How-to Comedy Humor Techniques for Speakers
Ever given a presentation and wished you could have inserted humor to lighten up the serious parts? Do you want to be funny with friends, relatives, and colleagues? Would you like to learn how to be funny on purpose?
You've probably noticed that a person who has the ability to make people laugh is universally admired. And you may have occasionally felt frustrated that you weren't one of the lucky ones born with the gift of being able to make others laugh at will.
Here is good news for you. Humor is a skill. And it is a skill that you can develop.
Do you relish the thought of speaking to an audience? Or is the thought of giving even a five minute presentation your severest form of mental torture?
John wrote a Public Speaking 45-Second Newsletter. Short reads on a variety of speaking topics. Here are a few of them.
If You Want More Humor in Your Presentation(s)
Some concrete suggestions on how you can evaluate your current presentation and discover how effective your presentation’s current humor really is.
If you are not totally satisfied with the effectiveness of humor in your presentations right now, chances are that your material can be slotted into one of the following three situations:
The Danger of Using the Web as a Resource for Humor
The web is a great resource for information. There are vast quantities of information on everything from aardvarks to zoology. You'd also think it would also be an excellent resource for humor.
Let me caution you. You must be careful using the web as a source of humor. There are hundreds of thousands of amateurs hosting web pages, home pages, creating ezines, and sending and forwarding a ton of humor. But because most of them are amateurs, they are not aware that humor is intellectual property.
Getting Good Introductions
You have to have more than just humor in your talk. You have to give the audience permission to laugh at it. Read this excerpt from Cantu’s Comedy Wit & Humor Wisdom on how to get a good introduction.
So, if you have been speaking for a while and you have been wondering why material you think is funny doesn't get the laughter you desire, check the introductions you have been getting and make sure the audience is being told you are funny and that it is okay to laugh.
Open Mike for Speakers
Getting experience as a public speaker is a scary and daunting task. One of the main benefits of Toastmasters is that it is a place to "practice speaking in a safe and comfortable environment." In this article, John talks about how to structure a fifty minute talk into five minute chunks to use with the Communication and Leadership Manual. Then how to go from Toastmaster's safe environment to the next step, the "Animal Clubs."
Be Not Afraid of Jokes
Essentially all humor (with an occasional exception) is either a one liner or joke or series of one liners or jokes strung together in some sort of logical format.
When you hear, read or see a piece of funny stuff, see if you can deconstruct it. Try to strip away the camouflage and see it in its most basic format is.