As long as we’re entering the festive holiday season, let’s talk a bit about the idea of FUN. It’s OK to have some fun when delivering presentations. While we hereby grant you permission to have fun anytime, consider the holiday season as prime time to lighten up in front of your audience.
But, as the great folk singer Jim Post once joked, “But Jim, I can’t have fun. I’m an accountant.”
You don’t always have to be serious when you present. We’ve seen many cases where people get so intense, even frowning as they speak, that they turn off their audience. But good humor and laughter can go a long way, and we all have lighter sides that we’re capable of showing to others—even accountants.
Look at it this way: if someone is attending your presentation, they already assume that you are an expert on your topic. They could be prospects, important professional contacts, or actual clients. You don’t need to go all out to impress them with your knowledge, because the fact that you’re standing in front of them already gives you some status.
People value and appreciate relationships. Your audience wants to get to know who you are, and to feel like they can relate to you as an individual. Having fun during your presentation means sharing what makes you tick—what you like, what makes you laugh, how you approach or balance your work and your life, and why you love what you do. Along the way, they’ll be interested in insights you can share, lessons you have learned, or experiences that have guided you along the way.
Instead of filling your slides with data and statistics, try using funny pictures, or playing the kinds of videos that get millions of hits on YouTube and Facebook. Use quotes from “Seinfeld” or “The Simpsons.” Tell stories about your kids, a famous musician you met, your best golf shot, the turkey dinner you screwed up, or your favorite baseball team.
And smile…often. Your audience will appreciate seeing that side of you.