Former biologist Tim Lee takes the stage at TEDx for the second time this year. Lee’s medium of choice: the all too often mind-numbingly boring PowerPoint presentation, but when he unleashes his deck, it’s anything but. Within seconds, the audience is in hysterics of laughter and clapping loudly to show its appreciation … for his PowerPoint. You may be wondering why this has not happened to you.
Lee is one of a growing number of comedians equally at home on a business stage. As the lines between information and entertainment blur, speakers like him are in high demand. (Lee actually has sold out shows where people pay money to see him give PowerPoint presentations. Sounds strange, I know.) Apart from being funnier than most, he has one big additional advantage over regular business speakers: He is onstage way more often.
Comedians’ content and delivery are honed through years of practice as they master their craft. In doing so, they are among the few public speakers that clock up the 10,000 hours Malcolm Gladwell says make a master. It’s forcing regular business presenters to up their game.
With that in mind, here are 23 tips from Lee and other top 10,000-hour comedians for you to become a better and funnier public speaker:
1. Use the Rule of 3
“This rule is a basic structure for jokes and ideas that capitalize on the way we process information,” says Lee. “We have become proficient at pattern recognition by necessity. Three is the smallest number of elements required to create a pattern. This combination of pattern and brevity results in memorable content.”?
2. Draw Upon Your Real-Life Experiences
The safest humor involves personal stories, because they are guaranteed to be original and can be easily practiced and perfected. As Ricky Gervais says, “As a creator, it’s your job to make an audience as excited and fascinated about a subject as you are, and real life tends to do that.”
3. Identify the Key Part and Get There Fast
U.K. comedian Jimmy Carr says, “Writing comedy isn’t really about writing; it’s more about editing. It’s about what you don’t say. What are the fewest words I can get down here in order to get to the funny bit?”
Read more at?INC.