This is an essay on using humor in presentations. When to and when not to. Icludes examples of healthy humor and unhealthy humor.

Essay by lolliegagindeUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, May 2004

download word file, 3 pages 5.0 1 reviews

Downloaded 88 times

"Humor is the best entertainment you can add to an event, because it relaxes people and makes them realize that the whole world isn't coming to an end after all. The use of humor, at the right time with the right inflection, can be extremely effective." (Page 611 Para. 3) The question is when is the right time? According to Using Microsoft® PowerPoint® 2002 (Custom Edition), opening lines are not the best place for humor. Rather the opening line, structure the key issues around the jokes. Using this principle, the humor offsets the serious tone of the subject. This is especially helpful when the audience is required to attend, or not looking forward to the subject of the presentation or just

the presentation itself. However in an article found within this site:, it recommends using humor in your introduction, stating "Your introduction as a presenter can be a great way to set the stage for your message."

I don't believe the placement of humor is as important as the type of humor used. Clifford C. Kuhn, M.D. explains the difference between healthy and unhealthy humor,, "Unhealthy humor usually has a victim. It plays on the differences between people, perpetuating ignorance and prejudice. As such, it has a divisive, often malicious, spirit. The laugh produced by this kind of humor is likely to be out of anxiety. Healthy humor, on the other hand, is drawn from our common experiences-frustrations, fears and triumphs. It emphasizes the ways we are alike, increasing understanding and empathy. Its spirit is one of acceptance and support. In healthy humor we laugh with, not at, one another. The laughter produced by this kind of humor is from the recognition that we are all in the same boat and not as isolated as we sometimes...