September 3, 2006
Secrets of Success for Great Funny Speeches
Far too many people are uncomfortable with humor or making attempts at trying to be humorous. Of course, that should come as no big surprise when you consider how complex (and often quite different) various types of humor are. However, at the same time, most of us inherently know that laughter and humor are a great way to build rapport with an audience and are looking for great ways to craft subtle yet powerful, great funny speeches. No one wants to sound contrived or corny, but no one wants to drone on and on in a monotone completely devoid of humor or emotion either. So, how can you find a happy medium?
To begin with, you need to feel the confidence in yourself that's required in order for a joke or punch-line to deliver the desired affect. Confidence is probably the biggest key for success when it comes to writing and delivering great funny speeches.
But once you've nailed your confidence, there are many more tips and tricks that you can use to insure that your humor is well received.
Preparing a Great Funny Speech
When you're setting out to prepare a great funny speech, it's important to pay close attention to two things: content and structure.
When it comes to content, there are some slightly different rules for humorous speeches than for others. First off, remember that though you may be aiming for a funny speech, you're not a stand-up comedian. The primary reason your audience is listening to you isn't simply to laugh, but also to learn. This means that you need to feed humor to your audience in small doses, mixed in with a generous helping on facts, knowledge, tips and key points for them to take home with them. And the great part of this is that even when only sewing humor through your speech a little here and a little there, you can still manage to inspire a laugh every fifteen or twenty seconds while still offering your audience all that they came here expecting to get!
Of course, humor is an even greater benefit to your audience if you're dealing with highly technical (or incredibly mundane) topics. If you've got a lot of men and women in the audience in three piece suits and packing laptops and cell phones and probably a handful of ulcers, giving them a chance to laugh is a great way to help them naturally relieve stress and recruit them to your way of thinking.
When you're crafting your speech, it is important, however, to keep it simple enough and easy enough for everyone in your audience to "get" your humor. Not everyone "gets" sarcasm or dry humor, so plan your content accordingly.
Also (and this should go without saying) keep all of your jokes and humorous lines and quotes clean and inoffensive. This isn't a great time for vulgar jokes, profanity, or other types of uncomfortable humor. If you're having trouble finding humorous quotes or one-liners, the World Wide Web is full of free resources that can help you locate the perfect joke or quote for your particular speech.
Structure also plays an important role when it comes to creating great funny speeches. If you're aiming for humor throughout your speech, make sure that you get a laugh out of your audience within the first half to one minute.
Also, when drafting your speech, remind yourself when and where you should pause in order to give your audience an appropriate amount of time to laugh before moving on the additional points or quips. Also try to incorporate reminders for yourself to keep you moving around and having fun throughout the delivery of your speech.
It's also important to keep in mind the three primary elements necessary in order for you and your audience to understand and structure humor. The three main elements are surprise, tension and relationships. Just about anything in the world can be funny if you can give it all three of these elements.
To enhance surprise, make sure that you keep it a surprise! Save punch-lines until the end of the joke, with the actual punch phrase at the very end. The next part is to release tension. This is exemplified by the pause (which is a tension builder) followed by the punch-line (which prompts laughter which relieves tension.) The third aspect, relationships are equally important. Humor is based on things that are both related and not related. You can increase the humor of a situation by playing these relationships up. Polarities and similes are a great way to do this.
Creating Humor Via Lists…
As we just mentioned, polarities and similes are a great way to increase humor and the impact that it has. Here's a simple exercise that will help you to milk as much humor as you can from a particular situation.
Let's start out with a humorous situation or comparison. Our premise is, "Our post office is like a war zone."
Now, you'd make two lists. One list is headed with a heading like "Post Office Things," while the other list is headed "Military things."
Go through and make your lists as long as you possibly can, all the time looking for connections that can be made between them. Now, set these aside for a little while and come back again later with a fresh perspective.
Glean your best possibilities and milk them to maximize the impact your humor has on the crowd!
Humor can be learned and perfected, you just have to dedicate yourself to mastering the secrets and techniques that actually makes humor funny. If you'd like some more help on mastering great funny speeches, check out www.humorpower.com for more great tips and examples!Speaking and Speeches Resources