How to add humor to your speech—without being a comedian

You may not think you’re a natural, but anyone can learn how to be funny. Just follow these tips.

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While you may not have the desire to do a full on humorous speech, there is no reason why you can’t add some humor to your presentations to mix things up and engage your audience.

This is not to say every speech you deliver should drip with humor. However, the occasional use of humor, whether peppered lightly throughout your presentations or used heavily in the occasional dedicated funny speech, can have a few benefits:

Some people believe you can’t learn to be funny-either you have it or you don’t. From my experience teaching people humor and comedy, I strongly disagree. Humor is a skill you can cultivate and develop.

Below are five things you can do to tap into your inherent humor and add it to your next speech:

1. Identify things that make you laugh.

Chances are there are things that make you laugh—TV shows, movies, books, certain blogs, etc. Pay attention to the stuff you find really funny, and ask yourself, “What is it about these things that makes me laugh?”

Do you like puns, rants, observational humor, slapstick or double entendres? Whatever it is, make note of it. The style of humor that makes you laugh is a good style for you start weaving into your speaking.

Also add more of those things into your life. This will help you in two ways:

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