Ways to add humor to your speeches

Public Speaking – 8 Simple Tips to Put Humor Into Your Speech

A speech can be interesting, informative and highly entertaining without being humorous. Most speakers are invited because they are well informed on a specific subject and it is of interest to the audience, the listeners do not necessarily expect to be entertained. For entertainment they would hire an entertainer. However, humor has a number of great benefits in helping the speaker to be more effective in achieving the overall purpose of their speech.

The advantages of using humor in your speech are:

  • You’ll quickly gain control of the audience – it gains their attention and helps in pulling them together
  • It can be used to transition from one part of the speech to the next
  • Helps to illustrate the points that you are making
  • It will give the audience a “breather” by breaking up your speech. It is difficult for listeners to concentrate for long periods and it gives them a rest and keeps them interested.
  • The use of humor can show that you do not take yourself too seriously and will increase your “likeability” quotient
  • When presenting new ideas and policies that may not be popular, you can use humor to put your point across without creating hostility.

Humor can be learned and utilized by anyone willing to try. Most of the best speakers use it. To develop the art of humor will take you only a few minutes a day. To put humor in your speech apply the following:

  • Develop a stockpile of stories – be on the lookout for good brief stories in newspapers, magazines and the internet. Be a careful observer of life. Also be a “watchful “listener of stories on TV or other speakers. Note the stories down. Do not rely on your memory.
  • Observe other speakers. Note how they tell the story, the tone of their voice, their gestures, face expressions, the timing and pauses.
  • Memorize the stories. You cannot read humor – you need to be looking at you audience to sell it. Also you do not want to lose your opportunity by stumbling over the punchline.
  • Be prepared to deliver “impromptu” stories. Carry an index card in your pocket with the first line or a suggestive line of several stories. By quickly glancing at the card you will be able to quickly recall the story.
  • Practice. A story gets better the more times it is told. Practice in front of the mirror or your family. Try different things – your voice tone, pauses, gestures, facial expressions etc.
  • If the audience does not laugh at your story or joke… move on. Don’t let it throw you off course. There will be time to assess after the speech.
  • Make the stories relevant to your speech and appropriate to the audience
  • Plan the “spice” in your speech. Most TV and radio performers follow their scripts so closely there is not even room for an “ad lib” sneeze.

Humor is an important tool in gaining and keeping an audience’s attention and can be applied by anyone with the desire to develop the art. In summary, memorize and practice, tell the right story at the right time, be prepared, and gather a fund of stories.

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Learn how to improve your speaking effectiveness in public or private. Claim your free preview of “The Art of Great Conversation” visit http://www.selfconfidentspeaking.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Edward_Hope

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Wish you were funnier? Humor Master Darren LaCroix has recently released Get More Laughs by Next Week, a fantastically in-depth “boot camp in a box” for speakers interested in becoming funnier. With 10 video DVDs, 15 audio CDs, your very own Giggle Guide, and more… you will get funnier! Check it out — click here!

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