Informative public speaking is no laughing matter. A professional lecturer consummately honors the audience’s hard-earned money by remaining earnestly fixated strictly on the most personally moving, informative content. May your stoicism never falter. Your allotted time on stage is no place for jokes.

Be ‘serious’. Refusal to allow your audience a lighthearted moment during your talk won’t captivate them with your unbroken intensity. Quite frankly, it will identify you as a colossal bore with a heart colder than an iceberg and all emotional relatability of table salt. Come on, now. Put yourself in their shoes: how far out of your way would you go to have a long chat at a casual get-together or relaxing private dinner if you knew every word would be laced with nothing less than the most desperate gravitas?

You would invent a dozen unheard-of grandparents to suddenly mourn every time you needed an excuse to skip any occasion when you might have to talk with such an individual for five minutes. Your audience’s investment in what you have to say depends intrinsically in your ability to bond with them as a fellow human being first and foremost. Here’s a fun fact: most human beings are not innately excited by the prospect of being moved to sigh, wring their hands and furrow their brows for up to an hour or so straight. They laugh. They smile. They experience a wealth of human emotions beyond weighty contemplation.

In short? Lighten up. If you haven’t expanded your repertoire of polished presentations to include an easier-going topic or two, this is your chance to broaden your appeal and even connect with the lighter facets of everyday life. Here are a few ideas to motivate & inspire you at your next public speaking event.

Pets

The Trials Of Training A Dog

Teaching a canine to live in harmony with your household isn’t entirely different from raising a child. There’s plenty you can teach a pooch to make it a hospitable, loyal companion who respects you and your home. Then there are those things dogs seem to ‘teach’ themselves that makes you long to spend a day wandering their thoughts, just out of curiosity.

Do We Own Cats, Or Do Cats Own Us?

Dogs are usually grateful creatures who live to be loved by their humans. Cats, on the other hand? A cat is an immensely chill, furry roommate who often doesn’t care when or how we come and go, as long as the food and water remains readily available. Affection? Companionship? Those things are meted out on their terms. To them, we are freakishly massive fellow cats with strangely little fur and about one-tenth their dignity.

How Pets Change Us

If you’ve ever seen or even heard of ‘Marley & Me’, the humans-meet-misbehaving-puppy comedy starring Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson, you know that the heart-rending finale sets a new high bar for igniting ugly, endless crying. It’s easy to forget that the two-and-a-half acts prior to that set up that unforgettable tragedy by hilariously touching on the very real ways the pets we own lay claim to little pieces of our hearts.

Dating

What Men And Women Think Each Other Is Thinking

Men are from Mars. Women are from Venus. Any woman can snag the husband of her dreams by thinking like a man and acting like a lady. Here’s a question nobody ponders remotely often enough: is it possible men and women each make the opposite sex’s thoughts out to be thousands of times more inscrutable than they actually are?

How To Escape A Bad Date

Anybody who plays the field long enough inevitably embarks on one of those meetups that threatens to become the stuff of tequila-soaked legend for years to come. These are the moments we know could inspire us to religious celibacy if we have to spend an entire cup of coffee, meal or movie without aborting the encounter and swearing off Tinder until the apocalypse. Nevertheless, “It just isn’t working for me” seems to be the hardest thing to say.

How do you walk with your dignity and will to continue looking for love in all the wrong places intact?

Moving In Together: Dear God, What Have We Done?

For many pairs, the moment they move in together might as well mark the start of a brand-new relationship apart from everything they’ve experienced together prior to that step. Who is this person and what happened to the sweet soul who made your knees weak and eyes oh-so-googly 12 months ago? Is this really what you expected? In the event they leave bowls of chili in the sink without rinsing them out, just how much would you say binge-watching ‘Dexter’ has taught you about disposing of a body?

The Workplace

How Would You Fire Your Boss?

Anyone who has ever worked for someone else has daydreamed about it.

At some point, every employee encounters that one supervisor who conclusively proves that ‘fail upward’ is indeed a completely viable career strategy. Upon meeting such an unforgettable avatar of inept management, it is perfectly normal to wonder, “If I could turn the tables and administer your performance review, how many ways could I make you cry your eyes dry in less than 10 minutes?”

The People Who Make Work Worth Loathing (And Loving)

Do you know why the popularity of ‘Dilbert’ has endured for decades? People get it. Scott Adams knows his audience. He understands what has eventually aggravated anyone and everyone who has ever earning a living behind a desk. Strangely, he also knows how to paint that canvas with a certain endearing measure of heart. Think about that.

Where It All Began

Whatever your livelihood, careers evolve with only one unerring certainty: nobody’s last day on the job feels the same as the first. We have all wondered at some juncture just what we would say to our past selves before entering our new workplace for the first time. Which obnoxious coworkers would we desperately warn ourselves about? What should we say to the boss while we have the chance, and when should we take five before telling him a lobotomized lemur could do his job better than he could?

Kids

Which Would I Rather Raise: A Baby Or A Dog?

One will void its bowels on freshly installed white carpet if you leave it alone for more than an hour or so. The other have you wrist-deep in its poop several times a day and giggle while you wipe its bum. Both can be counted on to accidentally pee on you.

The Many Faces Of Pregnancy

Would you still beam with the bliss only an expectant parent knows if you could glimpse innumerable painful, awkward and sometimes even laughable moments that accompany gestating a brand-new human life inside a woman’s body? In most cases, you probably would. That doesn’t mean preparing to bring a child into the world didn’t take you completely by surprise repeatedly, from the physical pain of delivering a baby to being the supportive partner whose digits the mother crushes into a fine powder in her hands with every contraction while screaming, “You did this to me! You!”

Children Are Always Smarter Than You Think

No, you will never mistake your three-year-old for a quantum physicist. At the same time, certain moments convince you that the fruit of your loins was born with a preternatural gift for wreaking calculated havoc and innocently making it ‘look’ like a consequence of a child ‘not knowing any better’. Every parent has to clean up a mess that gives pause to wonder, “Am I being played by an evil infant genius?”.

See? Life is worth laughing at more often than you think.

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