Monday, December 31, 2007

Public Speaking : Toasts

Having a toast on hand is like a good joke; they’re never expected and always appreciated. A public speaking professional will do well to have a few toasts they use in case a situation warrants. If you decide to venture into a local bookstore, you’ll find a number of sources that provide a variety of toasts. Many of the sources provide situation-specific advice. Pick out a few and make them part of your repertoire. As a public speaking professional, you never know when you’ll be called on to make a speech! Here are a few of my favorite toasts:

** To your birthday, glass held high. Glad it's you that's older not I.Here’s to you. No matter how old you are, you don't look it.
** Here’s to you. No matter how old you are, you don't look it.


** · 'Twas the month after Christmas, and Santa had flit; Came there tidings in the mail, which read: Please remit.Here's to the Holly with its bright red berry.
** Here's to Christmas, let's make it merry.


** Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow you diet.
** A full belly, a heavy purse, and a light heart.


** Here's to a friend who knows me well and likes me anyway.
** May the friends of our youth be the companions of our old age.
** Banquet speech ending:
** Good day, good health, good cheer, good night!


**Here's to your health. You make age curious, time furious, and all of us envious.


**As you slide down the banister of life, may the splinters never face the wrong way.
** May your luck be like the capital of Ireland. Always Dublin.

New Year:

** May all our troubles in the coming year be as short as our New Year's resolutions.
** In the year ahead may we treat our friends with kindness and our enemies with generosity.


** Marriage is an institution, but who wants to live in an institution. Groucho Marx
** May for 'better or worse' be far better than worse.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Public Speaking : To Laugh or Not to Laugh . . .

My thought is public speaking is supposed to be fun…well…at least I have fun doing it! When the audience is having a great time and laughing at your jokes, it’s hard not to share in their enthusiasm. Some public speaking experts may tell you that laughing at your own jokes is not the best idea. I wouldn’t be too concerned with that; laughing is never a bad thing…unless of course it’s in church when it’s dead silent. That could be bad news, but other than that, I say laugh it up! Your audience will be able to relate to you because you are taking on a role typically defined as theirs. Basically, laughing is like the ticket to the Cool Kids Club. So go ahead and get your membership!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Public Speaking : Simile

Similes are a great way to add some odd-ball humor to your public speaking events. This technique compares things together using the words “like” and “as.” For humor sake, doing this works the best when the comparison is a stretch.

In one of your public speaking presentations, you might say like, “Public speaking is as easy as teaching a cheetah to play the guitar.” These are two dramatically different subjects so putting them together automatically creates some kind of humor. Plus, a cheetah that playing the guitar draws up a funny image.
Be creative in your similes but make sure they add to your public speaking event. Don’t just throw them in without a purpose!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Public Speaking : Self-Effacing Humor

Now, I can give you all the advise and tips you want about public speaking, but let’s be honest, I don’t know what I’m talking about.

That statement, using the deadpan expression, is funny because obviously this an exaggerated form of a lie. I do know a thing or two about public speaking. This form of humor, self-effacing, involves making fun of yourself.

People love it when someone will make fun of themselves, as it demonstrates that they are confident enough to not take themselves too seriously. Also, by doing so you are demonstrating to the public speaking audience that you are in fact a confident person, which people are automatically drawn to. Most people want to try and build themselves up. Someone who does the opposite is rare and usually draws a laugh.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Public Speaking : Rule of Three

Using the Rule of Three in your public speaking engagements will create depth, provide a foundation, and highlight your points. Notice anything special in that sentence? I bet you do! This is an effective tool because it works for any type of speech, whether it’s humorous, serious, or sad.

Try using this tool in your next public speaking event. Follow the simple pattern, which is the first word or phrase sets the stage, the second follows, and the third deviates. This change is crucial because this deviation is what makes the set funny.

Also, when you use three, one-liners, you feed your public speaking audience members humor but not enough to weary them. Master the Rule of Three and I’m sure you’ll win the hearts of the crowd, feel confident about your presentation, and take over the world!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Public Speaking : Roast Humor and Insults

Ed Sullivan and the Rat Pack always got a great laugh roasting their friends and family. But before you go and roast someone at a public speaking event, keep in mind there are a few precautions to take:

**Remember to include positive comments, as well as the insults in your public speaking humor. The roast is supposed to honor the person, not slam them the entire evening.
**Never make fun of people in lower positions in an organization, such as the secretary or the cleaning staff. This will only make you seem callous, which won’t add to your public speaking events schedule!
**Try roasting the group as a whole, which will minimize the chance that personal feelings will be hurt.
**Focus the jokes on unimportant issues that won’t be damaging!
**Try insulting someone’s strengths. This downplaying about someone’s positives is automatically humorous.
**Clear you comments in advance. Always!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Public Speaking : Quotations

To add another dimension to your public speaking engagement, try using a famous quote. This works well in two ways. First, if the quote is not funny than it doesn’t matter because another person said it. Second of all, if it is, you’re only adding another element of humor.

There are hundreds of thousands of quotes that you can use in your public speaking event. Quote books even offer sections dedicated to specific industries or topics. Be sure to pick a quote that is either relevant to your material or audience.

You can even change around the quote to fit your public speaking engagement, by just substituting a few words. In this case, instead of accrediting the source, just say, “Someone once said…” and then change it to what you wish. Someone once said, “A man who uses quotes in a public speaking event will at least have said one thing worth listening to!”

Monday, December 10, 2007

Public Speaking : Proverb Fortune Cookie Humor

Try adding some unexpected humor to a public speaking presentation by quoting famous Chinese philosophers. By keeping the content relevant, you will gain the attention of the audience in a creative way. Before the event, you might want to make sure this is kosher with the crowd attending.

You can change any proverb or make up one of you own specifically for a public speaking engagement. Say you are speaking to a group of information technology experts, try incorporating information relevant to them in the humor. For example, “Confucius says, he who masters CC+ masters the world.”
Maybe not a side-splitting comment, but “Confucius says, he who is funny wins over the public speaking audience.”

Friday, December 07, 2007

Public Speaking : Places are Funny

Some places have names that are so funny it would be a crime not to include them in your public speaking presentations! Our country is an endless source of humor. Just pick up a map and you’ll find out!

I was just driving up to Washington, D.C. this past weekend when I saw a sign for Backlick Road. Amish Country in Pennsylvania alone has Bird in Hand, Intercourse, and Paradise. That kind of established humor is priceless in public speaking presentations because it’s almost too unbelievable to be true!
But don’t just stick to names of streets and cities. Restaurants and stores offer a wealth of public speaking information! What’s a great way to find these? Get out, get a map, and go for a ride!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Public Speaking : Parody *

Weird Al Yankovic has made a tremendous amount of money making parodies of famous songs. Take his lead and use this tool in your public speaking presentation. These allow you to have fun, be creative, and get the audience laughing.

One of the easiest ways to do this in a public speaking event is use a popular or familiar song and change the words geared to the audience. They’ll love that you are relating the information to them in an innovative way. If you want to get them involved, give them the lyrics and ask them to sing along!

Before you jump head first into the parody pool, get some legal advice about how you are allowed to use the material in a public speaking event. Some songs and other media are protected by copyright.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Public Speaking : One-Liners

Ooooh oooh oooooooohhh do I love one-liners! This public speaking tool is effective, easy to use, and doesn’t have to be hilarious to get a laugh. Your audience members will appreciate the break in your presentation that affords them a laugh, which will make them more receptive to the rest of your presentation. During high-content public speaking events, one-liners offer the best source of entertainment without deterring the focus from the main point.

If you are not sure about your one-liner talents, there are several public speaking books that include information on how to incorporate them into your presentation. These books will be a great resource of not only developing your own content, but also using material specific to your audience.