A friend recently mentioned to my daughter that, “ when your dad gets up to speak and he has a little smile on his face, I know he’s going to tell a joke.” Hmmmmmmm, I didn’t know I was so predictable. In truth, often I don’t plan on telling a joke, but it just “pops out”.
Nevertheless, there are reasons for saying something lighthearted when we speak. One reason is that we live in such a serious time with so much “gloom & doom” that people need to laugh. Laughter can be “good medicine”, that can take our focus off our problem… it seems to chase away the gloomy spirit. I generally feel better after a good laugh. Now, hopefully we have something of substance to speak after the humor…something that can help us live our life in Christ more effectively.
Another reason to start with a bit of levity is to get people’s attention ….. before we present the “substance” of what we want to say. If you give the “bottom line” before everyone is listening, than it is often missed. That’s happened to me before.
Sometimes a bit of levity in the midst of a presentation can allow the listeners to “catch their breath”. I find that some speakers don’t give you a break during their presentation….”one bombshell after another.” I have trouble keeping up. I believe it’s good to take a short break during an intense workout….”okay, take 5”…. get a drink of water…..humor can be that break.
With all of that said, you can overdo it. Too much humor often isn’t that funny and the main point of the presentation can be lost. I’ve done that before also. So, when humor is used as a bit of “seasoning or flavoring”, it can be very helpful to the final product. Like everything else, we need to ask the Lord to show us “what and how much humor to put in the pie”. Sometimes the situation demands no attempts at humor…other times, a fair amount.
It’s also good to have a few trusted friends to give you feedback. Sometimes we may not know how a talk went or how the humorous interludes went. Recently I asked my wife if the humorous comment I had just made to her was funny…she answered, “I never thought that was funny”. Wow, that knocked me back. Nevertheless, it was good to hear so I could make sure I didn’t keep repeating what turned out to be a “stupid comment”.
So, this is a different kind of BLOG…. an “instructional BLOG”…. or at least HOPEFULLY instructional. Going against my normal pattern, let me end with a joke that is traveling the Senior Circuit.
“I want to die while asleep like my grandfather, not screaming in terror like the passengers in his car.”
Check: FUNNY_____ NOT FUNNY_____