Speak With Confidence – How To Use Humor The Right Way

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The use of humor is a great tool for a speaker to be able to speak with confidence. It adds interest and fun to a speech. It can give an audience time for a breather and bring them together.

A humorous speaker gains quick control of his audience, but there are things to remember about humor.
First, an interesting and informative speech may be highly entertaining without being humorous. Most speakers are invited because they are well informed on a specific subject and when it is of interest to the listeners, they do not expect entertainment as such. For entertainment they can call on an entertainer.

Amateurs should plan how to spice their speeches. Radio and television performers with a few exceptions follow their scripts so closely they seldom so much as ad lib a sneeze. Sound tracks left hot ad-libs back with the flicker film.

Just telling jokes doesn’t make a man a wit; more often it makes him a half-wit. Humor means fitting your fun to the matter at hand, and when you personalize it, it sounds yet more realistic. The best humor deals with humans. Mark Twain endeared himself by letting the hot air out of do-gooders, political humbugs, and hokum peddlers. Will Rogers became the czar of sarcasm by criticizing Congress. By digging at its members’ delusions of grandeur, he made them sound more human.
Recently—have you heard any good ones panning Con¬gressional nonsense? We seem to have let television set the pace, a medium in which commercial competition is so keen that everything’s turned sacred. Sass and satire have been censored lest they offend a sponsor or the Federal Communications Commission. Sponsors shy from a dental patient depicted as saying one small “Ouch!”—lest all the D.D.S. within hearing ply the network with complaints that the commercial will create dental chair cavities.

A public speaker is pretty much his own boss—free from sponsor responsibilities and never has he had a better op¬portunity to return us to the lusty ways of self-expression. There are of course taboos that even seasoned satirists respect: Will Rogers abided by these good rules:
It’s a poor story if some woman blushes with embarrass¬ment; some heart carries away an ache; something sacred is made to sound common; a man’s weakness provides the cause for laughter; profanity is required to make it funny; a little child is brought to tears; or everyone can’t join in the laughter.
To speak with confidence when using humor the speaker should plan and rehearse the humor, be personalized and it can be satirical but not be so offensive that causes too much angst or offence.

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