Ice Breakers and Public Speaking

Ice breakers and public speaking – do you know what I am talking about? When you face the audience you often meet “cold” reception at the beginning of your speech. Your first task is to involve the audience! Most people respond to humour, providing it is:

  • Appropriate to the audience
  • Appropriate to the topic
  • Appropriate to the occasion
  • Original

Acknowledge the Risk When Using the Ice Breakers in Your Public Speaking

Even serious occasions such as eulogies can have stories about the person that are humorous. However, opening any occasion with a joke is a risky thing to do. If the joke does not go down well you have already created a “turn off” for your audience. You probably wish you had not used that joke that you took off from an email that has been circulating. And it takes quite a great speaker to win back an audience once you have lost them. Here I offer you 11 tips on ice breakers and public speaking. Want to improve your public speaking skills – check out my public speaking courses in Melbourne now!

5 Tips on Ice Breakers in Your Public Speaking

  • Establish rapport first, and then crack an original joke!
  • Best jokes are ones that are about something that happened to you and contain a little self deprecation. If it falls a bit flat, use a save line, like, “It was funny at the time.” Or , “I won’t tell that one next time.” And move right on.
  • Keep jokes short and sharp.
  • The most important part of the joke is the punch line. Deliver it very clearly.
  • If your jokes are not raising a laugh, stop telling more and move on with the other material.

More on Ice Breakers in Public Speaking

  • Tell the joke several times to one or two friends before you tell it to a big group. That way you will have had practice saying it and probably get the timing right.
  • Avoid sarcasm and deprecation of others. It usually does not go down well.
  • When in doubt about a joke’s suitability, err on the side of caution. Don’t tell a crude joke in front of a mixed audience that you don’t know, especially if it sexist or racist!
  • Finishing with a joke is also risky. The audience may laugh, but will they get your real message? You can finish with an appropriate funny saying.
  • If the joke requires an accent, get the accent right. If you are taking off a particular voice, make sure the audience still hears the punch line.
  • Don’t laugh yourself. Let them laugh. You just smile and wait till they stop.

If you need to learn more on Ice Breakers in Your Public Speaking – Contact me now!

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