Monday, July 25, 2011

Public Speaking - I like Humor. Where Can I Find It?

I say again. Humor surrounds you if you just open your eyes to it. Your own personal life situations are always the best. Next in line would be updated and personalized humor taken from other sources.

You can find instantly usable humor (instant as soon as you practice and twist it around a little bit) on television, in the newspaper, in books, on the Internet, in Reader's Digest, in joke services, and from other speakers (always, always give credit). You could even have your own speech/joke writers as long as you can find one that understands you and your industry.

When using any of these sources, be ready with a pencil and paper or tape recorder to grab the stuff you like. You will look through much more material than you could ever use. The old saying is that you have to sift through a lot of dirt to get to the gold.

I have more than 400 volumes in my humor library now and it's growing all the time. Here are just a few humor references I always check when working on a new presentation:

* Witty Words by Eileen Mason
* Dictionary of Humorous Quotations, Edited by Evan Esar
* Humorous Stories About the Human Condition by Eric W. Johnson
* The Public Speakers Handbook of Humor by Helen & Larry Eisenberg
* 2715 One Line Quotations for Speakers, Writers and Raconteurs by Edward Murphy
* 5600 Jokes for All Occasions by Mildred Meirers & Jack Knapp

Your local library is an excellent source for humor. I found over 100 listings on humor in my small town library. They had tapes, records, books, and videos available and all at no charge. You can look for humor in the library under the following topics: Humor, Wit and Humor, Humorous Stories, Humorists, Humorous Poetry, Humorous Recitations, Humorous Photography, Proverbs, Caricatures and Cartoons, and Quotations.

Keep in mind that you can't always use the humor in these sources as is. You must update, personalize, and localize much of the humor to increase its effectiveness.

Get the book that changed the public speaking business forever!

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