Marshall Chiles loves comedy, education, and business… but not always in that order. He is a professional international comedian who has owned comedy clubs and festivals around the country. He combines his 20+ years of entrepreneurial success and 14 years of standup comedy experience to inspire and help businesses apply more comedy & humor to their culture and communications. Currently, Marshall is living in Atlanta and is available for talks, workshops, interviews, and parole hearings.
In this interview, Marshall talks about his book, Your Presentation is a Joke.
Geetesh: Is humor serious business, or is it not?
Marshall: Yes, being funny is serious business… there is a saying… if I had more time, I would have written less. To be able to create funny, you need to have brevity. This means you have to put time into your work in order to be good at being funny. But there is some low hanging fruit that makes it easier to add funny to business and sales presentations.
Geetesh: Marshall, can you tell us about using humor in presentations?
Marshall: The audience does not remember what you say, they remember how you made them feel. When you make someone smile or laugh, you make them feel good. So they are naturally attracted to the person who made them feel good. One of the tricks is to not use too much “funny” in your presentations because you are not there to be a comedian, you are there to persuade people to take action or change their beliefs. In 1977, Dr. Jim Lyttle published a multi-year, multi-university study about why humor works. He concluded, “Humor increases persuasion’s effectiveness.” So using humor in your presentations increases your persuasion over that audience.
Geetesh: Please tell us more about your book, Your Presentation is a Joke—what inspired you to write this book?
Marshall: The information started out as what I taught newbie comedians in my comedy class I taught for 10 years. When I started working with executives helping them put humor in their presentations, I adjusted the content for business presenters. And then from there, I wrote a book to show that I am an expert at what I do. Then come to find out, my book is the only book on humor in presentations that actually has a methodology teaching step-by-step on how to add the funny. I launched the book a couple of months ago and already have over 50 5-star Amazon reviews… and four of those people, I don’t even know. From the feedback in the marketplace, I have edited the content again for sales people can call it “Your Sales Presentation is a Joke: Using Humor to Maximize Your Sales.”
Geetesh: What is the biggest takeway for readers of your book?
Marshall: “Humor increases persuasion’s effectiveness”… and you can start doing it now if you apply what is in my book.
Used with permission from Marshall Chiles