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Category Archives: The Power of Humor

Speech Critique: Carma’s Humorous Speech

A few weeks ago, I gave my first speech for my current Toastmaster’s club, Speak Out! It was probably the most challenging presentation I’d ever given. The goals of the speech were:

  • Entertain the audience through the use of humor drawn from personal experience and from other material that I had personalized.
  • Deliver the speech in a way that makes the humor effective.
  • Establish personal rapport with my audience for maximum impact.

And I had to do all this in 15 to 20 minutes.

Of course, not to do things the easy way, I added on the additional challenge of making it an “Icebreaker” or introductory speech that helps the club get to know me.

To be honest, I was so nervous that I was seeing blue and purple in the edge of my vision. I was almost afraid that I might faint during my speech.

Thankfully, my public speaking experience took over and I did fairly well. I asked several people if they could tell I was nervous … not a one had noticed. But now that I’ve seen this video, I can pick out my tells. The video is just under 20 minutes … can you find my tells?
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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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