Humor Delivery Tips
(ignore these art of public speaking tips and you can start passing out
pillows and blankets)
* Don't signal your punch line. If the humor in your punch line
depends upon the words ruptured camel, don't say the following: Did you
hear the one about the ruptured camel? Conventional habits or
practices are not part of the art of public speaking.
* Don't EVER repeat a punch line! Once the surprise is revealed,
the joke is history. I'll repeat this, but I don't want to hear you
repeating any punch lines. Let me repeat. Don't EVER repeat a punch
be shot by the humor firing squad if you repeat a punch line. OK. I'll
let you repeat one, but only under certain circumstances. Here's the
exception. At a later time in your speech, if you had a joke or punch
line that bombed miserably, you can call it back to make fun of
yourself. Laughing at yourself can be part of the art of public
* You must absolutely, positively memorize your punch line. You
should be able to awaken out of a deep sleep in an earthquake and,
without hesitation, deliver your punch line accurately. Give all the
facts necessary for the joke to make sense. The humor is lost if you
leave out the necessary details. Knowing how to properly tell a joke
is also part of the art of public speaking.
* NEVER, EVER explain your joke. If they don't understand, it's
your fault for telling the wrong joke to the wrong audience. The
hypnotist says, 'You're getting sleeeepy.' - putting the audience to
sleep is prohibited in the art of public speaking.
* Use the fewest words possible to get to the punch line. Brevity
is truly the soul of wit (never use a worn out cliché either). The
longer the joke, the funnier it must be. This is another aspect of the
art of public speaking.
* Don't walk around too much when telling a joke or story. I walk,
but I stop when important points are being made and when I'm delivering
a punch line.
* If you use notes, highlight or mark upcoming jokes or stories so
they don't sneak up on you. They will need special emphasis.
* Practice! Practice! Practice! I tell a joke or story 30 to 50
times in practice before I use it in a presentation. The art of public
speaking involves hours and hours of practice before you "Go Live" in
front of an audience, always be prepared to give your best.
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