Today was a special day for Chua Chu Kang Toastmasters Club. It was the first time they had organized an Advanced Project Day with an open evaluation, following by silent evaluation of project objectives. I was privileged to be invited as a guest Evaluator and to be a part this first-ever event in the Club’s history.
As the Evaluator in the Evaluators’ panel, I also got to provide feedback on the various Advanced Speech projects presented during the meeting. Some were designed to be funny, while a couple of them were meant to be more serious.
Nonetheless, all of the speeches proved to be educational and enriching to everyone in the meeting. The speakers, with all their effort and commitment, deserve kudos and our appreciation for a job well done and the speeches well presented!
In the Advanced Project under The Humorous Speech Manual, a key speech objective was to make us laugh. The speaker spoke about his relationship with his 2 sons and his difficulty in teaching Primary school mathematics, despite having a PhD in Engineering, as well as all the funny encounters he had with education.
Putting together the positive features of the speech and areas for improvement to make it funnier, here are some of the ways to make speeches humorous and funny:
1. Work intensively on your punch lines. Understand that humor in speeches is not merely about speaking quickly or loudly. It’s really about how you can connect with the audience by getting the punch line across.
2. Begin with an impactful attention grabber. Once you can make the audience laugh at the beginning of your speech, you’ll have a much easier time keeping them laughing throughout the talk.
3. Simplify the characterization of the people in your speech. If the people in the speech get way to complicated, the audience tend to spend more time analyzing the complexity of the person than to be find it funny.
4. Remain in an uplifting and perky mood. This helps add to that “ready to laugh” atmosphere. Your personality counts.
5. Help your audience relate to that familiar setting. Once the audience can create that internal link, they can appreciate the jokes better as they might have experienced that incident before.
6. Avoid laughing too soon on your own before the audience is supposed to laugh. This is akin to letting the cat out of the bag and gives the game away, in this case, “punched too soon”.
7. Harness the anticipation of the audience and excite their eagerness to let go of the tension. After all, this is what humor is about, isn’t it. Learn to build that anticipation and tension then let your audience eventually “have that release”. The laughs will come even more intensively than before.
I’ve always enjoyed listening to funny speeches. I’m sure you will like them as well. Funny speeches have proven to be therapeutic and have healing abilities too! Now that’s no joke.
With the application of these tips, keep making your audience laugh and keep Excelling Beyond Excellence!