Thursday, March 05, 2009

Humour is the thing

Whether you are an aspiring TV star, or a member of a local organization or just like to have a craic in a group you will at some stage need to use humour when you speak.

Humour is a great “ice breaker”. It shows especially, if you are in a position of authority over your audience that you are indeed human and you don’t take yourself or the occasion too seriously. Humour is also a great tool to win over audience, people pay more attention to a speaker who uses humour and of course humour keeps a presentation from becoming boring not to mention that an audience will be more likely to remember your message if you use humour to illustrate it.

But, caution is needed when using or attempting to use humour, as used incorrectly it can backfire. Let’s have a look at a few simple rules for using humour in a presentation.

Firstly, humour has to fit the content and tone of your speech. If humour doesn’t fit your speech then don’t use it.
Don’t tell an unrelated joke at the start of our speech, what is a lot more effective is a humorous story that introduces the theme of the talk.

You must also consider not only the age of your audience but also their cultural background and their mood when choosing humour for your speech as not all audiences respond the same type of humour. I.e. references local characters or events would not be understood outside your area.

Needless to mention, off colour humour is not appropriate around children and audiences who would be offended by it. Be careful here.
The best way to use humour is to illustrate a point and the best humour comes from your own experience. Talk about a humorous situation you had and what you learned from it. Your audience will be drawn to your story because it is personal and real. They can also relate to similar experiences they had. Using your own experiences will make you speeches fresher than if you culled jokes out of joke books.

Humour is an integral part of Toastmasters. It is a skill that all Toastmasters aspire to use confidently in all our presentations. It is what makes a Toastmaster stand out from the crowd when delivering a speech or presentation.

In April on BBC2 an entertainment series called “The Speaker” begins an 8 program run.
The program is searching for Britain’s best young speaker and features 14 to 18 year olds from around the country.

But guess what? Speak Easy Toastmasters, in Mallow have been training speakers and leaders since 1993 at our meetings every second Thursday night so why not come along and see it “live” so to speak?

Tonight, Thursday, Speak Easy Toastmasters will be holding their annual heat of the International Speech Contest so why not come and join us.

You will be most welcome and if unfortunately you cannot make tonight we will be meeting on March 19th and of course our theme meeting on April 2nd called “Rakes and Rebels”

Further information on Speak Easy Toastmasters can be had from our website, or from our Club PRO, Sean on 086 6054784.

No comments: