🪶 Crafting Lightness into Serious Presentations: A Speaker's Guide

Ft. Julie Lythcott-Haims

Julie Lythcott-Haims is a magnetic speaker. Not the word you typically use to describe a speaker who is giving a talk on a contentious subject like how to be a better parent. But she understood that…

🗿 Heaviness needs humour 🤭 

Let me explain.

As thought leaders, a big part of our job is to challenge the status quo.

It’s not just about highlighting the norms that need to change, but also getting the audience to care about them.

*Cue a hugely passionate speech about the problem that sucks the life and energy from our souls.* 😫

We are very good at telling our audiences what’s wrong with the world. We can get so caught up in the act of it, we miss critical opportunities for connection.

The secret ingredient?

Unexpected moments of joy and humour.

As Julie Lythoctt-Haims demonstrates not once, but twice in this clip. The first takes just 24 seconds… 🍿

3 things to take away from Julie’s clip:

  1. Use the element of surprise to break the tension ✂️
    Two words were all it took to change the energy of the whole room… ‘Hell no!’ Saying it the way she did, Julie revealed another side of her character which enabled us to connect with her.

  2. Humour doesn’t diminish our important points 🔥
    There’s a misconception that by being funny at the climax of your point, you’ve undone all your hard work. Not true. Why? Because within a second of breaking the tension, she builds it back up again.

  3. Use ‘playful incongruity’ to make your audience laugh 🤭
    ‘Love and chores…’
    …not two things we expect to be paired with one another. And that’s the point. When we’re anticipating one thing and given another, laughter is the result!


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