Mastering the Art of Laughter

With thanks for Toastmasters International for this article.

Mastering the Laugh

You won’t croak if you tell a joke!

Let’s face it. Humor is hard! Even experienced speakers struggle with knowing how to (appropriately!) tickle their audience’s funny bones. We all enjoy listening to a funny speech –the problem is, we typically don’t think of ourselves as being funny speakers. Members of Toastmasters are no different; that’s why we have assembled a wide range of resource material on this topic.

Toastmasters exist to help your audience laugh with you, not at you!

Humor has many benefits. It can:

  • Help establish a bond with the audience
  • Win over a hostile audience
  • Keep the audience interested
  • Emphasize or illustrate a point
  • Help people remember you

Here are some tips:

  • Be yourself. Think about what types of humor you appreciate, then create a library of such items. Don’t like jokes? Try a humorous anecdote or a witty observation from your own life.
  • It’s OK to be mildly amusing, rather than eyedabbingly funny.
  • Use humor sparingly, like a spice. At first, try using a humorous opener to your speech. A quote or offhand observation can be a good icebreaker.
  • Keep it relevant to your speech topic.
  • Avoid retelling jokes found on the Internet. Chances are good others have already heard or seen them.
  • Keep it clean! Humor is supposed to make people feel good – not embarrassed, insulted or offended.
  • Make it readily identifiable as humor. But in case no one laughs, prepare a comment in advance or just move on.
  • Keep it appropriate to the audience and the situation.
  • Self-effacing humor is safe –a little of it goes a long way. The audience would rather hear about the time you fell on your face than when you won the race.
  • Work on your delivery. Practice using vocal variety and gestures.
  • Timing is everything! Pause before the punch line.
Advertisements

About Vancore Toastmasters

Build your public speaking and leadership skills at a dynamic mid-week, mid-day downtown Vancouver Toastmasters club.
This entry was posted in Guests, Members, News, Speaking Tips and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s