I was invited to attend the Reed’s School 6th Form Toastmasters club. The meeting was very well organised and the Chairperson, Matthew Moran ensured the evening went to plan. I was invited to talk about Humour and how to use it effectively in speeches. The key points, in the form of “DOs and DON’Ts” I shared were:
- Only use humour when it fits your speech. Humour has to fit into the content, tone, and structure of the speech;
- Use humour for a speech from your own personal experience;
- Ensure that the humour is funny to you. If it does not make you laugh then do not expect your audience to laugh;
- Ensure that the humour relates to the point you are making;
- Do practise your humour as funny passages need to appear spontaneous;
- Have fun and enjoy yourself!
- Tack on jokes at the beginning of a speech to ‘break the ice’;
- Launch into a long humorous story; audiences are quick to forgive a single line that may not be funny, but will not forgive a long anecdote that is not worth the time. So start out with brief bits of humour;
- Start by saying, “Let me tell you a funny story.” Let the audience decide for themselves;
- Use offensive material.
The prepared speeches, evaluations and impromptu speeches were of a high quality and Mr Ha and Mr Gibbins, the joint Presidents of the club are to be commended for the time and effort they put into developing the members.