Some Important Questions About How To Add Humor To Speeches

questions about adding humor to speechesIt has become clear to me that the “standard” methodology regarding how to add humor to a speech is essentially the same “techniques” that are presented in a slightly different way depending upon who is presenting them.

But it all primarily boils down to this:

  • There is an identification of the different types of humor that you can incorporate into a speech, such as the rule of 3’s, self-deprecation, exaggeration, irony, physical humor, etc. In stand-up comedy, these are known as joke formulas.
  • Next there are examples provided that illustrate each different type of humor tactic that can be used.
  • Then, you just simply apply these humor tactics in your own speech or presentation.

Sounds pretty darn easy, doesn’t it? Well, it is – if you want to seriously struggle to get laughs from attempting to mechanically add humor to a speech using these sorts of “techniques”.

Now, let me present some questions about this.

Big Questions

Does the sense of humor that you use everyday count for anything when it comes to adding humor to a speech?

The reason I ask is because it only took the first couple of DECADES of your life to actually develop the sense of humor that you have now though an ongoing series of countless verbal interactions with many people you have met over the course of your life.

When you say something that makes another person laugh, did you stop and think about what “technique” you were going to use first? If not…

How is it that you are able to generate any laughter in any casual conversation if you are not even aware of the “techniques” that you use to do it?

Why do you need to be aware of any sort of “technique” in order to generate generate audience laughter during a speech or presentation?

Is it possible that a person can generate audience laughter during a speech or presentation without having to know a single “technique” to do it?

Is the laughter you generate in casual conversations different from the laughter that is generated during a speech or presentation? If so…

What EXACTLY is different about it? Better question…

What is the real difference in the people that you talk with everyday and the people that are sitting in an audience listening to a speech? Do they transform into a special being from a different galaxy once they have taken a seat to watch a speech?

What are you suppose to do if your sense of humor and natural expressive manner that gets you laughs in everyday conversations doesn’t line up with the standard “techniques” for adding humor to a speech? Are you just SOL (simply outta luck)?

How does providing you with written examples of another person’s sense of humor in action help you to better use your own individual sense of humor to get laughs during a speech?

Besides being known as the funny part of a joke with an unexpected twist, what EXACTLY is a punchline as it applies to you and how you are able to generate them at will when you need them?

The reason I ask is because you have been delivering punchlines since you were a child in order to generate laughs. You deliver them all the time with little if any forethought.

Seems to me that it would be really helpful to know what a punchline actually is relative to you, your sense of humor and what you are talking about, especially since it is the punchlines that generate the laughs.

These questions are not just for you. You are more than welcome to ask these questions of any so-called expert on adding humor to speeches in order witness for yourself the made up nonsense they will respond with.

My Answers

Just so you know…

There is NO difference in the “standard” methodology for adding humor to a speech and the “standard” methodology for developing a stand-up comedy routine. It is the exact same thing in a slightly different package.

And if you want to see for yourself just how well the “standard” methodology works in stand-up comedy, just go and suffer through ANY comedy open mic ANYWHERE in the world that has them available.

Here’s what I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt:

While the “standard” methodology for adding humor to a speech might seem like a simple affair, DO NOT BE FOOLED.

What it really does is reduces a person’s natural sense of humor to something that is largely not even considered worthy of any sort of meaningful discussion.

Forget the amount of time and complexity involved with the development of a person’s sense of humor itself – having the ability to instantaneously connect the dots and respond to experiences, observations, opinions, events. etc. with little forethought at all.

I know this from first hand experience because I consumed every possible resource for developing a stand-up comedy routine in the early 90’s.

Long story short – I almost quit before I accidentally figured out that the “standard” methodologies are a set-up for failure, not success.

So let me cut right to the chase:

You don’t have to know, learn, or memorize ANY type of identified “technique” when it comes to adding humor to a speech.

Think of it this way – whether you realize it or not, you already use “techniques” naturally that are specific to you and the way you express your sense of humor.

You use these “techniques” in casual conversations without even knowing what they are to get laughs when you talk.

Since these “techniques” that you don’t even think about are PROVEN to get laughs, why couldn’t you just use your natural sense of humor to get laughs during a speech or presentation?

Well, I am here to tell you that you CAN provided two conditions exist:

  • Your speech has content that activates your sense of humor
  • You will actually give yourself permission to use your sense of humor during your speech

Which brings to this very important piece of information:

The big difference between an audience attending a speech and a group of friends involved in casual conversation is that most if not all of the audience don’t know you like your friends do.

Everyone has met people that they do not know.

When you meet someone you don’t know, are you able to regulate your sense a bit until you get to know them? We all do. Now for the more important question:

When you meet someone you don’t know, are you still able to effectively use your sense of humor to get laughs?

I can and I am sure that you can too.

So what is really keeping you from using your sense of humor in front an audience of people that you don’t know?

More than likely what is holding you back is the same thing that held me back – I was bamboozled into thinking that I had learn and apply “special techniques” to get the laughs that I wanted instead of trusting my own sense of humor.

Final Thoughts

Knowing what I know now…

The “standard” methodology for adding humor to speeches and presentations actually makes it far more difficult to generate audience laughs than is what is peddled shamelessly across the planet by the so-called “experts”.

But you certainly don’t have to believe anything that I am presenting here. Just answer the questions that I have asked above honestly. Do some research for yourself.

But here’s the deal:

Once you realize that laughter generated during a speech, a stand-up routine and a casual conversation among friends is accomplished USING THE EXACT SAME METHODS…

You will understand why I say in the article below that you can use stand-up comedy techniques TODAY in a speech if you want (because you have ALREADY been using stand-up techniques that are specific to you and the way you express your sense of humor FOR DECADES):

Stand-up Comedy Techniques For Public Speaking
Want to use the most powerful stand-up comedy techniques available to make your speeches funny TODAY for FREE? This article shows you how.

My perspective is this:

While there is certainly much to know about developing and delivering a speech and adding humor that generates big laughs, it is a FAR easier process when people are equipped with information that actually works for them and their unique sense of humor.

Steve Roye is one of the world's foremost experts in the field of spoken word comedy development and delivery for stand-up comedians and public speaking professionals alike. For details about Steve's diverse background and extensive experience, click here.

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