Jokes For Public Speaking
How To Use Short Jokes To Create Public Speaking Humor

How to use jokes for public speaking.

I've discovered that people are really scared about using jokes in their public speaking. They seem to agree with Winston Churchill who once observed, "A joke is a very serious thing."

Notice though, he didn't say "be fearful of using jokes".

I say take your jokes seriously sure, just don't let any fear of using them get in the way.

As with all aspects of overcoming the fear of public speaking, the key is to Understand It, Love It and Practice It.

So What Is A Joke Anyway?

It's important to understand that a joke is not the same as a story or a funny anecdote. It doesn't necessarily have a beginning, body and end.

A joke is normally brief.

A joke doesn't normally offer much background information or detail.

So jokes are pretty flexible things really and it'd be a real shame to leave them out of your speaking just because you or someone else has convinced you that you can't use them.

Types Of Jokes

According to Toastmasters there are at least 8 types of jokes for public speaking. It's good to be aware of them all and they might trigger your own memories of some good ones to add to your funny file.

  1. Exaggeration
  2. Incongruity
  3. Reverse
  4. Definition
  5. Combination
  6. Play on words
  7. Understatement
  8. Implication

Here's How To Write Your Own Jokes

Did you ever hear a great joke and wonder how someone came up with it? Or maybe you thought how simple and obvious the joke was and a part of you thought 'hey I could have written that'.

Maybe you're like the golfer who said "Oh, I can play a lot better than this. I just never have."

Well here's how to come up with your own material.

Use this 3 step method:

  1. Come up with a topic
  2. Add a premise about the topic - that it's either hard, stupid, weird or scary
  3. Turn it around

So, to use an example:

  1. Step 1: Topic is ageing.
  2. Step 2: Ageing is scary. Why? You have to act more mature.
  3. Step 3: Turn it around by saying "You're only young once but you can always be immature"

Now just because you're not rolling around on the floor laughing don't be put off! That gag gets a laugh every time I use it.

Give it a go. It's fun.

If you're still stuck, the best idea is to watch videos of funny public speakers - in other words watch good public speakers. See how they use jokes at different points of their presentations. Adapt them to your own situation.

Studying and emulating good speakers is exactly how the Greeks and Romans trained their orators. Wonder what their jokes were like?

More Reasons To Use Jokes For Public Speaking

“The best ideas come as jokes. Make your thinking as funny as possible.” David Ogilvy

What if he's right? He was one of the great ideas men of the last century.

"When a thing is funny, search it carefully for a hidden truth."George Bernard Shaw

"Humor is by far the most significant activity of the human brain."Edward De Bono

But just in case you take this all too seriously remember ...

"Defining and analyzing humor is a pastime of humorless people."Robert Benchley (1889 - 1945)

So once you've got a bit of understanding, don't disappear up your own navel,

just get on with it!

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