Special Delivery! Tips for Improving Your Humor

Written by Tom Antion

Delivering humorous speeches involves a lot more than simply having good material. Take some time to incorporate these tips into your presentations and watchrepparttar fun and laughter factors rise.

In Fun

Sigmund Freud wrote: "The most favorable condition for comic pleasure is a generally happy disposition in which one is inrepparttar 118085 mood for laughter."

This concept is called "in fun." If you want your audience to laugh, they must be in fun. You,repparttar 118086 speaker, must be in fun. The emcee or program coordinator must be in fun. The whole program should be designed in fun. Do anything you can to be sure your audience knows that it's OK to laugh.

Time Of Day

The first speaker ofrepparttar 118087 day for an early morning program should not expect hearty laughter. People are not conditioned to laugh a great deal inrepparttar 118088 early morning. Many won't even be awake yet. Use more information and less humor. It's important for you to know when not to expect hearty laughter. It would be a waste of time to use your best material at a time when laughter normally wouldn't be expected. The poor response also brings your energy level down. Many consider brunch and lunch to berepparttar 118089 best times of day to expect a responsive audience. Inrepparttar 118090 afternoon people are starting to get tired so don't expect laughter to be as intense.

Male/Female Makeup of Audience

All-female audiences tend to laugh more easily and louder than all-male audiences. Audiences that consist of more than 50 percent women are good too. The presence ofrepparttar 118091 females provides a good buffer and makes it OK forrepparttar 118092 "big-ego" men to laugh.


No, I'm not talking about how much you weigh today. I'm saying thatrepparttar 118093 size of your audience has a direct effect onrepparttar 118094 types of humor which are most appropriate. Members of small business groups tend to be too self-conscious to laugh much. Use short one-liners. Don't use any long stories or jokes. In larger groups it's OK to stretch to jokes and short stories.

Pre-Program Research

The more you know about your audience,repparttar 118095 better able you will be to pickrepparttar 118096 humor that will getrepparttar 118097 greatest response. Your research beforerepparttar 118098 program will also allow you to uncoverrepparttar 118099 group's inside humor.


The best seating arrangement for laughter is semicircular theater style. When audience members are seated close together on a curve, they can look to their left or right and seerepparttar 118100 faces of each person inrepparttar 118101 row. This togetherness allows laughter to pass immediately from one person torepparttar 118102 other. Contact NSA member and seating expert Paul Radde for advanced seating information.

Choose Funnier Words

Your word choice can berepparttar 118103 key to creating a successful witty line or a dud. In particular, words withrepparttar 118104 "K" sound in them are funny. Cucumber is funnier than mushroom. Cupcake is funnier than pastry. Turkey is a funnier word than loser.

Deliver The Punch

Some humorists will disagree, but I say deliver your punch line to one person and make sure that person is going to laugh. You must punchrepparttar 118105 line out a little harder and with a slightly different voice thanrepparttar 118106 rest ofrepparttar 118107 joke. Lean intorepparttar 118108 microphone and say it louder and more clearly than you saidrepparttar 118109 setup lines. Ifrepparttar 118110 audience does not hearrepparttar 118111 punch line, they aren't going to laugh.

Deliverrepparttar 118112 punch line to a person you know will laugh, so that others will be positively influenced to laugh. How do you know if a person will laugh or not? Pay attention to those who have been laughing, those nodding their heads in agreement with you duringrepparttar 118113 program, and those you identified beforerepparttar 118114 program.


Pausing just before and just after your punch line givesrepparttar 118115 audience a chance to "get"repparttar 118116 humor and laugh. Absolutely do not continue to talk when laughter is expected. If you do, you will "step on" your laughter and squelch it quickly.

Make It Relevant

If you make all your attempts at humor relevant to your presentation, you get an automatic excuse from your mother if your humor is not all that funny. If your humor is received as funny, so muchrepparttar 118117 better; but if it isn't, at least you made your point. Audiences will be much more tolerant ifrepparttar 118118 humor ties intorepparttar 118119 subject at hand. Use this formula:

A. Make your point.

B. Illustrate your point with something funny.

The One Great Sermon That Got Away

Written by Rev. James L. Snyder

Most people don't realize ministers are obligated to prepare and preach one great sermon in their career. In looking over my record of sermons, I noticed many "good" sermons, but an obvious lack inrepparttar list of a single "great" sermon.

Perusing my list brought back some marvelous memories. I smiled as I remembered each sermon and where I preached it. Of course, I'm at that stage of life whererepparttar 118084 old memory juices don't flow as deep as they once did.

Occasionally, I ran acrossrepparttar 118085 odd sermon that didn't really look familiar. I must have preached them because they were on my list, but I had no recollection of them.

Every minister has three kinds of sermons in his repertoire.

(1) Sermons that hold wonderful memories as he reflects back on them. The preacher's main occupation, of course, is preaching. And nothing delights him more than pursuing his occupation with all his might.

When a sermon comes together, it is a magnificent thing. I grant you this doesn't happen often, but when it does it's wonderful.

The bad thing about a really wonderful sermon is you can only preach it one time. To me, this is not fair.

A singer, for example, can singrepparttar 118086 same song over and over and over. If it's a really good song, people inrepparttar 118087 audience will even request it.

My idea of heaven is having people request that I repeat one of my good sermons. To date, no one has made such a request of me, which may mean none are worth repeating.

(2) Sermons he wishes he could forget and hopes everyone else has. Looking over my list of sermons, I was surprised by how many fit this category.

Here's a good example, "How to Give in To Your Wife Without Giving Up Your Manhood?"

I was 28 atrepparttar 118088 time and had been married for about seven years. I thought I had a good grasp on this thing called marriage. Also, I thought I had some wisdom to share along this line. If memory serves me correctly, what I thought I knew I didn't.

I do rememberrepparttar 118089 Gracious Mistress ofrepparttar 118090 Parsonage setting me straight on that sermon. My manhood was severely challenged and I have never repeated that sermon since.

Here's another sermon I wish I could forget. "When Your Get-up and Go Got up and Went, Where Do You Go?" I have no idea what I was trying to get at. I sure hope I never run into any former parishioner who remembers this one.

(3) Finally, sermons long forgotten even byrepparttar 118091 preacher himself. I noted that in 35 years of preaching I had quite a few belonging in this category. As I tried to remember some of these long forgotten sermons one thought struck me.

Where do forgotten sermons go? Is there some holding tank somewhere, filled with forgotten sermons? Is there a sermontoruim for these homiletically-challenged productions?

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