6 public speaking lessons from the White House Correspondents’ Dinner

The commander in chief recently won favor for his entertaining remarks and jokes at the star-studded event. Here’s what you can learn from him.

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The “nerd prom,” as it’s affectionately known, is a premier party for politicians (such as Bernie Sanders), journalists (such as Don Lemon) and celebrities, including Bill Nye, Tom Hiddleston and Kendall Jenner.

It’s a tradition for comedians to roast the commander in chief at the dinner—and the president always delivers a few punch lines as well. Though you might never get your hands on an invite, communicators can glean insights for their next presentation or interview.

Here are six takeaways from the star-studded event:

1. Use humor.

Everyone likes to laugh.

The audience appreciates it when presenters incorporate humor into their remarks and can poke fun at themselves—and President Barack Obama didn’t disappoint. Though he took comedic jabs at others, he also skewered himself, from a reference to his birth certificate to his so-called “mom jeans.”

His remarks were so witty that NPR gave Obama the title of “class clown” of the nerd prom. You might not be vying for the same title, but making your audience laugh will probably net you positive feedback.

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