It seems pretty clear from my research that there are good number of folks who want to be able to give a funny speech or presentation without having to become a comedian.
I suspect that this is due to the widespread assumption is that there are some sort of stand-up comedy or other types of “special” techniques that need to be learned or acquired before public speaking can generate laughs when it is delivered.
Well, you might be surprised to learn that some of the very best advice that I could give when it comes to generating laughter when public speaking is this:
And you might be even more surprised to discover that I would give this exact same advise to new comedians who do not want to flop when they hit the stage.
First, I want to discuss why trying to be a comedian is a really bad idea for anyone who wants to deliver a speech or presentation that will generate genuine audience laughter.
Then, I will cover some basic tips that you can use to easily tap into your already developed comedy talent in order to deliver a funny speech.
Bad Assumptions Make For Bad Results
One of the things that people are not aware of is that when they cause other people to laugh in everyday conversations at work, at home or on the phone…
They are actually using a highly developed comedy skill set that is very specific to them.
This personal comedy skill set involves their sense of humor and how they express their sense of humor, along with a host of other individual specific audible and visual attributes.
In other words…
The way you see life around you, the things that you say, and the way you naturally express those things when you communicate verbally and cause others to laugh are actually as unique to you as are your fingerprints.
This is what makes up your natural comedy talent. Anytime you cause someone to laugh you are using this natural comedy talent.
Everyone has some measure of comedy talent even if they never give a public speech or presentation — some people have more and some people have less.
The reality is that most people have more than enough to get the laughs that they want when speaking publicly if they actually knew what their comedy talent was, how it really works and how to apply it to public speaking.
But a strange thing happens when somebody decides that they want to give a funny speech…
They also get the notion that their own natural, used everyday and proven to work comedy talent – the comedy talent that took them DECADES of their life to develop, hone and tailor perfectly for themselves – immediately becomes no longer sufficient to use to get laughs when giving a speech.
This single bad and inaccurate assumption usually results in a public speaking flop. And to make it worse…
It’s all because of the notion that something needs to be “fixed” that is not even broken and doesn’t need to be “fixed” at all.
Let me explain what I mean by that.
The Best Example Ever
The big problem with assuming or believing that you have to “transform” into something that you are not in order to get laughs during a speech is that…
You will be abandoning most, if not all of your already developed skill and ability to get laughs when you do that.
Think of it this way…
Most people have a dominate hand. And most people know that they simply cannot function at the same level with their non-dominate hand.
That’s exactly the situation a person puts themselves into when they assume or believe they need to “become” a comedian or otherwise acquire some sort of “special” tactics or skills to get the laughs they want when they deliver a speech.
Now if you want to actually see a stark example of EXACTLY what I am talking about…
Simply go and try to sit through an entire comedy open mic night – anywhere on the planet. It doesn’t matter where you live.
If you will do that, what you will see is example after example of people who are trying to “be” what they assume a comedian to be and trying to use “special” tactics that barely generate laughs — if any at all.
These new comedians are trying to be “funny” using methods and tactics that have NOTHING to do with how they actually get laughs in everyday life.
And that’s all because they are under the impression that they need to be something that they are not.
And as long as they keep doing that…
Well, they will continue to flop every time they hit the stage.
I know this first hand because I WAS that new comedian when I started.
With that, let me give you some tips that you might want to pay close attention to if you want to give a funny speech or presentation without having to become a comedian.
My Basic Tips For Funny Public Speaking Without Having Become A Comedian
1. Ditch the idea that you need to be anyone other than yourself when you give a speech. Like I said before, you already have a custom fit comedy skill set that readily works for you to get laughs.
The biggest problem that you have most likely right now is that you don’t believe that what you do to get laughs in everyday casual conversations has any validity or merit when it comes to getting laughs when speaking publicly.
Unfortunately, this sort of bad information is actually directly or indirectly supported by most so-called comedy or humor “experts” along with tons of online content produced by posers who aren’t experts but who are great at “repackaging” already faulty information.
The true irony of this situation is that the most valuable asset that you bring to the table when it comes to funny public speaking is your ability to cause others to laugh when you use and express your sense of humor in everyday conversations.
You simply need to know how to apply what you do naturally to your public speaking endeavors.
2. Understand that audiences are just people too. There seems to be a notion that an audience of people is somehow vastly different from the people that you interact with everyday.
There are only two real differences between an audience that you speak to and the people that you talk to daily is this:
a. An audience doesn’t know you until you start talking. The people you interact with daily already know you — how you look at things, what you like, what you don’t like, etc.
b. An audience is an assembled group of people who tend to collectively have low to very low expectations of what to expect from a public speaker who they don’t know.
Let me ask you this:
How many speeches or presentations have you attended in your lifetime that sucked in a notable way? Specifically, I am talking about presentations that were boring, lifeless or even coma inducing?
Well, you are not alone. Every single person in any assembled audience has the EXACT same accumulated experience and subsequently has the exact same low to very low expectations for what to expect from any type of talk delivered by someone that they don’t know.
Tip: It only takes some accurate knowledge on how to use and apply your existing natural comedy talent to public speaking in order to easily shatter the low expectations that an audience starts out with and entertain them them at an unexpected level.
3. Don’t be afraid or hesitant to use your already developed sense of humor in your public speaking.
Here’s the reality of the situation — there are only 3 ways to add humor to any speech or presentation. One way involves using open source, “canned” or otherwise already developed humor content.
The other two ways involve incorporating “original” humor into your speech or presentation:
a. You can use your sense of humor for the primary content that you are delivering. If the primary speech content that you are delivering doesn’t easily activate your sense of humor the…
b. You can add supplemental content to your speech or presentation that DOES easily activate your sense of humor.
If you don’t want to struggle to generate laughs from your public speaking efforts like most people tend to do, you need to understand this:
Funny public speaking is NOT focused on “funny writing”, using joke formulas or other “plug-and-play” off the shelf tactics, or trying to fabricate “funny” from something that you pulled straight from your rear end.
Funny public speaking is about YOU:
- Knowing and recognizing what your comedy talent is
- Knowing how your comedy talent works to generate laughs
- Knowing how to apply your natural comedy talent to your public speaking endeavors
But if doing things the hard way is a better choice for you…
Simply follow the advice that virtually every so-called humor or comedy “expert” has to offer. If you will do that…
You will be able to have your audiences lapsed into a coma in record time! 😁
It should be blatantly obvious from this article that if you want to give a funny speech without being a comedian, then you need to embrace the fact that the LAST thing you want to try to do is try to be a comedian.
You also want to embrace that the comedy talent that you have and use RIGHT NOW took decades to hone and develop and should not be replaced with something that you don’t have a clue about.
You just need to trust that it is good enough for any speech or presentation that you want to give IF you will give yourself permission to use it.
And here is one last thing you can take to the bank…
If you are comfortable and having fun when you are giving a speech, your audience will be comfortable and having fun too.
Victory always loves proper preparation.