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Public Speaking Course: 

Timing

Timing is completely crucial for you to master during your public speaking course.  It is one of the most important aspects of humor and being a NO ZZZZZs presenter. Not only is timing involved with a single piece of humor, but it's also involved in the timing and placement of that piece of humor in your overall presentation. Timing is also involved in spontaneous reactions to 'planned' unplanned situations during your presentation.

Jack Benny said, 'When you are speaking, timing is not so much knowing when to speak, but knowing when to be quiet.'

He should know, because he delivered one of the funniest and most famous lines in the history of comedy. He was being held up by a robber at gunpoint. The robber said, 'Your money or your life!' Jack didn't speak a word for a pretty long period of time. The robber became impatient and said, 'YOUR MONEY OR YOUR LIFE!!' Jack finally answered, 'I'm thinking.' His persona as a cheapskate, coupled with a long pause indicating he was having trouble deciding whether to give up his money, or die was hilarious.

A pause lets the audience catch up with what you are saying and draw pictures in their mind. It is the audience's signal to imagine - using the word pictures you practice in your public speaking course.

When you tell a joke in public, a pause just before and just after your punch line gives the audience a chance to laugh.

Make sure you do not continue speaking when laughter is expected or you could easily discourage it.

Hold eye contact a bit longer than you think you should when delivering punch lines because time is hard to judge when you are pumped-up for a presentation, yet "pregnant pauses" are another lesson you will learn in my public speaking course.

The size of your audience will also affect your timing. Your presentation will take less time to deliver to smaller audiences. Smaller audiences hopefully will mean quicker laughter.

Conversely, presentations will take longer for big crowds in large public arenas. Your pauses will be longer to compensate for the wave effect created because of the physical distance between you and the back row of the audience.

In using your skills, you go with the flow, but you set the flow in motion, and await a flood of fun and laughter.

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