Have you ever heard a speaker deliver an inside joke? Did you feel included?
If not, did the joke make you feel left out? Now imagine yourself with the inside joke. You know it will be funny to a few people (or maybe just one), and you know it will be funny to you. Do you use it?
Sounds like an obvious answer, but why do people do it?
1. Relieve tension. Just like real humor, inside humor can relive tension for the speaker. Downside – adds tension to the audience.
2. They need any laugh. Ever feel like your not connecting, or worse…bombing? Any laugh will help, right? Not if you bomb with the rest of the group.
3. Don’t know better. Ignorance is the worse of them. Thinking it’s okay to publicly share an inside joke that everyone else will appreciate being suddenly privy to. Not so much.
How do you avoid it?
Remember your focus (the audience, not yourself)
Get help (tell someone to look for it when you’re speaking)
Inside humor can be funny for a minute. But when you’re trying to reach your audience (i.e. you’re speaking) it can be a self made obstacle to success. And who needs that?