Public Speaking Course:
How to Make a Point with Humor
I know an oldtime professional public speaker who said
that you should 'Tell em what you're gonna tell 'em. Tell 'em. Then
tell 'em what you told 'em.' You can use this formula in your
presentation when you want to make a key point. You tell 'em the point, illustrate the
point, then tell 'em the point again. Giving out information this way, however,
can sometimes be boring and redundant if you don't spice it up a little.
One way to do that is to add humor. Here's the formula used in my
public speaking course.
1. Make your point.
2. Illustrate your point (by using regulare props, humorous props, funny stories,
serious stories, case studies, one-liners etc.)
3. Restate your point.
Here's an example where the point you are trying to make is 'The Importance of Communication.'
First make your point.
For example, accuracy and clear communication
an important part of our everyday lives.
Then illustrate this point.
In this case use a humorous two-liner.
It's like the student pilot who was asked over the radio to state his
altitude and location. He said, 'I'm five feet nine and I'm in the left
Then restate your point.
State it again in a slightly different manner by saying,
You can see how clear communication could be
interpreted incorrectly especially when people are under pressure.
Knowing what to say and when to say it is a vital skill learned in
speaking course. When you use humor in a professional public setting . . . especially when you are
speaking to a business audience, or any audience who is not specifically there for humor, make the humor reinforce your point and
you will get a much better response.