How to use humor when you aren't funny!

I am not a funny person. But I have worked very hard to add humor into my presentations. In this entry you’ll learn 3 tips for incorporating humor into presentations.

I still smile when remembering the first time someone came came up to me after a seminar program and said “I really loved your program; I especially enjoyed your quirky humor!”

I felt like I had finally “made it” (and I was beaming for a week after that seminar!). It was the compliment that I had been waiting for. I had spent years working on this particular presentation skill (and still do) and it was the first time someone mentioned that the humor helped them to enjoy the program.

In a effort to help you understand how you can add humor to your presentations, I will try to occasionally add humor here too. For my first “humor” post, I decided to include this tongue-in-cheek look at “How to Write a Scientific Paper” written by E. Robert Schulman.

I am demonstrating three very important rules regarding presentation humor:
1) You don’t have to be a naturally “funny” person to include humor in presentations. Just look on the internet for something funny that somebody else already created and use that! Just remember, to give them credit.

2) Always make sure the humor is related to your topic and your audience.

3) Use humor like you would a spice in cooking. A good spice will liven up the meal, but not be overwhelming. The same with your use of humor. One or two small humorous elements in a short presentation will be enough to make it more interesting and enjoyable.

Oh, I should mention, Schulman’s article was originally printed in the magazine “Annuals of Improbably Research” which focuses on research that makes you laugh and think. Another resource to bookmark in your science humor folder?

There is 1 comment .

Eric Schulman

I’m glad you liked my How to Write a Scientific Paper. You might also enjoy my other science humor at

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