Humor for Speakers

Delivering Material in Informal Situation

by John Cantu ©

Here are a few professional humor tips for the best and safest way to start using humor in your everyday life. This applies not just to the jokes published in It applies to other jokes you may have garnered from one source or another. And it applies to any jokes that you may originate.

  1. Don't just tell the line starkly. Try to tell it in connection with some aspect of the conversation that's taking place.
  2. Don't announce you're going to tell a joke, one-liner, or quip. Just insert it into everyday conversation as if it were an idea that popped into your head just then in response to whatever was said. If you're not quite comfortable doing that, then attribute the line to somebody else - to a well-known radio or TV personality in your area. Or, in the US, attribute it to a major talk-show comedian like Jay Leno, David Letterman, Conan, etc.

I.e., "I heard Jay Leno talking about (CONVERSATION SUBJECT). He said (INSERT JOKE HERE)."

That way if your joke bombs, well, who can blame you for a bad joke that Leno or Conan told.

The above suggestions were for maximizing your response in social situations. This series will also include how to maximize your response for professional delivery, either as a professional comedian, humorist or as a speaker who wishes to use humor as a communication enhancement.

If you are planning to use material in a professional context (to liven up a dull speech topic, add zest to a corporate newsletter, punch-up a comedic act,) you need a different set of guidelines.

But in informal situations, your listeners are not expecting you to be funny so their resistance is down and relatively weak jokes can get a big laugh.

Whether you are doing material socially or professionally, in the beginning not every quip will work because your delivery will be off. Also you will choose lines that don't fit your style. But if you pay careful attention to what does and does not work for you, your success rate (longer and louder laughs) will go up.

Give yourself a fair shot at it. Try this tip for a month and use at least three lines a week. If you do that, at the end of the month you will have an idea whether this tip and future tips will work for you

NEXT: How to "Ad-lib" With an Audience

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