience, who will be watching this person not laugh, and you'll be quickly swinging in the wind. Deliver to the ones that appreciate you! Approval aides confidence, and makes you a master of public speaking.