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Humor is a great way to lighten the mood of any event. It can range from the speaker giving a funny anecdote at the start of his talk to hiring a professional like a stand-up comic to be your opening act.

Not everyone can pull off good comedy, but this guy can. This week’s Best Event Talk is from Ricky Gervais, one of the most brilliant comedians in the business today.

You probably know him from The Office or most recently as the museum director in Night at the Museum. He was noted as #3 in the list of 100 Greatest Stand-Ups and has won countless awards both in the US and in the UK.

Why do I say he’s brilliant? Because even in this straight-faced conversation he’s having, I’m continually smirking as though he’s about to deliver a punch line.

Rather than share the talk itself, which you can watch below, I’m going to share some of my key takeaways from it:

  1. Comedians are a good fit for many events. If the participants are mostly going to listen to talks and panels, a short injection of humor will liven up the mood and possibly even increase engagement.
  2. It’s okay to do just one thing. Yes, as a planner you’re called on to do many things. But if you can do one thing very well, why not get better at it and be known by it?
  3. Gervais talked about empathy in comedy in the talk. This can also be applied to event speakers, where the ones with the most empathy have the best engagement with the audience, whether they’re famous or not. Maybe we can opt to have these types of speakers on board more often versus just getting the famous names?

Ready for the talk? Watch this short video to learn how comedy works. And yes, there’s a joke thrown in there. Can you find it?

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Glenn Santos

Author Glenn Santos

Glenn has been writing about technology, productivity and lifehacks for 10 years now. He was previously an editor for Android Authority and Geeky Gadgets, and was one of the first contributors for Startup Weekend's main blog.

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