Become a Better and Funnier Speaker

Quick, easy and fun steps to enliven your presenting skills with proven techniques from the world of stand-up comedy.
  • Lectures 46
  • Video 3 Hours
  • Skill level all level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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Course Description

Learn 7 Comedy Habits to be a better public speaker, consistently funnier and help rid the world of boring presentations!

This courses teachings, as referenced in Inc, Forbes, Fast Company, Lifehacker and featured by Prezi as one of the 5 best online training courses for presenters, outlines easy to apply steps from the world of standup comedy to improve your presentation and public speaking skills, using one of the most powerful tools available to us: Laughter.

What students are saying about it:

“A little gem of actionable hints and tips”

“Anyone who communicates with others - literally everyone - would benefit from this course to make his/her message more effective”.

“Not only the course is very useful but it is hilarious! I recommend it to any one pitching a project or a business idea. Great way to differentiate yourself.”

Top business speakers are using humor.

They are developing laugh lines using the same process as comedians.

You don't need to be a natural comedian to get laughs.

We de-construct the process from standup comedy into 7 Habits and show you how to translate them into public speaking skills for the world of business. These 7 Comedic Habits are aimed at helping you deliver a more memorable, entertaining and engaging presentation, every time.

Whether you are a seasoned presenter or someone with a real fear of public speaking (like me!) these easy to apply steps will help you stand out from the crowd. These techniques are being applied by numerous TED talks, start-ups, entrepreneurs, keynotes, interviewees and professional speakers to further engage their audiences and we take you through how to do the same.

There are step by step assignments following each section that will help you develop your comedic writing styles and delivery methods. This is further supplemented with engaging viewing material from a number of TED talks and business presenters on the covered areas. This includes an impromptu performance by Robin Williams and video of my own jokes at some of California's top comedy clubs highlighting the techniques covered in the course.

Most presentations are really boring. With application of these habits yours will not be!

These techniques will your make presentations more engaging and entertaining by:

  1. Teaching you stand-up techniques that work in public speaking contexts.
  2. Showing you how to craft your key message into a memorable and humorous story.
  3. Showing you to extract the funny and build it into joke structures through comedy writing techniques
  4. Preparing you to test these jokes and stories on live audiences
  5. Showing you techniques used by comedians to overcome stage fright and improve your delivery
  6. Instructing you on how to open and close strong, make a great and funny first impression while getting laughs every time
  7. Teaching you how to evaluate performances and identify which comedic elements should be added to your presentations
  8. Teaching you how to manage an audience and hold their interest

What are the requirements?

  • A good sense of humor
  • Lots of energy!
  • Drive and determination to succeed

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Over 46 lectures and 2 hours of content!
  • Identify and understand stand-up techniques that work in public speaking contexts
  • Start and end presentations using stand-up techniques.
  • Learn effective memory techniques that will make sure you don't go blank on stage
  • Stand out from the crowd by making people laugh
  • Know best techniques for overcoming fear of public speaking
  • Know how to craft a memorable story around your product/service
  • Develop a file of tried and tested jokes/stories to insert into presentations
  • Describe strategies for dealing with the audience in a presentation or talk.
  • Learn how to systematically write funny and effective jokes
  • Learn how to hold an audience's interest
  • Know to recover from a joke falling flat

What is the target audience?

  • Anyone who wants to improve their public speaking slills
  • Professionals who want to make their presentations more entertaining
  • Marketing and Advertising professionals looking to add humor to their messaging
  • Start-Up companies who want to stand out from the crowd
  • Entrepreneurs looking to get a competitive advantage
  • Sales professionals looking to hone their humor skills
  • Anyone who wants to be consistently funnier
  • Those who want to overcome a fear of public speaking
  • Those interested in stand up comedy
  • Those who want to fastrack the often lenghty learning process involved in Standup Comedy
  • Those who want to learn a new skill
  • Students looking to stand out from their peers through comedy
  • Anyone regularly making presentations



In this introduction we give a brief overview of the reasons, from scientific to psychological to incorporate comedy. We outline how we will make your presentations more engaging and entertaining and introduce you to what will serve as the framework for this course: The 7 Comedic Habits. As we progress there will be a number of TED talks to view under the heading of Assignment, each to reinforce a learning topic or show us these habits in action.

Section 1: Welcome
Welcome and thanks for joining us!
Section 2: Exploring the 7 Habits
Story Introduction

In this lecture we explore Comedic Habit # 1 and look at the key ingredients and factors involved in crafting a memorable story.

Assignment: Remember the Funny
1 page

In this lesson we look at ways to add humor to stories you have or topics you like to speak about. Comedy is a combination of what you say and how you say it. Here we focus on the what you say, and more specifically how quickly you get to your main humor line.

Some Funny TED Examples Highlighting Joke Structure
Assignment: Story and Topic Building
1 page

In this lecture we provide some quick and easy apply comedy writing tips. I will also show you them in action by me at a show from last year in front of 250 people at one of California's most famous comedy venues.


AJ Jacobs is one of my favourite conference speakers. Watch him here using joke structure. If you go through his talks over the years you will see him building these jokes and really perfecting their delivery. The main joke here is great. The tagline not so much but you will find the most important part is the main punchline. The taglines are often continuously experimented with.


In this lecture we go into more detail on one of the more magical elements of comedy writing: The Rule of 3. You will also see me testing it's application in action with an example at one of California's most famous comedy clubs.

Watch President Obama Using The Rule Of 3 & Joke Structure
Assignment: Link Stories to Presentation
1 page

This joke would be equally at home on a stand up comedy stage. It one of the many many examples out there of top speakers in the business world using comedy techniques. Some are aware of it. Others learn it by trial and error. All are however well aware of which parts of their presentation get the best laughs.


This example shows how just like comedians the final product of business speakers comes from a work in progress, delivered multiple times to find the best format. In the example show we analyze an early version business presentation to extract the key funny part from a story. This something the presenter himself did overtime with experience. We however, want to do it quicker.

Assignment: Record and Edit Stories. Building a Set List
1 page
Get Creative: Image use in Presentations
55 Second Example: Funny Image & Video Use in TED Talk Intro

In this lecture we look at an easy way to generate comedic set up, through comparing and contrasting items.This is where you link your topic to similar items relatable to the audience on a general level. We see a quick and effectetive example by Apple's Roger Rosner.


This is a quick example of one of my Compare and Contrast jokes based on an almost David and Goliath scenario. Ireland's performance in the London Olympics vs the USA's. We were just behind China (a long way behind) and in front of Azerbaijan for those curious.

Assignment: Compare and Contrast
1 page

In this lecture we look at how comedians make every performance seem effortless and spontaneous. All is not as it seems on stage. Every word is a result of a meticulous preparation process. We explain this and also detail invaluable memory techniques to avoid going blank on stage, like the Memory Palace. We describe the best way to get in some initial practice in Open Mics. Now its time to get ready to get out there and test your writing.


Top Conference speakers like comedians develop a list of jokes and premises to draw upon. The better ones are often the the ones who speak the most, regardless of the event.

In the words of an ex world public speaking champion the keys are "stage time, stage time and stage time"

Same premise here at the Moth storytelling series

Assignment: Watch This TED Talk on the Memory Palace
1 page

This is an example of my memory palace from a recent comedy show.


In this lecture we describe some effective techniques to manage the process of stage fright. We have all been there!


Humanity's fine-tuned sense of fear served us well as a young species, giving us laser focus to avoid being eaten by competing beasts. But it's less wonderful when that same visceral, body-hijacking sense of fear kicks in in front of 20 folk-music fans at a Tuesday night open-mic. Palms sweat, hands shake, vision blurs, and the brain says RUN: it's stage fright. In this charming, tuneful little talk, Joe Kowan talks about how he conquered it.

Delivery Intorduction

In this lecture we get ready to deliver our written jokes and stories on stage. We learn some inside tricks of the trade and about the importance of stage positioning, body language and timing in our speaking. We discover through the comic genius of Robin Williams, at an impromptu performance at a conference in the UK, that comedy is a mixture of riffing (making things up on the spot), calling the room and tried and tested material.


This joke is not very funny when written out in words alone. Add act out however, hand gestures and stepping forward to emphasise the key laugh lines and you have a joke that gets a great laugh from the crowd.

Assignment: Practice Time
1 page

In this lecture we explain the need and ways to start off your presentation on the right foot and make your best possible impression while winning over the audience.

Opening Joke Example: TED - Luis von Ahn
Assignment: Initial Review
1 page
Assignment: Watch this TED Talk. A great example of humor, story & delivery

In this lecture we look at controlling the crowd and how best to tackle questions and comments. We use a hilarious example from the world of standup comedy to illustrate the value of taking time to think on your feet.

Assignment: Talk to the Audience
1 page

In this lecture we discuss the importance of never going over the time limit and discuss some techniques for managing your stage time more effectively.


A humorous look at social media and business, sales, marketing, and customer service. Brian Carter makes great use of funny images throughout and great set-ups throughout.


In this lecture we look at closing the book on your story, giving key take-away's and finishing on a laugh line.

Assignment: Timing and Closing the Book
1 page

In this lecture we look at effective ways to evaluate your performance using a scoring system to identify what works best, what needs work and what you should throw away. This system will highlight the most effective items to work into your presentations.

1 page

Final Assignment

Section 3: Review

That's it! Congratulations! In our course review we highlight what you should now know upon completion. Your obviously wiser. Time to find out just how much so :)

Congratulations & Many Thanks!
Quick Visual 1 Page Course Summary
1 page

Instructor Biography

David Nihill , Bestselling Author, Speaker,Entrepreneur, Learning Fanatic

David was born in Dublin, Ireland. After graduating with a Master’s Degree in Business in 2003, he moved to San Francisco where he worked for the Irish government helping startups expand rapidly. He has been involved with startup companies ever since. David is the author of the best-selling book Do You Talk Funny? and the Founder of FunnyBizz, a community and conference series helping content creators tap into the power of storytelling, comedy and improv to create better content. He has performed standup comedy at California’s leading clubs including Cobbs, the Comedy Store, the Improv and the Punchline even though he strongly denies being a comedian and is well aware most people don’t understand his accent.

His learning, taken from one year’s intensive experiments in comedy, performed on someone from the business community with a huge initial fear of public speaking (i.e. him!) have been featured in Inc., Lifehacker, The Huffington Post, Forbes, and Fast Company, amongst others.


Average Rating
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    • James Kahn

    Brilliant Course

    I really enjoyed "Become a Better and Funnier Speaker." This course taught me many tools to grab the audience and keep them, through humor and brevity. David peppers his teachings with real clips of his and others' performances - which I think is great. I've been in Toastmasters for about a year. A couple of weeks ago I entered the Toastmasters Tall Tale contest and came in 2nd place. This course really helped me with the crafting, polishing and delivery.

    • Kendel Christensen


    My favorite courses are those which reflect a nuanced understanding, and David delivers. I never would have noticed the difference between "I see" and "I saw", and now I'm going to use that the rest of my life--to great effect! Totally worth the price of entry.

    • Richard Batt


    Brilliant course, I performed stand up comedy on a regular basis between 2010-2012 so I knew a number of these techniques but the way it was put together and the way it was presented was fantastic. I've always struggled to move those techniques to speeches and when chairing meetings. This is a great course and I would recommend it to anyone.

    • Daniel Burns

    Relevant and applicable

    Great course, simple points that translate well into a business context. I enjoyed his delivery and look forward to incorporating the points into my work.

    • Terry Dillon

    Fantastic course! I'm ready to get up on stage and make a fool of myself :)

    I really did enjoy the entire course - so much in fact that I would have paid 10x to see David Nihill give the seminar in person. From the very beginning he grabs your attention as he leads you through the steps of becoming funny. I feel funnier already. In fact, if I hadn't received 80% off the course I still would have paid 10x more to see him in person. This course provided me with exactly what I was looking for. I am often required to host events and be the emcee at parties, so any tips are always appreciated. But I got a lot more than simple tips. In fact, David provided me with some real tools to get the job done right. Not tools like useless tools, but actually some pretty good tools. And a castle - I got a castle too, so that's pretty cool too. Anyone, and I do mean ANYONE, will benefit immensely from this course, and NOT only if they will be public speaking. This course could just have easily been called, "Break Out of your Shell and Become the Life of the Party". or even, "How Not to be Anti-Social", or perhaps, "How to Win Friends and Tell Stories"... maybe some other great titles as well. Really, the course teaches you how to PREPARE to interact with a group of people, how to get their attention, how to keep them enthralled or at least following along with you, and also being able to flip a joke that flops... flip flops... that would be funny to see David teaching the course wearing shorts and flip-clips. But I could see him in a backyard sharing stories and keeping us all in stitches. Definitely the one course on udemy that is right for pretty much anyone. And if you ask him nicely, he may even print out a certificate....Please David? (I will let you know if he sends me one :)

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