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What Does A Joke Look Like In A Speech? – The Accidental Communicator

What Does A Joke Look Like In A Speech?

We need to learn how to structure our speech to include comedy  <br /><a href=" https://www.flickr.com/photos/2ni/ "><span style="font-size: xx-small;">Image Credit:  Denis De Mesmaeker</span></a> <!-- https://www.flickr.com/photos/2ni/5710635514/in/photolist-9GCuZ1-49uTco-49qNTT-7f6U7Y-3omqkg-bysaue-2iyQFfP-4nz8Re-hhmJyN-4byoY7-dja9r-bzKyxq-oukLDp-49qNFt-bNEcB8-bzKyRb-cLjAY-bNEcJH-5vke1D-R4ax2E-drk89V-eHWBX-tDMs-6Rhk36-xKZAZ-DQyCm9-2hPMrqm-d7WgAC-2jGHa-6x6z49-aJpnj8-2hestKi-2hPYaAa-MkELC-6fLbWh-EYrwd-gn5pXt-4q1Azo-8q5rh3-jSUPt2-fgfQfV-bZ1rCy-6fLbYo-2hQ5joJ-2hPy2uT-fgfQme-vfx7yp-4PPaZ-5gRzj4-jagLYe -->
We need to learn how to structure our speech to include comedy
Image Credit: Denis De Mesmaeker

Every speaker wants to be able to use the importance of public speaking to connect with their audience. We all know that there are lots of different ways to make this happen. If we can find a way to work humor into our next speech, then we have a pretty good chance of being able to connect with our audience. The challenge here is that humor can be very difficult to work into a speech. The good news is that you can do it if you understand comedy structure.

What Does A Joke Look Like?

What would it take to make your next audience laugh? It turns out that people laugh when surprise is present. What this really means for you is that people laugh when the comedic element of surprise is there. As a speaker you need to keep in mind that there are things that may surprise your audience, but which would not make them laugh (everyone just got a $200 parking fine for where they parked to come hear you speak).

Speakers need to understand that a comedic surprise is something that has a twist that won’t have any serious repercussions. This is an important point for you keep in mind as a speaker because it explains why sometimes when we are trying to get people to laugh, it just doesn’t work. The reason is because what we have just told them is believed to possibly have serious repercussions. What you just said may have come across as being mean instead of funny.

What all of this means for you is that comedy is subjective. It will be up to you to fully understand why your material works or does not work. If you get negative feedback from your humor, consider it to be valuable feedback. When you get this kind of feedback, use it to change your speech. You can soften the punch line or make it less aggressive. Your goal must be to find a way to not upset your audience.

How To Make A Surprise Humorous

There are three key factors that you need to take into account when you are attempting to create a surprise that you can share with your audience that will come across as being humorous. The first is that you need to be concise – you can’t ramble on. Next, you need to engage in some misdirection – fool your audience as to what you’ll be talking about. Finally, you’ll want to reveal your punch word or punch phrase at the end of what you are saying. Waiting until the end of what you are saying to reveal your punch word or punch phrase will make it more effective.

It turns out that in order to create a well-structured joke, a speaker has to not only have a good twist, but they also have to make sure that they find a way to connect the setup of their joke with the eventual punch line. What makes this even tougher to do is that this connection needs to be made in a logical way.

The best way to make this happen is to have a build up to your twist. The first line in your joke can serve to inform your audience. If you chose to use misdirection in your joke, you can use your first line to lull them into having a certain expectation.


What All Of This Means For You

In order to connect with our audience and share the benefits of public speaking, we’d like to find a way to work more humor into our next speech. What this means is that we need to find a way to add jokes to our speeches. A joke is all about comedic surprise, you need to know how to make this happen.

Speakers need to understand what a joke looks like. A joke is all about comedic surprise. However, that surprise has to come with no serious repercussions. If somebody is going to get hurt or offended, our audience won’t laugh. We need to take the time to discover why our funny material either does or does not work. Negative feedback can help us to understand how our material is being interpreted. In order to create a good joke we need to be concise, engage in misdirection, and move our punch line to the end of what we are saying. If we build up to the twist in our story, then we’ll deliver the best joke possible.

The good news about adding jokes to your next speech is that it can be done. You just need to understand how to go about doing it. If you take the time to understand how your audience interprets what you are saying, then you can structure your jokes so that they will be well received. Knowing how to build jokes into our speeches is the key to becoming a speaker who can better connect with their audience.


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


Question For You: How may jokes do you think that you can fit into a 3 minute 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

As speakers we all know that the more humor that we can work into our next speech, the better chance we have of connecting with our audience. Everyone likes to laugh and if we can make our audience laugh, they’ll remember what we had to say and we just might be able to make an impact in their lives using the importance of public speaking. The challenge that we face as speakers is that getting an audience to laugh is never easy. One of the best ways to go about doing this is to add jokes to our speech. However, we are then faced with the challenge of just exactly how should a speaker go about writing a joke?