Types of Speeches: The Entertaining Speech

The Entertaining SpeechIf you decide to become a professional speaker or use speaking as an integral part of your marketing strategy, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the various types of speeches you might be asked to give. In this series of posts, I’ll give you the basics on a variety of types of presentations you can prepare. At the end of this post, I’ve listed previous articles in this series.


What is an entertaining speech?
O.K. Let’s be honest here, entertainment truly is in the eye of the beholder. What one person finds entertaining, another may find duller than dish water. So, you really have to know your audience in order to entertain them.

But what does that mean? What is an entertaining speech?

In the context of this series, an entertaining speech is one whose sole purpose is to have the audience enjoy the presentation. The purpose of an entertaining speech is not to educate, inform or inspire … it is to make the audience smile, relax, enjoy and maybe even laugh their heads off. (Figuratively, of course … real heads falling off would cause a nasty mess!)
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The Power of Humor

Soupy Sales with a pie in the faceMy dad once told a story about when he was in college. He was involved in a production of West Side Story and for the closing scene, when the angels take the hero away, the actors playing the angels were dressed up as Keystone Cops with glow-in-the-dark paint on their face and hands. Well, at one performance, my dad’s friend, who played one of the angels realized he had to take a leak … after his make up was put on. So, he tries to do it as carefully as possible, but alas, he got glow-in-the-dark paint on his fly. After dad finished the tale, we all laughed and then I said, “So, I guess you could say he had a firefly.”

Dad was so proud of my little funny. Apparently I can be funny when I need to.

Most professionals lace at least a little humor into all their presentations. Making people laugh wakes them up, gets them engaged and can help them drop their walls, at least a little, so they are open to receiving your message.
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The Benefits of Using Humor in Your Speech

laughterI’ll be the first to tell you that humor is a tricky thing. You see, one person’s humor is another person’s “what were you thinking?” But, if you can weave some humor into your speech that gets the audience laughing; that is appropriate to your topic; and that doesn’t offend anyone, you can reap many of the following benefits.

Put the audience at ease.
A relaxed audience is one that will be more present and available to take in the information you want to present.

Create a connection.
Humor often makes the speaker more approachable and likable. This helps them hear your message more readily.
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