9 tips from comedians to rock your next presentation

One of the best ways to capture and keep your audience’s attention is to pepper some humor into your presentation. Here’s how to do it.

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The lines between business and comedy are beginning to blur. Attention spans are shorter than ever, and people want data delivered with a punchline. Venture capitalists want to invest not in your company, but in your story. How you tell it makes all the difference. Here are tips from the world of stand-up comedy to help your message, presentation, and company stand out from the noise. 1. Craft a story. A good story lives forever. Maya Angelou said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Make a list of funny stories that you love to tell to friends, colleagues and family. Pick your favorites and write them down. 2. Find the funny. Identify the funny parts of your favorite stories, and take out as much as you can. As Shakespeare said, “Brevity is levity.” You want to get to the joke as quickly as possible. Cut words that don’t make a difference. List the problem your product or research solves on both a general and specific level. Your aim should be to link your presentation topic to your stories, observations and experiences. 3. Apply joke structure to your stories. Apply basic joke structure to your best stories:

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