Remove the ‘ta-da’ moment
If you tell people you’re going to tell a joke, it puts pressure on them to find it funny and pretend to laugh or else just stare at you. It’s much better to disguise the humour and make it more part of your personality. If you haven’t telegraphed that there’s supposed to be a joke in the first place then, even if no-one laughs, no-one feels uncomfortable.
Tell a story
You want people to invest in your message so tell a story about which they are keen to hear the next part. Set the scene, introduce characters and think about what the resolution is or might be.
Practice and prepare
No-one ever got good at anything without practice. Knowing what you’re going to say is key if you’re going to get rid of your nerves. If I’m doing something new, I still practice in front of people I know and get their feedback. They might tell me if there’s something they don’t understand or if something doesn’t work.
Image: Jason Roberts