L AUGH TER
MIKE DOMITRZ, CSP,
is on a mission to create a
culture of consent and respect
through The DATE SAFE
Project. Mike is also the host
of the Everyday Mindfulness
Show, a podcast for everyday
life and all its chaos.
BY MIKE DOMITRZ, CSP
The fastest way to break down peo- ple’s barriers so they will engage with you is through a single laugh.
When speaking on a difficult topic, incorporating effective humor is essential for
helping the audience not get bogged down
in too heavy of a mental state. Getting
laughs is not about making you feel like
a rock star or the center of attention. It’s
about them … your audience members.
For the audience members, humor creates a safe place—a space where they can
own their own story no matter how tough
the topic. Here are four dos and don’ts on
using humor with tough topics:
DON’ T try to be a comedian. If you do,
you will be judged as a comedian. Instead,
find moments where your audience naturally laughs. If you say something that 80
percent of the room laughs at, write down
every detail of what created the laughter.
Then repeat it in future speeches.
DO find humor in relatable situations
and make them feel spontaneous. Why
do fifth-graders tell fart jokes? Because
they’ve farted. In my world, even if a
person has never dated, the audience
can relate to a lot of humor about dating
because dating and intimacy can be seen
everywhere in entertainment.
DO listen to the voice on your shoulder.
That voice is usually funnier than your
logical side that organizes and writes your
speech. It may need editing, but it is usually
pretty darn funny.
DON’ T try too hard. Have fun and your
audience will have fun, too.