Public Speaking – Incorporating Humor into a Speech

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 10,521
    Tom Antion shares some tips on how to incorporate humor in a speech.

    Tom Antion: Hi folks! I am Tom Antion, a professional speaker who has spoken around the word and I can tell you, every place I go people want to have fun during a presentation. So I am going to show you the Top 10 ways to be funny when you speak without being a comedian.

    The first one is audience gags; this is very easy to pull off. Let's say you tell the CEO that when you say IRS, they get jump up and run out of the room. And then you get somebody to slip your note that says, Hey, there is an IRS agent here looking for somebody to do an audit, and then your CEO jumps up and runs out of the room, the place will go crazy, I guarantee. The other thing you can do, doesn't take any skill, have a caricature of yourself made, have it up on the screen when people come in the room, it just sends the message that this is going to be fun. Another thing you need to know, cartoons and comic strips are the most easily understood type of humor across cultures. So if you can use visual humor, you will get a lot further along with people from different cultures. Next thing is, is Clich. Now I don't use clichs when I speak, I make fun of clichs. You know the old one about ''we give a 110% of work" right, you have heard that one, right? Well, yeah, I say the same thing, I say, yeah, we give a 110% of work, 5% on Mondays, 10% on Tuesdays, and you know people just crake up over those when you make fun of the old clichs. Comic verse, you tell a funny poem that you have read, you might, if you are good at it, you can write a custom one for the group and they will just go crazy. You frame it, give it to them as a gift after the presentation, they will probably be hanging up on their walls for years to come. Costumes, there has been times when I have had the CEO dress up like Elvis. So the highest level person, if you can get them to go along with some of these things, it's great for them and it's great for your presentation and the audience members.

    Make a little fun of yourself, "self-facing humor.

    " When you can tease yourself, you don't look like the big shot, diva, the person that's untouchable and inaccessible. You look like one of them, because you are just a regular person that has the same problem as everybody else, you are not afraid to make fun of yourself. Ask funny questions off the crowd. What kind of reaction do you get if you ask the crowd, Hey, how many guys out there are wearing Hanes pantyhose today? And so people would just crack up at things like that. Don't do it at the wrong time though, I told a guy to do a singing opening one time, I taught him how to do it, he did it with a bunch of lawyers and accountants, all male, vying for a big piece of business, it bombed terribly. So you have got to learn when to use these and when not.

    Use props, props are so much fun. You can have oversized props; you can have little teeny-weeny props. So props can really get your point across.

    Use funny quotations, you can just type in quotations on it, virtually any topic you want and find thousands of them on the internet. They will probably take you longer to pick one, than it will to deliver it, but when you see them in rolling in the isles because you picked the right one, you'll know it worth.

    So use these kinds of humor, doesn't take any real skill to do it, and you will have a great presentation, people be will laughing in the isle.