Humour tips for speeches

Humour tips for business speeches and presentations

Humour tips for speakers: Most humour is about perspective, derailment or exaggeration. When something unexpected happens, we see the world differently or we have to re-examine our habitual view it can be funny. Pay attention to your surroundings, keep your eyes and ears open for the funny things that happen all around you.

Perspective – “ A few years ago my 80 year old father told me about playing golf with a few youngsters the previous day. I asked what he meant by youngsters. He replied they had only just retired.”

Derailment – “Good advice when going on a road trip is to have emergency supplies, just in case. I take a waterproof torch; power bars, in case I get hungry and my mother in law – because she knows everything.”

Exaggeration – “I finally read my manual this weekend, I thought after ten years as a Toastmaster, it may be about time.”

You can show people you don’t take yourself too seriously by poking a bit of fun at yourself, a few playful things about you, can make you more reachable and human. “I love to speak in public, in fact I may be a little addicted; I speak at the opening of an envelope.”

Ensure the humour is relevant.  Humour tips help us make the audience laugh, but pointless humour can be distracting, and may make your audience miss the important point of your talk. For example telling the story of your drunken uncle at a family picnic is distracting, no matter how funny, if you are trying to make the point about quality service and cannot easily tie it in.  Follow this golden speaker’s rule: When in doubt, leave it out. These humour tricks will help you make your point more effectively.

Humour tips for business speakers

Remember these humour tips for business speakers next time you write a speech.


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Richard Riche

Change Communication and Employee Engagement specialist at One Clear Message Consulting
Richard specialises in helping you build real human communication skills. Employee Engagement / Experience, Emotional Intelligence skills, building high performance teams and a great place you want to work. TED style speaking and presentation skills. Training, consulting and coaching.
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