What is the most effective way of using humor in your presentation? What I have found is that if you do or say something that is authentic in the moment, is relevant and interesting to the audience, and self deprecating, it work tremendously well!
For example, I am giving a speech or presentation on media training and I am telling my audience how to sit in front of the camera so they don’t look as heavy as everyone says you tend to look on camera. Instead of just lecturing them, I demonstrate. So what I would typically do is say, “Well, we have all heard on TV that you need to look relaxed and comfortable” and I lean back in a way that exposes my double chin. I then ask them what they notice and they will throw around a couple of answers with some snickers. I would then say, “You all are being nice, what you really notice is a fat guy with three chins!” and it will get me a laugh.
You do not want to be making stand-up comedy type jokes that will get you on the Tonight Show. But I am making fun of myself to make a point that is useful to the people who I am speaking with. It shows that I am not stuck up and arrogant. It shows that I can make fun of myself, and it really makes a point. That is what I find to be the best way to use humor in a presentation.