Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

The Art of Using Humor in Public Speaking

Some consider humor to be the Holy Grail of public speaking. The old adage, ‘Always start with a joke’, endures like no other. Behind this is the idea that a well-timed gag will win over any audience and open them up to your message. But the role of comedy in public speaking is far more complex and subtle than this phrase would have you believe. 
For any person who must speak in public or private, to business or pleasure groups, humor is an invaluable indispensable tool for getting your message across.

  • Login to see the comments

The Art of Using Humor in Public Speaking

  1. 1. The Art of Using Humor in Public Speaking
  2. 2. Prepared By TM Manu Melwin Joy Kerala Toastmasters Area – G3,Division G District 92, India. Phone – 9744551114 Mail – manu_melwinjoy@yahoo.com Kindly restrict the use of slides for personal purpose. Please seek permission to reproduce the same in public forms and presentations.
  3. 3. Slide 3 to Slide 30
  4. 4. Introduction to Humor in Public speaking 1. Humor in public speaking. 2. Why use humor? Slide 31 to Slide 38
  5. 5. 7 Things you should know about your sense of humor 1. It can change the way you see yourself and the world around you. 2. It improves relationships. Your sense of humor makes relationships works. 3. 4 out of 5 doctors recommend it. Your sense of humor is good for your health. 4. Everyone has a sense of humor. 5. Moods change, but your sense of humor doesn’t. Your sense of humor is not a mood. 6. It is a welcome mat for solutions to your problems. 7. It is the real your. Your true sense of humor can’t be faked. Slide 39 to Slide 47
  6. 6. 12 Benefits of using humor. 1. Makes you more likeable. 2. Helps you connect with the audience. 3. Arouses interest and keeps attention. 4. Helps emphasize points and ideas 5. Disarms hostility 6. Shows that you don’t take yourself too seriously 7. Makes information more memorable 8. Lightens up heavy material 9. It answers the question everyone wants to ask 10. Gives the audience some shuffle time 11. Improving Health 12. Antidote for stress. Slide 48 to Slide 63
  7. 7. Famous quotations about humor Slide 63 to Slide 97
  8. 8. Definition of Humor 1. Definition of humor. 2. Definition of wit. 3. Difference between humor, wit, satire and farce. 4. Who should use humor? Slide 98 to Slide 107
  9. 9. Theories of humor 1. Superiority theories. 2. Incongruity theories. 3. Relief theories. Slide 108 to Slide 140
  10. 10. Laws of Humor 1. First Law : Things can be funny only when we are "in fun". 2. Second Law : When we are "in fun", a peculiar shift of values takes place. 3. Third Law : Being "in fun" is a condition most natural to childhood. 4. Fourth law : Grown-up people retain in varying degrees this aptitude for being in fun and thus enjoying unpleasant things as funny. Slide 141 to Slide 148
  11. 11. Types of humor 1. Self – effacing humor 2. Personal anecdotes 3. Similes / metaphors 4. Quotations 5. Lists 6. Predictions 7. One liners. 8. Puns. 9. Props. 10.Stereotypes. Slide 149 to Slide 189
  12. 12. Using of verbal humor. • Anecdote • Aside • Banter • Blend word • Blunder • Conundrum • Freudian slip • Hyperbole • Irony Words • Joke • Parody • Recovery • Repartee • Satire • Situational Humor • Understatement Slide 190 to Slide 206
  13. 13. The MAP to being a successful humorist • M – Material. • A – Audience. • P – Performer. Slide 207 to Slide 219
  14. 14. The THREES formula for humor • Target. • Hostility. • Realism. • Exaggeration. • Emotion. • Surprise. Slide 208 to Slide 297
  15. 15. POW : Play of Words • Double entendre. • Malaprop. • Oxymoron. • Pun. • Reforming. • Simple truth. • Take-off. Slide 298 to Slide 333
  16. 16. The Harmony of Paired Elements • Phrases. • Words. • Statistics. • Aphorisms. Slide 334 to Slide 359
  17. 17. Triples : SAP Technique •S= Setup (preparation) •A= Anticipation (triple) •P= Punch line (story payoff) Slide 360 to Slide 369
  18. 18. Where to use humor in your speech? 1. Beginning of your speech. 2. Middle of your speech. 3. End of your speech. Slide 370 to Slide 383
  19. 19. Tips to tap into your inherent humor 1. Tip 1 -Identify Things That Make You Laugh. 2. Tip 2 - Identify the Things You Already Do That Make Others Laugh. 3. Tip 3 - Learn the Basics Of Humor. 4. Tip 4 - Understand That Humor Comes In the Rewrite. 5. Tip 5 - Keep Working at It. Slide 384 to Slide 405
  20. 20. 7 Simple Techniques to Put Humor Into Your Speech 1. Develop a stockpile of stories. 2. Observe other speakers. 3. Memorize the stories. 4. Be prepared to deliver “impromptu” stories. 5. Practice. 6. Move On. 7. Plan the “spice” in your speech. Slide 406 to Slide 413
  21. 21. Developing Original Humor for Your Talk : STR technique 1. Surprise 2. Tension. 3. Relationships. Slide 413 to Slide 453
  22. 22. Delivering the speech • Rule 1 : Use humor in the beginning. • Rule 2 : Use humorous anecdotes rather than jokes . • Rule 3 : Don't try to make jokes about areas outside your expertise . • Rule 4 : Use self-deprecating humor . • Rule 5 : Keep it clean . • Rule 6 : Keep it relevant Slide 454 to Slide 505
  23. 23. Delivering the speech (Cont..) • Rule 7 : If You Use Borrowed Material, Give the Source . • Rule 8 : Practice, Practice, Practice . • Rule 9 : Keep Emergency Back-Up Material Handy . • Rule 10 : Engage Your Audience . • Rule 11 : Keep Your Presentation a Work in Progress . • Rule 12 : Use Exaggeration to Be Funny Slide 454 to Slide 505
  24. 24. Delivering the speech (Cont..) • Rule 13 : Gestures, Vocal Variety and Pauses Are Important. • Rule 14 : Know your audience. • Rule 15 : Use the rule of three. • Rule 16 : Use understatement after making a strong point. • Rule 17 :Set and Break Expectations. • Rule 18 : Uncover Humor from Dialogue. • Rule 19 : Humor Doesn’t Mean Stealing Jokes from the Internet . Slide 454 to Slide 505
  25. 25. How to use humor when things go wrong? • You are given a terrible introduction. • You trip on the way to the lectern. • Your funny line or story bombs, • An audience member walks out during your speech. • There’s a sudden crash from outside the room. Slide 506 to Slide 516
  26. 26. Source of materials for humor • People. • Personal Anecdotes • Printed sources. • Joke books. • Internet. Slide 516 to Slide 525
  27. 27. Pitfalls of Public Speaking Humour • You are not a stand up comedian. • All speeches should contain at least one serious point. • Never use offensive humor. • Don’t stop the audience laughing. • Use bombproof humor. • Honest. • Making the “Funny Story” Announcement. • Put a Ban on Sarcasm. • Avoid, Avoid and Really Avoid. Slide 526 to Slide 556
  28. 28. 15 shades of laughter • Smirk. • Smile. • Grin. • Snicker. • Giggle. • Chuckle. • Chortle. • Laugh. • Cackle. • Guffaw. • Howl. • Shriek. • Roar. • Convulse. • Die laughing. Slide 557 to Slide 589
  29. 29. Mel Helitzer Comedy Writing Secrets Slide 590 to Slide 603
  30. 30. Author and Toastmasters Slide 603 to Slide 612
  31. 31. Introduction to Humor in Public speaking
  32. 32. Humor in public speaking • Some consider humor to be the Holy Grail of public speaking. The old adage, ‘Always start with a joke’, endures like no other. Behind this is the idea that a well-timed gag will win over any audience and open them up to your message. But the role of comedy in public speaking is far more complex and subtle than this phrase would have you believe.
  33. 33. Humor in public speaking • For any person who must speak in public or private, to business or pleasure groups, humor is an invaluable indispensable tool for getting your message across.
  34. 34. 'Business executives and political leaders have embraced humor because humor works. Humor has gone from being an admirable part of a leader's character to a mandatory one.‘ – Bob Orben, Special Assistant to President Gerald Ford and Former Director of the White House Speech writing Department.
  35. 35. Why Use Humor? • People will enjoy what you have to say if it is presented with humor. • You will be appreciated for providing heartfelt laughter; laughter that has therapeutic effects on listeners.
  36. 36. Why Use Humor? • If you are in a situation where important and perhaps controversial ideas must be presented to less than open minds, humor allows those ideas to be presented in a non- threatening manner. • Abraham Lincoln was famous for his ability to relate humorous stories to make a point.
  37. 37. Why Use Humor? • You will be remembered, talked about; your reputation as a truly great speaker will be enhanced and spread about.
  38. 38. 12 benefits of using humor
  39. 39. Benefits of using humor • Makes you more likeable – this one is a no brainer. We all like people who make us laugh and believe me, you really do want the audience with you not against you.
  40. 40. Benefits of using humor • Helps you connect with the audience – as the audience start to relax they start to see you as someone they know, a friend.
  41. 41. Benefits of using humor • Arouses interest and keeps attention – if the audience are having a good time they want more, so they are more inclined to forget about their worries and listen.
  42. 42. Benefits of using humor • Helps emphasize points and ideas – if you emphasize the main points of your speech with a little humor the audience will actually remember what you’ve said.
  43. 43. Benefits of using humor • Disarms hostility – you won’t always be speaking to an audience who are on your side, but if you’ve made them laugh they will be more sympathetic.
  44. 44. Benefits of using humor • Shows that you don’t take yourself too seriously – nobody likes listening to a stuffed shirt. A little self-effacing humor will let the audience know that you are just like them.
  45. 45. Benefits of using humor • Makes information more memorable – if you illustrate the main points of your speech with a little humour, the audience are more likely to remember those points.
  46. 46. Benefits of using humor • Lightens up heavy material – nobody wants to listen to a heavy message for twenty minutes but if you start with a little humor, hit the audience with your main message and then finish with something light hearted… they might last the distance.
  47. 47. Benefits of using humor • It answers the question everyone wants to ask – when Abraham Lincoln was accused of being two faced, he answered with the now famous… “Friends, I ask you, if I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?“
  48. 48. Benefits of using humor • Gives the audience some shuffle time – during the laughter the audience can shuffle around and get comfortable in their chairs.
  49. 49. Benefits of using humor • Improving Health - If you enjoy a good laugh on a regular basis you will usually have a lower blood pressure than average. If your humor makes people laugh, your contributing to their health. It also results in deep breathing which in numerous ways.
  50. 50. Benefits of using humor • Antidote for stress - Numerous studies show how laughter helps to ease tension and stress. It is also a way to help keep the brain alert. This means if incorporated in public speaking, it can serve as a way to tap into the audience mind, helping them to retain more of what they hear you say.
  51. 51. Humor is Like an Old Shoe • Humor will serve to relax the audience resulting in them being more comfortable with you. It is kind of like an old shoe. When you get up on podium and start speaking, you are like a new shoe. New shoes look great but are not always comfortable. Once broke in however, they are not only comfortable, they make you feel comfortable. • Humor allows the audience to feel comfortable around you. This makes what you say have more weight and builds rapport with your audience.
  52. 52. The use of off-color, risque or blue humor, humor which derives its "effectiveness" from shock value, sexual content, or relation to bodily functions has no place in the repertoire of the professional speaker.
  53. 53. Famous quotations about humor
  54. 54. "Analyzing humor is like dissecting a frog. Few people are interested, and the frog dies of it.“ E.B. White
  55. 55. Definition of Humor
  56. 56. Definition of humor • Humor is defined as "the mental faculty of discovering, expressing or appreciating the ludicrous or absurdly incongruous".
  57. 57. Definition of humor • Ludicrous is an adjective meaning amusing or laughable through obvious absurdity, incongruity, exaggeration or eccentricity. What is incongruous? It is something lacking congruity, inconsistent within itself.
  58. 58. Definition of humor • Doctor Jarvis was a professional public speaker who focused on humor, and he defined it in two ways. One, humor is a painful thing told playfully. Two, humor is a tragedy separated by time and space.
  59. 59. Definition of wit • Wit is defined as, "the power to evoke laughter by remarks showing verbal felicity or ingenuity and swift perception, especially of the incongruous".
  60. 60. Definition of wit • Synonymous with wit are, humor, irony, sarcasm, satire and repartee, which are all modes of expression intended to arouse amusement. But there is another element to wit which Dr. Jarvis explains by saying, "Wit punctures, humor pictures."
  61. 61. Definition of wit • A person with wit delivers witticisms which are defined as cleverly witty and often biting or ironic remarks with the ability to relate seemingly disparate things so as to illuminate or amuse.
  62. 62. Difference between humor, wit, satire and farce • In its narrower sense, humor is distinguished from wit, satire, and farce. It is less intellectual and more imaginative than wit, being concerned more with character and situation than with plays upon words or upon ideas; more sympathetic and less cruel than satire; more subtle than farce.
  63. 63. Who should use humor? • Anyone whose job it is to communicate to groups of individuals, to share information or to motivate, could use humor to invigorate their message and improve the reception of their audience.
  64. 64. If deep, deep down, you know that you are a klutz when it comes to delivering the punch line, if you can't seem to get jokes right, then consider carefully your decision to use humor.
  65. 65. Theories of humor
  66. 66. Theories of humor • What exactly is it about a situation that makes it laughable? We all know that some things do make us laugh; but it is very hard to say just what it is that these laughable things have in common.
  67. 67. Theories of humor • Theories of humor (in the wider sense) are attempts to solve this problem. They may be divided into three main types: Superiority theories, incongruity theories and relief theories. A fourth type of theory, which takes the central feature of humor to be ambivalence, a mingling of attraction and repulsion, is of minor importance.
  68. 68. Superiority Theories • Very often we laugh at people because they have some failing or defect, or because they find themselves at a disadvantage in some way or suffer some small misfortune.
  69. 69. Superiority Theories • The miser, the glutton, the drunkard are all stock figures of comedy; so is the henpecked husband or the man who gets hit with a custard pie.
  70. 70. Superiority Theories • We laugh, too, at mistakes: at schoolboy howlers, faulty pronunciation, bad grammar. These are all fairly crude examples, but it may be that even the most subtle humor is merely a development of this, and that the pleasure we take in humor derives from our feeling of superiority over those we laugh at.
  71. 71. Superiority Theories • Thomas Hobbes (1588- 1679) is probably the originator of this theory. "Laughter," he says, "is a kind of sudden glory"; and he is using "glory" in the sense of “ Vainglory” or "self-esteem.
  72. 72. Superiority Theories • He adds that we laugh at the misfortunes or infirmities of others, at our own past follies, provided that we are conscious of having now surmounted them, and also at unexpected successes of our own.
  73. 73. Superiority Theories • Arguing on these lines, Alexander Bain (1818-1903) maintains that all humor involves the degradation of something. Bain expands Hobbes in two main directions.
  74. 74. Superiority Theories • Firstly, He says that we need not be directly conscious of our own superiority; we may, for example, laugh sympathetically with another who scores off his adversary.
  75. 75. Superiority Theories • Secondly, it need not be a person that is derided: it may be an idea, a political institution, or, indeed, anything at all that makes a claim to dignity or respect. Even a sunrise may be degraded, as when Samuel Butler compares it, in Hudibras, to "a lobster boiled."
  76. 76. Incongruity Theories • Incongruity is often identified with "frustrated expectation," a concept we owe to Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), who says that humor arises "from the sudden transformation of a strained expectation into nothing."
  77. 77. Incongruity Theories • More is implied here than merely surprise: the suggestion is that humor consists in the violent dissolution of an emotional attitude. This is done by the abrupt intrusion into the attitude of something that is felt not to belong there, of some element that has strayed, as it were, from another compartment of our minds.
  78. 78. Incongruity Theories • On this view, what is essential to humor is the mingling of two ideas which are felt to be utterly disparate. One or the other may be "degraded" in the process; but this is incidental.
  79. 79. Incongruity Theories • The neatness of the joke will depend on two things: the degree of contrast between the two elements, and the completeness with which they are made to fuse.
  80. 80. Incongruity Theories • Oscar Wilde’s witticism, "Work is the curse of the drinking classes," is funny, not merely because of its close resemblance to the wording of the conventional remark which it replaces ["drinking is the curse of the working classes"], but because it presents us with a quite different, but perhaps equally appropriate, evaluation of the social fact referred to.
  81. 81. Incongruity Theories • Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) thinks that all humor can be explained as "descending incongruity."Spencer agrees with Bain that incongruity always involves a contrast between something exalted, or dignified, and something trivial or disreputable; but he thinks that it is the incongruity, and not the descent or "degradation," that is the important feature
  82. 82. Incongruity Theories • Humor, according to incongruity theories, may be said to consist in the finding of "the inappropriate within the appropriate."
  83. 83. Relief Theories • Since humor often calls conventional social requirements into question, it may be regarded as affording us relief from the restraint of conforming to those requirements.
  84. 84. Relief Theories • The relief may be only temporary: a smoking room story, for example, is not usually a serious challenge to conventional morality; but it does enable us to air the sexual impulses which society makes us repress.
  85. 85. Relief Theories • Moreover, people who have been undergoing a strain will sometimes burst into laughter if the strain is suddenly removed. It may be, then, that the central element in humor is neither a feeling of superiority nor the awareness of incongruity, but the feeling of relief that comes from the removal of restraint.
  86. 86. Relief Theories • This theory has been reinforced and brought into prominence by the psychological discoveries of Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) [Viennese founder of psychoanalysis: if you want to go to the source for this, it's Jokes and their relation to the unconscious.
  87. 87. Relief Theories • Freud himself regards humor as a means of outwitting the "censor," his name for the internal inhibitions which prevent us from giving rein to many of our natural impulses. It is not only our sexual impulses that are repressed by the censor, but also our malicious ones.
  88. 88. Relief Theories • In this way Freud is able to account, not only for indecent jokes and for the appeal of comic characters like Falstaff who ignore conventional moral restraints, but also for the malicious element in humor to which superiority theories call attention.
  89. 89. Relief Theories • According to Freud, the censor will allow us to indulge in these forbidden thoughts only if it is first beguiled or disarmed in some way. The beguiling is done, he thinks, by means of the techniques of humor: such devices as punning, "representation by the opposite," and so on.
  90. 90. Relief Theories • Freud finds many similarities between the techniques of humor and the ways in which our waking thoughts are distorted in dreams. This enables him to link his theory of humor with his theory of dream interpretation: dreams are also a means of eluding the censor.
  91. 91. Relief Theories • The intellectual pleasure of playing with words and ideas, and of finding unexpected connections, regarded by the incongruity theories as the essential element in humor, thus finds a place in Freud's theory as a means of tricking the censor.
  92. 92. Relief Theories • Freud explains this by adopting Spencer's physiological explanation of laughter. The pleasure results, he thinks, from the economizing of nervous energy. Nevertheless, he does not regard the intrinsic appeal of these comic devices as sufficient to explain humor. : they would be pointless if we were not able, under their cover, to give vent to repressed desires.
  93. 93. Conclusion • Each of these theories of humor is able to explain some types of humor, but it may be doubted if any of them can satisfactorily explain every type of humor.
  94. 94. Conclusion • Superiority theories account very well for our laughter at small misfortunes and for the appeal of satire, but are less happy in dealing with word play, incongruity, nonsense, and indecency. Incongruity theories, on the other hand, are strong where superiority theories are weakest, and weak where they are strongest.
  95. 95. Conclusion • Relief theories account admirably for laughter at indecency, malice, and nonsense (regarded as relief from "the governess, reason" [a reference back to Schopenhauer]) but are forced to concede that there is an intrinsic appeal in incongruity and word play that is quite independent of relief from restraint. Each type of theory does, however, illuminate some aspect of humor.
  96. 96. Laws of humor
  97. 97. Laws of humor • Max Eastman wrote a book titled “The Enjoyment of Laughter”, which goes into detail analyzing the psychology behind humor. He presents four laws of humor, all related to the concept of being "in fun".
  98. 98. Laws of humor • The first law is that things can be funny only when we are "in fun". • Ask yourself, "Is this audience "in fun"; do I dare use humor; can they be moved into "in fun""?
  99. 99. Laws of humor • The second law is that when we are "in fun", a peculiar shift of values takes place. • Pleasant things are still pleasant, but disagreeable things, so long as they are not disagreeable enough to "spoil the fun", tend to acquire a pleasant emotional flavor and provoke a laugh.
  100. 100. Laws of humor • Someone who can think funny has the natural ability to see the humor in the painful lessons of life.
  101. 101. Laws of humor • The third law is that being "in fun" is a condition most natural to childhood, and that children at play reveal the humorous laugh in its simplest and most omnivorous form. • A speaker must be aware of the mood of the audience at all times.
  102. 102. Laws of humor • The fourth law is that grown-up people retain in varying degrees this aptitude for being in fun and thus enjoying unpleasant things as funny. • But those not richly endowed with humor manage to feel a very comic feeling only when within, or behind or beyond, or suggested by, the playfully unpleasant thing, there is a pleasant one.
  103. 103. Laws of humor • Audiences made up of individuals who have retained in varying degrees the aptitude for being "in fun" provide the humorous speaker with a great challenge; that of reaching all present. Like Charlie says, some members of the audience are thinking, "OK Buster, lets see if you can make me laugh....... "
  104. 104. Types of Humor
  105. 105. Types of humor 1. Self – effacing humor 2. Personal anecdotes 3. Similes / metaphors 4. Quotations 5. Lists 6. Predictions 7. One liners
  106. 106. Types of Humor • What do you think of when you think of humor? I’m guessing that you think of jokes. Most of us do and when speakers start using humor in their speeches, they add jokes.
  107. 107. Types of Humor • They give a bit of their speech, then tell a joke, then another bit of their speech, then another joke… and that’s what the result sounds like… speech. joke, speech, joke….
  108. 108. Types of Humor • Forget jokes, look for humor that adds to your speech, makes a point or illustrates something you’re saying.
  109. 109. Types of Humor Self – effacing humor • if you want to have a little fun at someone’s expense, make sure it’s at yours. As the speaker you should be big enough to take a little ribbing and the audience will admire you for it.
  110. 110. Types of Humor Personal anecdotes • we’ve all had humorous experiences or heard people say funny things, so weave them into your speeches.
  111. 111. Types of Humor Personal anecdotes • Audiences are more likely to warm to amusing anecdotes and observations that draw on your own experiences. These stories tend to feel more real, less forced and give your audience opportunities to connect with you as a speaker.
  112. 112. Types of Humor Similes / metaphors • Similies and metaphors are a great source of humour on any subject you can think of.
  113. 113. Types of Humor Similes / metaphors • “Life is rather like a tin of sardines – we’re all of us looking for the key.” Alan Bennett
  114. 114. Types of Humor Quotations • Funny quotes are the No. 1 best way to use humor in a presentation because funny quotes are brief, and you can easily memorize several quotes that you can toss out when you think it's time for some humor.
  115. 115. Types of Humor Quotations • Plus, when you quote someone else, you're somewhat in safe territory because if it bombs, it was that other person that actually said it, not you, so you gain some distance there. But if the quote gets a great reaction, then you get the credit for making them laugh.
  116. 116. Types of Humor Quotations • There are huge volumes of quotations out there just waiting to be used to illustrate your points and add humour to your speeches.
  117. 117. Types of Humor Quotations • I’m a kind of paranoiac in reverse – I suspect people are plotting to make me happy.” J.D. Salinger
  118. 118. Types of Humor Lists • Whenever you use a list of at least three items you can inject a little humor. The first few items follow a pattern and the final item catches the audience by surprise.
  119. 119. Types of Humor Lists • It is by the goodness of God that in our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience and the prudence never to practice either of them.” Mark Twain
  120. 120. Types of Humor Predictions • The pronouncements of experts have left us with a wealth of funny material.
  121. 121. Types of Humor Predictions • “Computers in the future will weigh no more than 1.5 tons.” Popular Mechanics, forecasting advance of science, 1949
  122. 122. Types of Humor One liners • I know I’ve told you not to tell jokes, but one liners are short enough not to interupt the flow of your speech.
  123. 123. Types of Humor One liners • “Start every day with a smile… and get it over with.” W.C. Fields
  124. 124. Types of Humor Props • Think about your topic and if there are any props you could use to lighten things up and inject some humor in your speech.
  125. 125. Types of Humor Props • I once saw a presenter give a talk about how to deal with problems, and he had a couple of stuffed animals on stage with him - one was a guppy to represent small problems and the other was a whale to represent big problems. Whenever he talked about a big problem and held up the whale, the group would laugh.
  126. 126. Types of Humor Cartoons • If you're using an overhead projector or a PowerPoint presentation, it's very easy to insert a funny one-panel cartoon into your presentation. The funniest cartoons will be ones that have something to do with the topic of your presentation.
  127. 127. Types of Humor Pun Puns are words with different meaning.
  128. 128. Types of Humor Stereotypes Stereotype is a widely held and oversimplified belief.
  129. 129. Types of Humor Changing context • Change the setting, or meaning with surrounding words.
  130. 130. Using of verbal humor
  131. 131. Using of verbal humor • Anecdote – Interesting stories told to help the speaker make a point.
  132. 132. Using of verbal humor • Aside – A statement added as an after-thought, appearing as though the speaker said something that reminded him or her of the aside
  133. 133. Using of verbal humor • Banter – Good-natured teasing done back-and-forth with another person, sometimes with an audience member
  134. 134. Using of verbal humor • Blend word – The combination of two words to make a new word; e.g., “murse” for “man” and “purse”
  135. 135. Using of verbal humor • Blunder – Witty way of making a mistake or verbal faux pas.
  136. 136. Using of verbal humor • Conundrum – A word puzzle that has a pun for an answer; e.g., cows wearing bells because their horns do not work
  137. 137. Using of verbal humor • Freudian slip – A humorous statement that appears to come spontaneously, but really reflects the speaker’s subconscious
  138. 138. Using of verbal humor • Hyperbole – Excessive exaggeration
  139. 139. Using of verbal humor • Irony Words – Statements used to reflect the complete opposite of their original meaning
  140. 140. Using of verbal humor • Joke – A short anecdote that has a funny twist at the end
  141. 141. Using of verbal humor • Parody – A humorous version of another writing or speech
  142. 142. Using of verbal humor • Recovery – The appearance of a blunder that the speaker quickly corrects, in an attempt to save himself or herself
  143. 143. Using of verbal humor • Repartee – Clever or witty retorts, often in the form of insults
  144. 144. Using of verbal humor • Satire – Humor that is critical, or makes fun of something
  145. 145. Using of verbal humor • Situational Humor – Humor that comes from the speaker’s own personal experiences
  146. 146. Using of verbal humor • Understatement – Intentionally down- sizing something to make it appear smaller or less severe
  147. 147. The MAP to being a successful humorist
  148. 148. The MAP to being a successful humorist • MAP stands for material, audience and performer. MAP is a triangular comedic constellation. Each star in the constellation must relate to both the other stars. M – Material. A – Audience. P – Performer.
  149. 149. The MAP to being a successful humorist Successful humor requires all the three MAP elements.
  150. 150. The MAP to being a successful humorist • Material – The material must be appropriate to the interests of the audience, and it must relate well to the persona of the performer. M – Material. A – Audience. P – Performer.
  151. 151. The MAP to being a successful humorist • Audience – The audience must complement both the material and the presentation style of the performer. M – Material. A – Audience. P – Performer.
  152. 152. The MAP to being a successful humorist • The reason the MAP theory is illustrated by a triangle is that – of the three points – the audience is the most important. M – Material. A – Audience. P – Performer.
  153. 153. The MAP to being a successful humorist • You and audience have the same goal lines. You score when you reach it together. Other can keep score, but ten laughs a minute can be a failed effort if the audience doesn’t participate. M – Material. A – Audience. P – Performer.
  154. 154. The MAP to being a successful humorist • Unless you are prepared with material that obviously and vocally works for a specific audience, you are facing impossible odds of success. M – Material. A – Audience. P – Performer.
  155. 155. The MAP to being a successful humorist • There is a distinct audience for every specialized group. The same material that works for college students will not work for a group of lawyers or doctors. M – Material. A – Audience. P – Performer.
  156. 156. The MAP to being a successful humorist • Most audience are more interested in subjects that involve their activities than they are in humor that is all about you, your friends, your pets and your bar buddies. M – Material. A – Audience. P – Performer.
  157. 157. The MAP to being a successful humorist • Performer – The performer must present the right material to the right audience in the right way,. M – Material. A – Audience. P – Performer.
  158. 158. The MAP to being a successful humorist • The audience need to know who you are in the first thirty seconds. It is in this short window of time that they are going to decide how comfortable they feel with your comedic persona. M – Material. A – Audience. P – Performer.
  159. 159. The MAP to being a successful humorist • Certain characteristics are mandated by your physical appearances : size, color, accent, sex and beauty. It is best to take advantage of these physical confinements rather than fight with them. M – Material. A – Audience. P – Performer.
  160. 160. The THREES formula for humor
  161. 161. The THREES formula for humor • There are six essential ingredients in any recipe for humor. With few exceptions, the absence of any one ingredient so disturbs the formula that the humor might not taste just off, but might deflate like a ruined souffle.
  162. 162. The THREES formula for humor • Target. • Hostility. • Realism. • Exaggeration. • Emotion. • Surprise.
  163. 163. The THREES formula for humor • The first letter of each element forms a memorable acronym ; THREES. The THREES formula focuses on the what and why of humor. • Target. • Hostility. • Realism. • Exaggeration. • Emotion. • Surprise.
  164. 164. The THREES formula for humor • The what is the target, and the why is the hostility, realism, exaggeration, emotion and surprise contained in the humor. • Target. • Hostility. • Realism. • Exaggeration. • Emotion. • Surprise.
  165. 165. TARGET Aiming your humor • Our instinctive perception is that humor is fun. It isn't! Humor is criticism cloaked as entertainment and directed at a specific target.
  166. 166. TARGET Aiming your humor If there's no corpse, there's usually no joke. —Mike Sankey
  167. 167. TARGET Aiming your humor • The proper selection of humor targets is not just important—it's arguably the most critical factor in writing commercially successful humor. A humor target can be almost anything or anybody, but you need to be sure you've focused on the right target for your particular audience.
  168. 168. TARGET Aiming your humor • Picking a good target isn't a crapshoot. It takes thought, skill, and precision to MAP your way to the right target. Strong targets, as noted above, can range from people to personal beliefs.
  169. 169. TARGET Aiming your humor • Let's take a closer look at some of the most common targets: – Yourself. – Sex – Celebrities. – Places – Products and – Ideas.
  170. 170. Self: Pick on Somebody Your Own Size • By far the least offensive (but most effective) target is yourself. As writer and director Carl Reiner observed, "Inviting people to laugh with you while you are laughing at yourself is a good thing to do. You may be the fool, but you're the fool in charge."
  171. 171. Self: Pick on Somebody Your Own Size • Many comics open by ridiculing their shortcomings: their physical characteristics, finances, intelligence, and even their success. People are always willing to laugh at someone else, so it's a safe way to warm up an audience. Once the audience is laughing, it's time to move on to hotter issues.
  172. 172. Sex: Talk Dirty to Me • Sex is the topic of close to 25 percent of all humor, making it one of the most popular targets. All of us— male or female, young or old—are more ambivalent about sexual activity than about any other single subject. It isn't that we're fascinated by exaggerated acts of sex; it's that we're frustrated by exaggerated reports of adequacy.
  173. 173. Sex: Talk Dirty to Me • Studies have shown that men's greatest sexual concerns generally center around size, the ability to get an erection, performance, the amount of sex they're having, premature ejaculation, and impotency—pronounced in West Virginia as im- PO-tan-cy, because it's real impotent to me!
  174. 174. Celebrities: Humor Fodder and Mudder • Celebrities are also popular targets. Celebrity service is a cheap shot, but our appetite for a dash of vinegary gossip about our heroes, icons, and villains is insatiable.
  175. 175. Places: Living in a Crass House • Our need for superiority is the motivating factor whenever we ridicule places: We ridicule countries (France, North Korea); states (West Virginia, New Jersey); cities (New York City, Washington, D.C.); and local spots in the news (a neighborhood, a street, a bar, lover's lane). Every humorist has a favorite dumping ground.
  176. 176. Products: Malice in Wonderland • There's a veritable eBay full of products that are favorite humor targets. They run from buildings and automobiles to sports equipment, jewelry, and junk food. The basic rule, again, is that your target be an object of annoyance shared by the entire audience.
  177. 177. Products: Malice in Wonderland • It's easier to start backwards. Begin with the punch line, but don't finalize your position until you've decided it's their position as well. If the audience includes a large contingent of hunters, forget about quoting either of these Ellen DeGeneres bits.
  178. 178. Ideas: Fools of the Game • The list of controversial ideas that can be humor targets is lengthy. Audacious ideas can include subjects such as religion, the meaning of life and death, and politics. Idea topics are the most likely to backfire, because a person's politics and ideologies aren't visible on the outside, like clothes.
  179. 179. Activity • As you've just seen, the list of potential humor targets is nearly endless. Take a moment and list seven to ten possible subjects, topics, or targets of humor. That is, identify things that you want to make fun of.
  180. 180. HOSTILITY: RIDICRUEL • The second ingredient in the THREES recipe for humor is hostility. Humor is a powerful antidote to many of the hostile feelings in our daily lives. All of us have hostility toward some target
  181. 181. HOSTILITY: RIDICRUEL • That is why, in humor, ridicule is spelled ridicruel. Comedy is cruel. The words cruel and ridicule appear together frequently— where there is one, there is also the other
  182. 182. HOSTILITY: RIDICRUEL • All of us have hostility toward some person, thing, or idea—unless we are saints. Did you ever hear a joke about two perfect, happy people? But when a beer-bellied, blue-collar worker walks in the front door and says to his battle- ax of a wife, "Can you spare a few minutes? I need to be taken down a peg"—now, that works as great humor.
  183. 183. HOSTILITY: RIDICRUEL • Let's discuss some common sources of hostility (and therefore humor): – Authority – Sex – Money – Family – Angst – Technology, and – Group differences.
  184. 184. Authority: Sock It to Me • Humor is a great catharsis because it gives the public an opportunity to blow off indignant steam at authority figures both major and minor. While hostility against authority is international, in America, it is a national heritage.
  185. 185. Authority: Sock It to Me • Hostile humor is usually directed upward. Freshmen ridicule upperclassmen but have little interest in writing humor about their younger brothers or sisters. Faculty spend very little effort on humor directed at students and much more on material satirizing the administration.
  186. 186. Authority: Sock It to Me • This necessity for hostility bred what is called nihilistic humor— humor based on the theory that there is no person or thing so sacred as to be beyond ridicule.
  187. 187. Authority: Sock It to Me • Humorists, protected by the First Amendment, enjoy the admiration of audiences that laugh and applaud their unbridled criticism of gods, political leaders, and celebrities.
  188. 188. Money and Business: The Loot of All Evil • Men admit they think more about sex than about any other subject, but studies throughout the years have indicated that women worry more about finances than sex. There's little doubt, however, that money is a constant source of irritation and hostility among both sexes.
  189. 189. Money and Business: The Loot of All Evil • Business practices are more frequently becoming targets of financial hostility. But jokes about business practices actually direct hostility against two subjects at the same time: economics and authority
  190. 190. Family Affairs: Coming Home Soon • Hostility against family responsibilities, restrictions, and competing interests needs little explanation as a target of humor. Family members and household affairs like cleaning, paying bills, and cooking have all become popular targets.
  191. 191. Family Affairs: Coming Home Soon • Children, especially teenagers and preteens, are common family targets. Even toddlers are targets (they're not just cute but, according to Bill Cosby, exhibit signs of brain damage). Parents are unburdening themselves wittily, even if they can't do it in reality.
  192. 192. Angst: The Ecstasy and the Agony • Angst is the intellectual observation that fairy tales aren't true—that there is an unhappy end to every happy beginning. Angst has pointed a devil's finger at anxieties so personal that, in the past, we carefully avoided discussing them even in private
  193. 193. Angst: The Ecstasy and the Agony • A long list of such topics includes fear of death; coping with deformity; deprivations; and neurotic symptoms such as paranoia, insecurity, narcissism, and kinky sexual urges.
  194. 194. Technology: Now Fear This • Charlie Chaplin exploited frustrations and fears about rapidly growing automation to make people laugh. It's ironic that IBM once used his tramp character as an implied advertising testimonial for computers, because Chaplin's character didn't promote machines—he ridiculed them.
  195. 195. Technology: Now Fear This • Humor may be our only rational way of coping with the fear of terrorism, an invasion of spooks from outer space, or the chemical mutation of our planet.
  196. 196. Group Differences: Us vs. Them • Mocking the beliefs or characteristics of social groups is one of humor‘s most controversial subjects because it caters to our most primitive instincts—prejudice and insecurity
  197. 197. Group Differences: Us vs. Them • We hope to maintain some sense of superiority by ridiculing abnormal characteristics of others. We're responding to a primitive form of group therapy.
  198. 198. Group Differences: Us vs. Them • We fear control and intimidation by people of different colors or religions; and so, by derision, we attempt to stereotype their physical appearances, ethnic mannerisms, colloquial speech—any unique characteristic we find odd.
  199. 199. Group Differences: Us vs. Them • We feel the same way about people with different social attitudes about drugs, sex, education, professions—even music, literature, and humor. As long as we're in the majority, humor can criticize.
  200. 200. HOSTILITY: RIDICRUEL • Each writer has his own definition of humor. Shakespeare said, "Brevity is the soul of wit." Somerset Maugham wrote, "Impropriety is the soul of wit." But the soul of wit may just be hostility. When we all think alike, there will be a lot less humor.
  201. 201. HOSTILITY: RIDICRUEL • Sigmund Freud described depression as anger turned inward. Humor might be viewed as anger turned into profit. Hostility underlies humor, so tapping into your anger is an excellent tool for generating ideas for jokes (and it's less expensive than therapy).
  202. 202. Activity • Make a list of people, things, and topics that you feel hostile about. Freely associate, don't censure yourself, and write down why each target is frustrating.
  203. 203. Activity • Exaggerate your emotional state to the point of being explode and fully vent your anger about the target. This exercise can narrow the focus of each target to a specific premise that will be a springboard for writing humor
  204. 204. REALISM: Raise your sites • The third component in the THREES formula for humor is realism. "Most good jokes state a bitter truth," said scriptwriter Larry Gelbart.
  205. 205. REALISM: Raise your sites • Without some fundamental basis of truth, there's little with which the audience can associate. But jokes also bend the truth, and the challenge is to learn how to tell the truth (be realistic) while lying (exaggerating).
  206. 206. REALISM: Raise your sites • Since it appears that exaggeration is the logical antithesis of realism, it may seem ludicrous to have both within the framework of one piece of humor. But good humor is a paradox— the unexpected juxtaposition of the reasonable next to the unreasonable—and that creates surprise
  207. 207. REALISM: Raise your sites • Think of the combination of realism and exaggeration as an exercise in lateral thinking, a technique commonly used by business gurus to solve problems and generate new ideas. It's defined as an interruption in the habitual thought process, a leap sideways out of ingrained patterns. Comedy has been doing this for thousands of years.
  208. 208. REALISM: Raise your sites • The basic two-step in humor is to (a) state some common problem, frequently with a cliché, and (b) create an unexpected ending or surprise. Humorist Stephen Leacock wrote, "Humor results from the contrast between a thing as it is and ought to be, and a thing smashed out of shape, as it ought not to be."
  209. 209. REALISM: Raise your sites • Dorothy Parker once wrote, "The difference between wit and wisecracking is that wit has truth to it, while wisecracking is simply calisthenics with words."
  210. 210. REALISM: Raise your sites • The value of realism becomes even more evident when you consider the humor of children. Their combination of truth and simplistic naïveté delights grown-ups because it gives us a feeling of benevolent superiority— if, as is said about benevolent dictatorship, there is such a thing.
  211. 211. REALISM: Raise your sites • To be most effective, the "facts" of humor should be logical—the relationship between people should be clear and predictable, the time and the locale of the story should be familiar, the hostility should be common to all the audience members and commensurate to the irritation.
  212. 212. REALISM: Raise your sites • Major deviations from reality don't prevent humor, but they may reduce the payoff of uninhibited laughter. In essence, then, humor should be as realistic as possible.
  213. 213. EXAGGERATION: Talking up a storm • How does realism relate to exaggeration? As we accept poetic license, let's accept a humor license that grants permission to expand on realistic themes with soaring imagination and unabashed metaphors.
  214. 214. EXAGGERATION: Talking up a storm • Audiences rarely counter a joke that the performer has made personal with an admonition "You don't expect me to believe that?"
  215. 215. EXAGGERATION: Talking up a storm • Only for humor is the public willing to suspend disbelief and skepticism. We permit humorists to utilize hyperbole, blatant distortion, and overstated figures that signal: Hey, it's only a joke.
  216. 216. EXAGGERATION: Talking up a storm • Therefore, the audience laughs at exaggerated banana- peel acrobatics because the clown will certainly get up. That's comedy! If he doesn't get up, that's tragedy!
  217. 217. EXAGGERATION: Talking up a storm • An example of the likely next to the unlikely is the classic story about the newspaper that ran two photos: one of a gray- haired matron who'd just been elected president of the local Women's Republican Club and the other of a gorilla who was a new addition to the local zoo—but the captions got switched. That's likely.
  218. 218. EXAGGERATION: Talking up a storm • The second stage of the humor comes from the unlikely: The newspaper got sued for defamation—by the gorilla!
  219. 219. EMOTION: Burst the bubble • The fifth element in the THREES formula is emotion. Hostility, over- or understated, is not enough. There must be a buildup of anticipation in the audience
  220. 220. EMOTION: Burst the bubble • Think of hostility as an inflated balloon. When you create tension in your audience, you are effectively adding more and more air to that balloon, building the audience's anticipation over when the balloon will burst. They can hardly keep their eyes off the stunt.
  221. 221. EMOTION: Burst the bubble • Each performer has a stage personality, called a persona or shtick. While others can steal material, they can't steal the nuances that make one individual funny. (And an ineffective persona can make a performer unable to tell even a well-written joke).
  222. 222. EMOTION: Burst the bubble • A great comedic performer must be an actor with boundless energy. The qualities that make a good comedian are over and above those that make a good actor. Many comedians have become good actors in films and sitcoms, but you rarely hear of a good actor becoming a great comedian.
  223. 223. EMOTION: Burst the bubble • The ability to generate emotion is the ability of the speaker to translate the writer's material into entertainment through voice, enthusiasm, and action.
  224. 224. EMOTION: Burst the bubble • The ability to create emotion is also experience: knowing when to pause and for how long, creating a rhythm with inflection, and sometimes nothing more grandiose than making a gesture—called a take, because it takes the right gesture.
  225. 225. EMOTION: Burst the bubble • Woody Allen discovered that "stand- up is a funny man doing material, not a man doing funny material. The personality, the character—not the joke—is primary."
  226. 226. HOW DO YOU BUILD EMOTION? • The first and most common technique for building emotion is also the simplest— pausing just before the payoff word. This pause is called a pregnant pause because it promises to deliver.
  227. 227. HOW DO YOU BUILD EMOTION? • The second technique for generating emotion is asking the audience members a question, thereby encouraging them to become involved. This was one of Johnny Carson's favorite devices.
  228. 228. HOW DO YOU BUILD EMOTION? • The third technique is called a build, which is a joke that leads to a joke that leads to another joke. Ultimately, the jokes work together to prepare the audience for one big blast.
  229. 229. HOW DO YOU BUILD EMOTION? • The fourth way to build emotional tension is by working the audience—a favorite device of today's stand-up comedians. The performer walks out into the audience and throws questions at (what appear to be) randomly selected members.
  230. 230. HOW DO YOU BUILD EMOTION? • Tension builds in each audience member not from amazement that the comic is able to come up with toppers to every answer, but from the fear that he or she may be the next victim of the performer's ridicule.
  231. 231. SURPRISE: NOBODY KNOWS THE STUMBLES I'VE SEEN • The final element in the THREES formula is surprise. It's no wonder then that it's also one of the primary building blocks for a successful joke.
  232. 232. SURPRISE: NOBODY KNOWS THE STUMBLES I'VE SEEN • Charlie Chaplin defined surprise in terms of a film scene in which the villain is chasing the heroine down the street. On the sidewalk is a banana peel. The camera cuts swiftly back and forth from the banana peel to the approaching villain. At the last second, the heavy sees the banana peel and jumps over it—and then falls into an open manhole.
  233. 233. SURPRISE: NOBODY KNOWS THE STUMBLES I'VE SEEN • It's easy to tell if your surprise works, because a live audience's instant laughter is the most honest of emotions. You can give a bad speech, a poor theatrical or musical performance, and the audience will still politely applaud. If you perform bad humor, you'll get nothing but icy silence
  234. 234. SURPRISE: NOBODY KNOWS THE STUMBLES I'VE SEEN • No matter how well written, jokes don't come off in performance if the comedian telegraphs the surprise. Many performers tip off the audience to the funny line with a lick of their lips or a gleam in their eyes.
  235. 235. SURPRISE: NOBODY KNOWS THE STUMBLES I'VE SEEN • They hold up their hands and stop the audience from laughing all out ("Hey, listen to this!"), and they prime the audience for a big topper. But then there's no surprise, and no laughter.
  236. 236. SURPRISE: NOBODY KNOWS THE STUMBLES I'VE SEEN • This can have a domino effect: The performer loses confidence in the material, then starts to press, then loses other laughs because the audience has a sixth sense about flop sweat— when a performer is trying too hard.
  237. 237. SURPRISE: NOBODY KNOWS THE STUMBLES I'VE SEEN • "Comedy is mentally pulling the rug out from under each person in your audience," wrote Gene Perret. "But first, you have to get them to stand on it. You have to fool them, because if they see you preparing to tug on the rug, they'll move."
  238. 238. POW : Play of Words
  239. 239. POW : Play of Words • More than 50 percent of all humor is based on plays on words (POWs). The POW acronym is reminiscent of a sound effect in superhero comics, and a POW does pack a punch—and a punch line.
  240. 240. POW : Play of Words • POW is a twist on a familiar cliché; aphorism; book, movie, or song title; famous quote; national ad slogan—in fact, any expression widely known by the public.
  241. 241. POW : Play of Words • It can make use of double entendres, homonyms, or puns. A humorist twist to the aphorism The way to a man's heart is through his stomach is: The quickest way to a man's heart is through his chest.
  242. 242. POW Techniques • Double entendre. • Malaprop. • Oxymoron. • Pun. • Reforming. • Simple truth. • Take-off.
  243. 243. Double entendre • A double entendre is the use of an ambiguous word or phrase that allows for a second— usually racy— interpretation.
  244. 244. Double entendre • Double entendre is the French term for an ambiguous word or phrase that allows for a second—usually spicy— interpretation. Double entendres are 40 percent of all cliché humor because they're so easy to construct.
  245. 245. Double entendre • The logic behind double entendre humor is as basic as its English translation: two meanings. The audience assumes one meaning; the comic sneaks in another.
  246. 246. Double entendre • As new expressions come into the vernacular, the professional humor writer looks for every opportunity to play around with words—the most socially acceptable form of playing around
  247. 247. Double entendre • Be forewarned! Amateurs make the mistake of thinking that, since double entendres are so plentiful, they are easy to cultivate. But you must evaluate them as you would plants at a nursery—if you don't choose carefully, you may wind up with a garden of crabgrass.
  248. 248. Double entendre • And there is a second danger to the use of double entendres: They are so often used in humor that even unsophisticated audiences can predict a punch line if it has been telegraphed by the comedian. If the double entendre isn't well hidden, there's no surprise.
  249. 249. Double entendre • The most popular double entendre is the word it, which can be used to mean a hundred different things, but is used most often in humor as a synonym for intercourse. • MC, after bombing with a sexist joke: Boy, am I going to get it when I get home. Or maybe I'm not going to get it when I get home.
  250. 250. Double entendre • The second most common double entendre is the word in, which also has an obvious sexual connotation. • "Isn't it great to be in June?“ "Yes, but her sister, Barbara, was even better."
  251. 251. Double entendre • More sophisticated forms of double entendre make use of irony and sarcasm. Irony can be expressed in many ways, but it's often the result of evoking an absurd meaning from a standard phrase. • Hillary Clinton said she once got a dog for Bill. She said it was the best deal she ever made.
  252. 252. Malaprop • A malaprop is the unintentional misstatement or misuse of a word or phrase, or the accidental substitution of an incorrect word for the correct one, with humorous results. Malaprops are effective in part because they allow the audience to feel superior. Malaprops can incorporate clichés and double entendres.
  253. 253. Malaprop • Humorists bless politicians who make their jobs easy by fracturing the English language, as did former Vice President Dan Quayle. His malaprops include: • If we do not succeed, then we run the risk of failure.
  254. 254. Malaprop • President George W. Bush's habit of misspeaking spawned several books‘ worth of malaprops known as Bushisms. They include: • They misunderestimated me. • I promise you I will listen to what has been said here, even though I wasn't here
  255. 255. Malaprop • Note that malaprops give the audience a chance to mock the speaker's confusion with English, and thereby feel superior. As you remember, the feeling of superiority is a prime motivator for laughter.
  256. 256. Oxymoron • An oxymoron is a joining of two incompatible ideas in one phrase. It can also be called a contradiction in terms.
  257. 257. Oxymoron • found missing • living dead • good grief • working vacation • larger half • soft rock • Exact estimate • taped live • small crowd • Extinct life
  258. 258. Pun • A pun is a word used in such a way that two or more of the word's possible meanings are active simultaneously. A pun may also be a reformation of a word to a like-sounding word that is not an exact homonym.
  259. 259. Pun • here is one of the most popular words to use, because it can sound like hear, hair, and hare: An adolescent rabbit is a pubic hare. Hair today, gone tomorrow.
  260. 260. Pun • Puns are very versatile and can be used in a number of formats. They can take the form of riddles.
  261. 261. Pun • What do you call a smelly chicken? • A foul fowl. • What does a grape say when you step on it? • Nothing. It just gives a little whine.
  262. 262. Pun • They can be simple quips. • Asphalt, another word for rectal problems. • With friends like you, who needs enemas?
  263. 263. Pun • Puns can also be used to create "daffy definitions.“ • What's a Fahrenheit? A moderately tall person. • Detail: The act of removing a tail. • Content: Where prisoners sleep while on a camping trip.
  264. 264. Reforming • Reforming is a process that adds a twist or a surprise ending to a cliché (a predictable, hackneyed phrase) or a common word, phrase, or expression. Other POW techniques, such as double entendres and puns, rely heavily on reforming. There are several ways to reform a cliché or expression.
  265. 265. Reforming • TRANSPOSE WORDS. The first way to reform a phrase or cliché is to transpose the words to create a new, related thought. Drama critic Walter Winchell did this in a review of a season opener: "Who am I to stone the first cast?" Then there's the classic drug joke: "I'm not as think as you stoned I am."
  266. 266. Reforming • REPLACE A PEW LETTERS IN A KEY WORD. The second and most frequent type of reforming is replacing one or two letters in a key word of an expression in order to achieve a surprise turn of phrase. • I will not cut off my nose to spite my race
  267. 267. Reforming • USE A HOMONYM. The third way to reform a cliché is to use a homonym, a similar-sounding word with a second possible interpretation. Reforming with homonyms often creates double entendres or puns, as in restaurant names like Wok 'n Roll, Mustard's Last Stand, Blazing Salads, and Aesop's Tables.
  268. 268. Reforming • USE A HOMONYM. The third way to reform a cliché is to use a homonym, a similar-sounding word with a second possible interpretation. Reforming with homonyms often creates double entendres or puns, as in restaurant names like Wok 'n Roll, Mustard's Last Stand, Blazing Salads, and Aesop's Tables.
  269. 269. Simple truth • The simple truth is the opposite of a double entendre. It plays on the literal meaning of a key word in an idiomatic phrase.
  270. 270. Simple truth • The simple truth makes logic illogical. It's commonly referred to as the "Call me a taxi" or "Call me a doctor" formula. ("Call me a taxi." "Okay, you're a taxi"; or, "Call me a doctor." "Why? Are you sick?" "No, I just graduated from med school.")
  271. 271. Simple truth • Another way to craft a simple truth is through a childish riddle. • "I bet you I can say the capitals of all fifty states in less than thirty seconds.“ "Impossible. It's a bet. Ready, set, go!“ "Okay. The capitals of all fifty states in less than thirty seconds. I said it. You lose!"
  272. 272. Simple truth • As we mature comedically, simple truth techniques permit a whole series of formula jokes. • I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman where the self-help section was. She said if she told me it would defeat the purpose.
  273. 273. Take-off • The take-off is a statement of the standard version of a cliché or expression, followed by a realistic but highly exaggerated commentary, frequently a double entendre.
  274. 274. Take-off • I say live and let live. Anyone who can't accept that should be executed. • If truth is beauty, how come no one has her hair done in a library? • My mind wanders a lot, but fortunately it's too weak to go very far.
  275. 275. The Harmony of Paired Elements: Phrases, Words, Statistics, and Aphorisms
  276. 276. The Harmony of Paired Elements • Humor is a feat of verbal gymnastics, and paired elements are examples of the type of clever writing that is commonly used in political addresses, sermons, academic oratory, and toasts. A paired element consists of two grammatical structures (words, phrases, clauses, or sentences) that are similar in construction and that play off each other in meaning.
  277. 277. The Harmony of Paired Elements • There are three varieties of paired elements. – Paired phrases or sentences – Paired words – Paired numbers
  278. 278. Paired phrases or sentences • To be most effective, paired phrases or sentences must be parallel—equal in grammatical purpose, structure, and rhythm. Some need an introductory setup line; most do not.
  279. 279. Paired phrases or sentences • In most cases, the first unit in the pair is a simple declarative statement. The carefully crafted second unit of the pair echoes the first, but a key word may be altered, or the order of the words may be reversed to change the meaning.
  280. 280. Paired phrases or sentences • As a humor technique, paired phrases with word reverses are facile but not necessarily simple. The basic rule, common in most humor writing, is that the last line is written first—the last line is the one that makes the point and is most easily remembered
  281. 281. Paired phrases or sentences • Paired phrases are popular with clichés, which afford many opportunities for take-off humor—the line after the paired phrase. • Boss to new employee: "Relax, Bitler. You have nothing to fear except fear itself. And me, of course!" – Robert Mankoff
  282. 282. Paired phrases or sentences • Paired elements are frequent applause-getters, and writers know that the audience is more stimulated by the turn of phrase than by its logic. Homonyms get laughs even when they don't make much sense. • It is better to have loved a small man than never to have loved a tall. – Mary Jo Crowley
  283. 283. Paired phrases or sentences • Most paired words fall into one of four classifications: synonyms, homonyms, antonyms, or groupings. No professional humor writer is without a dictionary of synonyms, antonyms, and homonyms.
  284. 284. Synonyms • Synonyms are different words that share a meaning. Synonyms are popular word pairings. There are so many words in the language that have a similar meaning that there are countless double entendre opportunities.
  285. 285. Synonyms • One simple technique for pairing synonyms is to express an idea in one line or phrase, then include in the second line or phrase a synonym for a key word in the first. But the synonym should evoke a different and unexpected meaning of the key word in the first phrase. • SHOE SALESMAN: Don't worry about the shoes. • They'll stretch. • WOMAN: Then don't worry about the check. It'll bounce. • —Rita Rudner
  286. 286. Synonyms • In the example above, the paired words are stretch and bounce. Although stretch and bounce aren't strict synonyms, their close relationship (something that can stretch may be likely to bounce) allows them to work together in a play on words.
  287. 287. Synonyms • He only acts mean. But down deep in his heart, he's thoroughly rotten. • I love mankind. It's people I can't stand. • She wasn't just throwing herself at him. It was more like taking careful aim.
  288. 288. Homonyms • Homonyms are words that sound the same but are spelled differently or have a different meaning. Our language is rich with words that are pronounced alike. Take gene, for instance. Gene can be a scientific term or a man's name, but when spoken, it can sound like pants made of denim (jeans) or a woman's name (Jean).
  289. 289. Homonyms • One DNA molecule to another: Those genes make me look fat. • License plate of sheep rancher: EWEHAUL. • She was a girl who preferred men to liquor. • Ad for telephone system: From high tech to hi, Mom.
  290. 290. Antonyms • While synonyms are words or phrases that share the same meaning, antonyms are words or expressions that mean the opposite of each other: hot vs. cold, tall vs. short. Paired antonyms generate humor because they are the simplest form of a reverse.
  291. 291. Antonyms • Young boy to friend: If I'm too noisy they give me a spanking. If I'm too quiet, they take my temperature. • Let's get out of these wet clothes and into a dry martini. • It's no wonder foreigners are confused by our language. Here a slim chance and a fat chance mean the same thing
  292. 292. Groupings • Another type of word play relies on the grouping of two or more words loosely associated with the same topic. These words don't have to be synonyms, antonyms, or homonyms.
  293. 293. Groupings • A political candidate must learn not only to stand on a platform, but also to sit on the fence and lie on the spot. • I come from out west, where men are men and women are women, and you can't ask for a better setup than that.
  294. 294. Paired Number • Numbers and figures can also be paired to humorous effect. As with any joke, save the surprise number or figure for the very end of the joke, just as if it were a word.
  295. 295. Paired Number • MC AT OLD-AGE HOME: "We're going to give a prize to the oldest person here." • FIRST VOICE: I'm 63. • SECOND VOICE: I'm 73. • THIRD VOICE: I'm 83. • FOURTH VOICE: I'm dead!
  296. 296. Paired Number • Professor to class: Don't be afraid of rewrites. Just remember the first draft of Dickens' book was called A Tale of Ten Cities. The second draft was called A Tale of Nine Cities, then it was Eight, then it was Seven. ...
  297. 297. Numbers Repeated • To have twenty lovers in one year is easy. To have one lover for twenty years is difficult. • The kind of humor I like makes me laugh hard for five seconds and think hard for five minutes.
  298. 298. Aphorism AND Pairings • Aphorisms are concise expressions of a bit of truth or wisdom. Following a misfortune, we have certain options. We can turn pessimistic and curse bad luck, or we can be optimistic and consider that fate has provided a valuable learning experience.
  299. 299. Aphorism AND Pairings • These two options form the basis for one type of aphorism—a humorous contrast between the point of view of a pessimist and that of an optimist. This type of aphorism makes good use of paired elements
  300. 300. Aphorism AND Pairings • An optimist sees benefit in every disaster; a pessimist sees recurrence in every disaster. • The word disaster is repeated, and benefit has been contrasted with recurrence. Still nowhere, but certain possibilities are starting to appear. The contrast of benefit and disaster is stronger than the contrast of benefit and recurrence.
  301. 301. Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered: Triples
  302. 302. Triples • Triples are one of the most common humor formulas. They have been used for so many years in the "There was a priest, a minister, and a rabbi..." format that, when three such clergymen actually did walk into a bar, the bartender asked, "Is this some kind of a joke?"
  303. 303. Triples • The triple formula uses hostility, exaggeration, a buildup of tension, and a surprise ending that inflates the payoff. Most triples are short—two or three sentences—but longer triples can work if done correctly. The opening lines are logical setups and the final line is the most audacious.
  304. 304. Triples • At eighty-eight, the king of popcorn, Orville Redenbacher, passed away. His family is mired in an ugly dispute over whether to cremate, microwave, or air-pop him. • If peanut oil comes from peanuts, and olive oil comes from olives, where does baby oil come from? • Neurotics build castles in the air, psychotics live in them. My mother cleans them.
  305. 305. Triples • According to a comedic theory developed by author William Lang, there are only three parts to most comedic bits. We call these three elements humor's SAP test. – S = Setup (preparation) – A = Anticipation (triple) – P = Punchline (story payoff)
  306. 306. Triples • S = My wife and I don't get along. • A = I take my meals separately, I take a separate vacation, and I sleep in a separate bedroom. • P = I'm doing everything I can to keep this marriage together.
  307. 307. Triples • Notice how the triple sequence in the next example sets up the value of the last line. – If you want to be seen— stand up! – If you want to be heard— speak up! – If you want to be appreciated—shut up!
  308. 308. Triples Variations • A common variation on the SAP formula is to set up a joke with a triple—in other words, to include the triple not in the A (anticipation) part of the formula, but in the first P (preparation). The second element of the joke then refers to something unrelated to the triple. Finally, in the punchline, the answer to the question references the triple in the setup. Once you learn this formula, the variations multiply.
  309. 309. Triples Variations • WAITRESS, IN HOARSE VOICE: For dessert, we got ice creamvanilla, chocolate, and strawberry. • CUSTOMER: You got laryngitis? • WAITRESS: No, just vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry.
  310. 310. Triples Variations • Another very popular combination of techniques is to start with a triple, then switch to a reverse. The reverse can supplement or replace the third element in the triple. • More than any time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter helplessness, the other to total extinction. Let us pray that we have the wisdom to choose correctly.
  311. 311. Where to use humor in your speech?
  312. 312. Where to use humor? • You can use humor anywhere in your speech. You can use it at the beginning, you can use it at the end or you can sprinkle it throughout.
  313. 313. Where to use humor? • You can play with the audience’s emotions by grabbing their attention with humor and then hitting them with a heavy message – make them laugh, then make them cry.
  314. 314. Where to use humor? Beginning of your speech • Use humor at the beginning of your speech to let the audience know that they are going to have a good time. It will also help you relax by giving you what Peggy Noonan describes as “the quick victory of laughter“.
  315. 315. Where to use humor? Beginning of your speech • For an impromptu speech…. “ At the very start, let me say that we both have something in common. You don’t know what I’m going to say… and neither do I.” Robert Orben – Speaker’s Handbook of Humour
  316. 316. Where to use humor? Beginning of your speech • A speaker gave a speech to 2,000 prison inmates. He began…….. “ Now, gentlemen, there’s one big difference between all of you and me…..you got caught.”
  317. 317. Where to use humor? Beginning of your speech • At the beginning of an acceptance speech…. “ I’m not one of those people who say I don’t really deserve this honour… because that would be duplication of effort. I have a wife for that.” Robert Orben – Speaker’s Handbook of Humour
  318. 318. Where to use humor? Middle of your speech • The middle of your speech is where you present your main points and material to back up those points. Use humor to make those points expressive, graphic and unforgettable.
  319. 319. Where to use humor? Middle of your speech • A speaker talking about eliminating those people who won’t subscribe to the team spirit said… “ We used to say on the farm that you can’t teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time – and it irritates the hell out of the pig.” Gene Perret – How to Hold your Audience with Humour
  320. 320. Where to use humor? Middle of your speech • For a talk about the supernatural… “ Would all of you who believe in telekinesis… please raise my hand.” Rosemarie Jarski – The Funniest Thing You Never Said
  321. 321. Where to use humor? Middle of your speech • In a speech about regulatory reform the speaker used an analogy… “ Being a regulator these days is a lot like being the nearest fire hydrant to the dog pound. You know they’ll have to turn to you in an emergency, but it’s sure tough dealing with those daily indignities.” Malcolm Kushner – Public Speaking for Dummies
  322. 322. Where to use humor? End of your speech • The end of your speech is what the audience remember most. It’s the bit they take home with them, so why not leave them laughing?
  323. 323. Where to use humor? End of your speech • “Ladies and gentlemen I leave you with a thought. As you slide down the banister of life… may all the splinters be facing the right way.”
  324. 324. Where to use humor? End of your speech • “Ladies and gentlemen there are two types of speaker I can do without: those who never stop to think and those who never think to stop. I sincerely hope I haven’t been either. Thank you and good night!”
  325. 325. Tips to tap into your inherent humor
  326. 326. Tip 1 Identify Things That Make You Laugh • Chances are there are some things in the world that make you laugh like TV shows, movies, books, certain blogs, etc. Pay attention to the stuff that you find really funny, and then ask yourself, "What is it about these things that makes me laugh?"
  327. 327. Tip 1 Identify Things That Make You Laugh • Do you like puns, rants, observational humor, slapstick, double entendres, etc.? Whatever it is, make a note of it. The style of humor that makes you laugh is a good style for you start weaving into your speaking.
  328. 328. Tip 1 Identify Things That Make You Laugh • Also, add more of those things that make you laugh into your life. This will help you in two ways: • It's easier to write funny presentations when you feel funny. Consistently watching, reading, and listening to things that make you laugh will help you feel funny.
  329. 329. Tip 1 Identify Things That Make You Laugh • Also, add more of those things that make you laugh into your life. This will help you in two ways: • It's easier to write funny presentations when you feel funny. Consistently watching, reading, and listening to things that make you laugh will help you feel funny.
  330. 330. Tip 1 Identify Things That Make You Laugh • You can learn from the things you laugh at. Structure, style, construction, and pacing - all can be learned from observation. I usually listen to stand up comedians because they make me laugh, but sometimes I will pay careful attention not to what the comedian is saying, but rather to all the nuances of how he (or she) is saying it. • This helps my understanding of some tools I can use to make my presentations funnier
  331. 331. Tip 2 Identify the Things You Already Do That Make Others Laugh • I firmly believe that everyone has some area in their life where they make others laugh. It may happen rarely, but I bet there is some environment or certain people that bring out your "inner comedian." Think back to what you do in those situations and ask yourself, "How can I weave that into my speaking?"
  332. 332. Tip 2 Identify the Things You Already Do That Make Others Laugh • This technique led to an evolution in my own speaking business. I realized that the times I made my friends laugh the most were when I would go on extended rants making fun of things that annoyed me. However, at the time, I wasn't doing any of that in my writing or speaking!
  333. 333. Tip 2 Identify the Things You Already Do That Make Others Laugh • Start paying attention to what you are already doing to make others laugh and then weave that into your own speaking and you should see your audience response and referral rates go up too.
  334. 334. Tip 3 Learn the Basics Of Humor • Some people are fortunate enough to be able to automatically "be funny." If you are not one of these lucky people, then you should learn some of the fundamentals of humor and joke construction.
  335. 335. Tip 3 Learn the Basics Of Humor • There are many ways to weave words into humor. Once you understand some of the techniques comedians and funny speakers use to create humor, you can easily edit your material to add in humor of your own
  336. 336. Tip 3 Learn the Basics Of Humor • Exaggeration – "Then I talked to a woman who's voice was so high only the dog could hear it."
  337. 337. Tip 3 Learn the Basics Of Humor • Puns – "Did you hear about the guy whose whole left side was cut off? He's all right now."
  338. 338. Tip 3 Learn the Basics Of Humor • Self-Deprecation – "And then, even though I knew it was too hot to eat, I bit into the pizza anyway. Because, clearly, I am an idiot."
  339. 339. Tip 3 Learn the Basics Of Humor • Wordplay – "She brought me a plate of French Fries instead. At least I thought they were French because they had an attitude and wore berets."
  340. 340. Tip 4 Understand That Humor Comes In the Rewrite • Sometimes you get lucky and your first draft is very funny. Usually, however, the first draft is "content" focused; it may have some funny ideas that need to be heavily developed, but it’s not going to be funny as is.
  341. 341. Tip 4 Understand That Humor Comes In the Rewrite • The blank page can be daunting, and adding in the pressure of having to "write funny" in a first draft can make it doubly so. The best way to write a first draft is to write quickly without editing or worrying about the quality. As you practice writing funny, your first drafts will get funnier, but at first, they may not be so guffaw inducing.
  342. 342. Tip 4 Understand That Humor Comes In the Rewrite • Once your first draft is done you can review it and find places to add lines, reword things in funny ways, figure out where to use humorous delivery, apply many of the humor techniques from the previous point, and even remove things that you thought were funny at first but now realize aren't. For most people it is much easier to "punch up" a written piece using the humor tools above than to think of something funny to write.
  343. 343. Tip 4 Understand That Humor Comes In the Rewrite • Here's a simple humor draft writing plan you can use: – Draft 1: Get it written, funny or not – Draft 2: Go back and add as much humor as you can – Draft 3: Remove anything that is not funny, doesn't support your point, or breaks the flow of the piece
  344. 344. Tip 5 Keep Working at It • Like anything else, humor takes time to develop. If you expect to come out of the gate and immediately start creating hilarious material quickly and effortlessly, you will be disappointed. If you are committed to gradual and steady improvement, then you will find over time that your presentations get funnier and the work gets easier.
  345. 345. Tip 5 Keep Working at It • When I started speaking, I put very little straight humor in my presentations. I performed improve comedy from the stage, but other than that I delivered “straight” content. The first time I decided to add in funny stories and jokes, it took me weeks and weeks to get it done! There was a lot of uncertainty, fear, procrastination, and writer's block. Over time it has gotten much easier (and I'd like to think the quality has gotten better too) and I can add in new humorous bits to my speeches relatively quickly.
  346. 346. 7 Simple Techniques to Put Humor Into Your Speech
  347. 347. Develop a stockpile of stories • Develop a stockpile of stories – be on the lookout for good brief stories in newspapers, magazines and the internet. Be a careful observer of life. Also be a “watchful “listener of stories on TV or other speakers. Note the stories down. Do not rely on your memory.
  348. 348. Observe other speakers • Observe other speakers. Note how they tell the story, the tone of their voice, their gestures, face expressions, the timing and pauses.
  349. 349. Memorize the stories • Memorize the stories. You cannot read humor – you need to be looking at you audience to sell it. Also you do not want to lose your opportunity by stumbling over the punch line.
  350. 350. Be prepared to deliver “impromptu” stories • Be prepared to deliver “impromptu” stories. Carry an index card in your pocket with the first line or a suggestive line of several stories. By quickly glancing at the card you will be able to quickly recall the story.
  351. 351. Practice • Practice. A story gets better the more times it is told. Practice in front of the mirror or your family. Try different things – your voice tone, pauses, gestures, facial expressions etc.
  352. 352. Move On • If the audience does not laugh at your story or joke… move on. Don’t let it throw you off course. There will be time to assess after the speech.
  353. 353. Plan the “spice” in your speech • Plan the “spice” in your speech. Most TV and radio performers follow their scripts so closely there is not even room for an “ad lib” sneeze.
  354. 354. Developing Original Humor for Your Talk
  355. 355. Developing Original Humor for Your Talk • Most humor in the business setting is unplanned. It just happens. Spontaneous events with clients and co-workers create the surprises and uncomfortable situations which call for humor as a coping tool.
  356. 356. Developing Original Humor for Your Talk • We all have differing abilities to recognize, appreciate and create humor. How’s your HQ (humor quotient)? Do you work with people who are full of wit?
  357. 357. Developing Original Humor for Your Talk • Regardless of where you are now, you can increase your humor skills. When you study humor, it’s obvious there’s more to it than just spontaneous laughs. There are times when you may want to deliberately use humor, maybe even plan it in advance.
  358. 358. Developing Original Humor for Your Talk • Perhaps you want to spice up a training session or a planning meeting. Maybe you want to lighten up a sales presentation. You can learn ways to administer a dose of laughter to help you connect and communicate.
  359. 359. Developing Original Humor for Your Talk • There are three elements which can help you understand and structure your humor: – Surprise – Tension and – Relationships.
  360. 360. Surprise • First, humor is based on the element of surprise. Humor often comes from something as simple as someone saying the unexpected. The surprise twist creates the humor.
  361. 361. Surprise • Because of the element of surprise, when we are deliberately structuring a piece of humor (perhaps for a speech) we don’t want to telegraph the joke. A line like, “a funny thing happened to me on the way over here,” signals your listeners that a joke is coming. This will lessen the element of surprise.
  362. 362. Surprise • To enhance the surprise, it’s best to place the punch line at the end of the joke. And within the punch line, the punch word is usually given last. The punch word is the word that makes the humor work. It’s the trigger that releases the surprise.
  363. 363. Surprise • If your humor falls flat, do what professional humorists do. Pretend you are serious. Since the listeners didn’t realize you were making a joke, you never need to apologize or explain it. Turn your surprise into a secret.
  364. 364. Tension • It’s no surprise to people who work in pressure- packed work environments that humor is also based on this second principle: release of tension.
  365. 365. Tension • Laughter is a pressure valve which releases muscle tension. Uncomfortable situations, fear and pain are all tension builders that cry out for humor.
  366. 366. Tension • We find ourselves laughing at risqué humor and embarrassing situations because they make us uncomfortable. We release the tension they create with humor.
  367. 367. Tension • People who intentionally and frequently use humor know tension can be used deliberately to heighten the impact of the humor. A pause placed just before the punch line or the punch word builds a sense of anticipation, a form of tension, which makes the joke stronger.
  368. 368. Tension • In most jobs, daily challenges give you the opportunity to purposely use tension in setting up your humor. Simply by sharing a real life humorous situation, you can recreate the spontaneous circumstances which generated the laughter in the first place.
  369. 369. Tension • Although there’s nothing like “being there,” you can improve on the actual event by embellishing to create a little more tension in the set up. You can structure the punch line for maximum effect by putting the punch word last. And you can pause to add impact.
  370. 370. Relationships • As we plan our humor, we also notice that the third principle of humor is relationships. Most humor is based on how things are related and not related. We can create humorous twists when we play with relationships.
  371. 371. Relationships • Gary Larson’s Far Side cartoons are well known for twisting relationships. One of his frequent tools is giving animals human characteristics.
  372. 372. Relationships • For example, the cartoon shows a car driving down the road. Driving the car is a bull. Sitting next to the bull is a cow. And in the back seat is a calf. They’re driving past a field with humans standing in the pasture. The picture, by itself, creates a funny picture by twisting the normally expected relationships. The calf sticks his head out of the car window and says “Yakity, Yakity, Yak!”
  373. 373. Relationships • Understanding the principle of relationships, you are able to create your own, original humor. You can create “shopping lists” from which you search for humorous connections.
  374. 374. Relationships • Let’s say you had an idea for building some humor. We’ll call this idea a seed from which the humor can grow. Perhaps, on a difficult shift at a hospital, someone made a comment that working in a hospital was like working in a war zone. This is the starting point for developing some humor.
  375. 375. Relationships • You’ll begin by creating two “shopping lists.” On one list you’ll put “hospital things.” And on the other, you’ll list “military things.” It will work better if you choose “military” rather than “war zone” because it’s a broader category which will give you more options when looking for relationships.
  376. 376. Relationships • Your first step is to brainstorm by making the lists as long a possible. The more items you have on each list, the more likely you’ll be able to make some humorous connections.
  377. 377. Relationships • As you make your lists, you’ll look for opportunities to branch out and create sublists to multiply your chances of finding humor. For example, if the idea “basic training” comes to mind, your sublist should contain everything you can think of relating to basic training: drill sergeants, marching, inspections.
  378. 378. Relationships • The next step is to search for connections between your two lists which might lead you to humor. Play with it. Then set it aside and come back to it later. Once you find something with humorous possibilities, you’ll massage it to maximize the humor impact.
  379. 379. Relationships • The next step is to search for connections between your two lists which might lead you to humor. Play with it. Then set it aside and come back to it later. Once you find something with humorous possibilities, you’ll massage it to maximize the humor impact.
  380. 380. Developing Original Humor for Your Talk • These three principles of humor are illustrated by the classic slip on the banana peel. The slapstick spill illustrates surprise because we weren’t expecting someone to fall. We also experience tension. When we see someone get hurt we get startled, and react with tension. It also twists relationships. Seeing a distinguished person sitting on the sidewalk is something our of the ordinary. Surprise, tension, relationships… we laugh!
  381. 381. Developing Original Humor for Your Talk • Natural, spontaneous humor is one of your greatest tools for coping with stress as you work. By understanding what makes the humor tick, you can become better at planning and deliberately using this powerful adjunct to your success arsenal.
  382. 382. Delivering the speech
  383. 383. Delivery • A look at the definition of a joke will have direct bearing on your ability to "deliver" humor. Consider the definition: A joke is a brief oral narrative with a climactic humorous twist.
  384. 384. Delivery • Within that simple definition lies two critical points you must know to use humor successfully. – First of all, it is BRIEF. – Second, it has a climactic twist.
  385. 385. Delivery • For humor to work, it must spring upon the mind in an unexpected way, without a long drawn out set-up. When you incorporate humor into your talk, it should slide in naturally. The setup must be direct and to the point, without too much embellishment.
  386. 386. Delivery • As for the climactic twist, make every effort to put it at the very end of the story. The closer the twist is to the very end, the more effective the surprise.
  387. 387. Rule 1 : Use humor in the beginning • A humorous story or a good joke right at the beginning puts the audience at ease and gets their attention. If your topic is dry or serious -- but not too serious so that humor would be inappropriate -- a dose of humor will be even more appreciated, especially because the audience doesn't expect it.

×