I don’t think that any of us would disagree with the statement that “humor lends power to any speech.” If we want to make an audience laugh, it’s going to take three different things all working together so that our audience can realize the importance of public speaking. The first is, of course, us – the speaker. The next is going to be the speech that we are going to be giving. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, there is our audience. All too often in our rush to throw together our next speech we can end up forgetting about the importance of understanding the audience that we’ll be talking to. This is where customizing your comedy comes in to play.
Do Your Research
Every audience that you address will be different and there is a good chance that where you will be delivering your speech may be different also. These are key pieces of information that you are going to want to work into any comedy that you deliver. What this means for you is that you are going to have to do some research before the big day. Your goal has to be to find out as much as you possibly can about two things: the people that you will be speaking to and where you’ll be doing your speaking.
This means that you are going to have to collect information from the local news and information on the association that is hosting the event that you’ll be speaking at. Just for good measure, you may want to throw in information on local sports teams, who their biggest rivals are, and any companies or colleges that are in the area. Your goal here needs to be to get material that will allow you to refresh the generic material that is already in your speech.
Ask Some Questions
In order to customize the comedy that you’ll include in your next speech, you need to get very specific information. This is the kind of information that you can only get from the people who will be in your audience. As a speaker, this means that you are going to have to show up early and spend some time talking with the people who will be in your audience.
What you are going to want to do also will be to talk with the people who are organizing the event that you’ll be speaking at. You’ll want to ask them about the group and the people that you’ll be speaking to. Once you’ve been given information, you can then go back to your speech and work this information into the speech in the correct places.
Keep Your Eyes Open
One of the most challenging things about giving a really good speech is that it can be quite dynamic. What this means is that you need to keep your eyes open and watch what happens before you give your speech, while you are giving your speech, and then after you give your speech. What you are able to observe can often be useful information that can be worked into your speech.
You never know what may happen before you take the stage. By keeping your eyes open you can observe events as they unfold. These will be the events that will be in your audience’s mind as they start to listen to you. If you can reference events like this, then you will have tapped into something that your audience was already thinking about and you’ll get even more laughs.
What All Of This Means For You
One of the most powerful things that any speaker can do is to get their audience to laugh. In order to make this happen, three things all have to work together: the presenter, the material that they are using, and the audience. It’s that last part, getting the audience to laugh with you, which can be the trickiest to do in order to experience the benefits of public speaking.
When you want to get your next audience to laugh at what you have shared with them, you will need to do some research. You’ll need to research both your audience and where you’ll be giving your speech. There are many different sources for the information that you’ll need. Once you have it, you can add it to your speech to customize the comedy. A great way to collect the information that you’ll need is to ask people for it. Talk with the people organizing the event and find out about the organization and the people who will be in your audience. During a presentation, things can happen dynamically. You need to keep your eyes open and watch what happens both before and during your speech. This is material that if you move quickly can be added to your speech.
Comedy can make your next speech even more powerful. However, the best kind of comedy is the kind that directly appeals to your audience. In order to make this happen, you need to take the time to customize your comedy to fit the audience that you’ll be addressing. This can be done, it’s just going to require you to do some homework before you take the stage. Collect your information, update your speech, and then go out there and knock them dead!
Question For You: Do you think that you should write your speech in a way that leaves “holes” for you to fill in with local bits of comedy?
Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental Communicator Blog is updated.
P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Communicator Newsletter are now available. Subscribe now: Click Here!
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
There are leaders, and then there are inspiring leaders. Leaders do an ok job of telling people to do what they need them to do, Inspiring leaders make people want to do what they tell them about. There is a very big difference. Inspiring leaders very clearly are completely passionate about what they are talking about. What this means for us as speakers is that we can’t hope to inspire our next audience by using the importance of public speaking if we are not inspired ourselves. So the big question for us is just exactly what does passion look like in a speaker?