How To Add Humor To Your Next Speech

How To Add Humor To Your Next Speech

Humor is what can make your audience remember your speech
Humor is what can make your audience remember your speech
Image Credit: whitneylyn

The reason that we are willing to give a speech is because we understand the importance of public speaking and we want to be able to connect with our audience. We want the words that we say to change their world. There are a number of different ways to go about doing this and each one of them has their benefits and distractions. However, one of the most powerful ways to ensure that your next speech will be remembered is to add humor to it. If you can get your audience to laugh with you during your speech, then there is a good chance that they’ll remember what you told them.

Humor Exists In What You Do Everyday

One of the biggest challenges that speakers have is coming up with humorous material to include in their speech. They often rack their brains trying to think of things that they feel that their audience will find to be funny. It turns out that there is a trick to doing this. What we need to understand is that some of the funniest speeches are the ones that talk about what happens in our lives everyday. When you are preparing your next speech, you need to take the time to think about the things that have happened in your daily life and see if you can put a humorous twist on them.

Make Sure That You Know Your Audience

If you want to have any hope of being able to make your audience laugh, then you are going to have to take the time to make sure that you know them. You will need to understand where your audience comes from and what motivates them. If you happen to know what they think is funny, well then that would be even better. The key to good humor is knowing exactly how to land a punchline and in order to do that well, you are going to have to make sure that you understand just exactly who you are trying to make laugh. Take the time to know who you are talking to and you’ll boost your chances of being able to make them laugh.

Use Props To Make Your Point

A lot of what we consider to be humor is visual. When speakers work humor into their speech, they generally have to rely on words to get their audience to laugh. However, you need to remember that you do have another option. You can bring props along with you. During your speech, at the right moment in time, you can bring your prop out and display it to your audience. When you do this correctly, the prop supports your words and causes an even bigger reaction from your audience. Make sure that you pick the right props and then carefully study your speech so that you know the right moment to introduce the props.

Be Careful Where You Step

Although a speaker may be able to get their audience to laugh, all too often the speaker does not know what to do then. We’re up there to deliver a speech and when our audience is laughing and all too often we will just go ahead and keep on talking. This is the wrong thing to do – you don’t want to “step on the laughter”. When your audience is laughing, you need to shut up. Give them time to fully enjoy what you’ve told them that made them laugh. If you make the mistake of rushing on to the next thing that you want to say, then you run the risk of killing your joke. One of the most effective ways to give your audience time to laugh is to insert a pause in your speech after you tell a joke.

What All Of This Means For You

The one thing that every public speaker wants is to be remembered by their audience. We go to the effort of creating, practicing, and then delivering our speech with the hope that when it’s all over we will have been able to connect with our audience and provide them with the benefits of public speaking. It turns out that there are a number of different things that we can do in order to boost the probability that we’ll be able to connect with our audience. Adding humor to our speech is one of the most powerful.

One of the biggest challenges that every speaker faces is trying to figure out what content they can add to their speech in order to make it funny. It turns out that enough things happen to us during our everyday existence that if we’d only just pay attention to what is going on, we’d have enough content to make our audience laugh. If you want to have any hope of being able to make your audience laugh, then you are going to have to take the time to make sure that you know your audience. Take the time to find out what their likes and dislikes are before you give your speech so that you’ll know if your humor is going to work with them. Speakers have to create their humor using words. We have the opportunity to bring props to our speeches and if we use them at the right time and in the right way we can make what we say even funnier. When we do get our audience to laugh, we need to be very careful to not step on their laughter. We need to learn how to pause and let our audience laugh at what we’ve said, and then move on.

In order to make your next speech “stick” with your audience consider adding some humor to it. As your audience laughs, they will remember what you have told them. This means that long after your speech is over, your words will stay with them and you really will have a chance to change their lives. Humor is a powerful tool that every public speaker needs to learn how to use.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills™

Question For You: How much humor do you think that you should put into a typical speech?

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Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site www.Toastmasters.org. Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

Let’s face it. The world is filled with a lot of people who are not very good speakers. We have a chance to hear these people speak all the time. Since we have become at least comfortable with speaking if not pretty good at it, what all of this means is that because of the importance of public speaking we now have an obligation. As accomplished speakers, it is our job to help those who have not yet reached our level of speaking to improve. How can we go about doing this? Simple – by mentoring.

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