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Presentation Skills Series S1: “How to Punch-Up Your Presentation Like a Comedy Professional”

May 25, 2022 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EDT

Photo of Beth Sherman

Provided by: Mass General Brigham and MGH Center for Faculty Development

Session 1 of the Presentation Skills Series

Good comedy is unifying and even a small amount in an otherwise dry lecture can make it (and you!) significantly more engaging. Beth Sherman talked about learning how to identify and take advantage of organic comedic opportunities in your presentations. She covered the basic rules of comedy writing, including self-awareness, specificity, breaking patterns, rules of threes, joke structure, and why some words are funnier than others. The ultimate goal isn’t to force comedy or make every presentation hilarious, simply to add a bit of seasoning when and where it will be appreciated most.

Learning Objectives:
Upon completion of this activity, participants were able to:

  • Explore how the addition of authentic humor helps presenters connect more efficiently to their audience.
  • Identify common opportunities for humor in everyday presentations.
  • Apply the basic rules of comedy writing to make the most of comedic opportunities, resulting in a more engaging and effective final product.

Target Audience: This activity is intended for faculty and faculty trainees.
Course Director: Miriam A. Bredella, MD

Presenter: Beth Sherman, BA, is a 7-time Emmy Award-winning comedy writer. Her credits include Late Show with David LettermanThe Tonight Show with Jay Leno and The Ellen DeGeneres Show, as well as MTV’s Video Music Awards, the Screen Actors’ Guild Awards and the Academy Awards (the Oscars). Prior to that, she spent more than a decade doing stand-up comedy, performing at clubs, colleges and military bases all over world, including Kuwait and Iraq.

As a speechwriter, she’s the founder of “Authentically Funny Speeches,” a ghostwriting and coaching service focused on helping non-show business professionals add humor to personal and professional toasts, speeches and presentations.

Mass General Brigham is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Mass General Brigham designates this live activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.





Center for Faculty Development (CFD)
(617) 724-0818
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