Have you ever attempted to give some kind of a joke,
for example at the beginning of a presentation, only
to have it fall on what seems like terribly deaf ears?
You are not alone. Depending on the context or the
particular audience to which the humor is directed,
very different results can occur.
Suppose you are in a very stuffy business meeting
with very formal attire and a strict adherence to
the protocol of the day. In this instance, you would
be shooting yourself in the foot if you were to attempt
any kind of low-brow or slapstick jokes of any kind.
It simply will not work because of the fact that everyone
in the audience is already in a very tense frame of
mind and nobody will want to seem unprofessional by
laughing or encouraging the joke teller.
On the other hand, let's assume you are giving a
talk to members of a kindergarten class. Would this
be the appropriate time to try out some of your most
sophisticated, dry humor? Of course not. Instead try
to relate to the children with some jokes about toys,
food, or parents. That will have those little kids
rolling on the ground laughing in no time flat. And
you'll get a superb ego boost as well.
What about in the middle of the spectrum? Balance
is the key. Don't forget to judge for yourself whether
or not your particular audience is right for lower
or higher kinds of jokes and comedy.
Julie Hopkins enjoys research.
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