There are 2 types of speakers: funny speakers, and unemployed speakers.
When I first heard that line, I thought “That's a bit harsh!” However, now I'm starting to believe it. Most speakers know how to tell their story. They know how to share their lessons. But many still don't know how to seamlessly use humour to engage and entertain their audiences.
Now I know what you're thinking. “But Kwesi, I'm not trying to be a comedian!” It has nothing to do with that. It has to do with one thing: letting your audience breathe.
Have you ever heard a speech that was so heavy, you felt depressed after? Sure, there was probably a very good message within, but you likely felt a bit “dumped on” emotionally. Ralph Smedley, the founder of the worldwide public speaking organization Toastmasters once said “We learn best in moments of enjoyment”. As listeners, our minds open up when we laugh. Providing moments of levity during your speech is not only acceptable, it is essential.
And no, you don't have to be a comedian. Comedians tell jokes; Speakers uncover humour. Comedians make up lines to make you laugh; Speakers simply reveal the funny moments that already exist within their stories. Comedians write material; Speakers write from experience.
With that being said, let's talk about HOW to find your “funny bone”.