Public Speaking – 7 Types of Humor You Can Use

In public speaking, the ability to use humor is an important skill to possess whatever your natural ability is. Most people like to smile, to laugh, or to enjoy a listening experience. Humor adds sparkle and interest to a speech. Humor when used should be good willed and not given in a manner to show how witty you are.

It is probably impossible to catalog humor completely. Here I have listed the 7 kinds of humor commonly used in public speaking.

Turn of Phrase
In this type of humor, you get the laugh by starting to make a serious point in one direction and suddenly an unexpected meaning is revealed. Mark Twain used this technique when he said that “youth is such a wonderful thing, it is shame to waste it on children.”

The Pun
A word is used to evoke a serious meaning and then used in a completely different meaning altogether. The second meaning gives a whole new viewpoint to the speaker’s remarks. To be funny the meaning should not be stretched too far or it will evoke groans rather than smiles. For example, the organiser of an event may ask a member of the audience if the guest speaker was an able speaker. The member of the audience may reply “Yes, the guest speaker was able. He was able to stand up all the way through his speech.”

This is where a small thing is made into a larger important issue. This is similar to the how a cartoonist will exaggerate the features of a politician for effect.

This is the opposite of exaggeration, and words are used to underplay the importance of an event or issue.

Here, the face value meaning of the words is different to the intended meaning. An example is the phrase “as pleasant and relaxed as a coiled rattlesnake” used by Kurt Vonnegut in one of his books.

Sarcasm is a cutting form of wit and should be used with care. To be funny the audience should not have much sympathy for the intended target. If they do it will not work in your favor.

Satire is an attack upon something worded in a way as to be pleasant but clear in its meaning. Will Rogers at a bankers convention asked “I have often wondered where the Depositor’s hold their convention.”

To be funny, the humor should be said in a spirit of fun. However, for best effect, humor should be unannounced and told with a straight face (you don’t want to laugh before your audience does). It requires more practice and preparation than other parts of your speech. The humor will die if you fumble over words or stumble during the punch line. In public speaking, as it is with conversation, the telling of humor should be effortless and natural.

To be effective in public speaking the humor should be relevant to the points being made. It is woven into the fabric of the speech. With practice and preparation it is possible to employ the 7 types of humor listed, regardless of how dry and shy you maybe.


Author: Edward Hope … Add interest to your your public speaking and conversation with “The Art of Great Conversation.” To claim your free preview visit

Miles Franklin winner for 2012 – “All that I am”

All that I am

Anna Funder

When Hitler comes to power in 1933, a tight-knit group of friends and lovers become hunted outlaws overnight. United in their resistance to the madness and tyranny of Nazism, they flee the country.
=> (… includes link to free excerpt) 

Forget Normal. Let’s Embrace Adversity

Record breaking athlete Aimme Mullins delivers an outstanding talk that properly redefines the word ‘disabled’.


Just released: “Odd Apocalypse. A Novel”

Odd Apocalypse: A Novel

Dean Koontz

Odd Thomas has seen danger and he has seen death. He lives between two worlds, communicating with the lingering dead. He stands between us and our darkest fears, never failing the tests that confront him, whatever the cost. This is the fifth Odd Thomas thriller from the master storyteller. Odd finds refuge at a rundown mansion, but soon discovers a frightening presence. =>

Simple Steps to Declutter Your Office

Can you stand staying in an office where there are many clutters? What I mean is there are many things on top of your desk, piles of reports are everywhere, magazines are not organized and papers are scattered on the floor. Having this kind of office, can you still locate easily what you need to accomplish your task? Can you maintain your productivity with the many clutters all around you? If your answer is NO, let me help you with the simple steps to declutter your office.

A clutter free office is very important since you will be welcoming visitors to stay in your office while discussing important matters. Sometimes your boss checks your office to monitor you. There are also times that you need the important files to be part of your reports. If all your things are messing around your office, you will not be productive in your daily tasks. With this, you have to start organizing your office.

One of the simple ways to declutter your office is to remove unnecessary equipments. Since you will not need them, then, start removing them to have a bigger space in your office. If you think that you have lots of shelves already in your office, remove some of it or give it to other offices that need extra shelves. Get rid also of boxes which make your office looks untidy. Place all your things or office supplies to the right storage. With this, you will be amazed of the extra space that you can use onwards.

Moreover, declutter your office by maintaining a clean desktop. Place only the important things you need on top of your table. Get away with those things that have no bearing in your work. However, if you think that you need to place some extra papers on your desk, you can use a tray or folders that will keep them intact. Use also drawer organizers to maintain the cleanliness of your drawers. Using these organizers will help you to search easily the items that you need to use.

Labels are very important when you want to have an organized filing of your documents and reports. This helps to minimize clutters in your office. Whether you have a quarterly or monthly reports to put together, indicating labels will help you have an easy access to these documents. It will also keep you reminded that you have to put your documents back to its appropriate storage. Furthermore, use an erase board to keep you on track with the different events that you might be involved in your company.

These are the simple steps to declutter your office. Once you have a clutter-free office, be sure to maintain them so that your clutters will not pile up. Keep your office clean for you to have a healthy working environment that would translate to your increasing productivity.

Author: Bhadra Patel invites you to FREE report! “Discover How To Quickly And Easily DeClutter Your Home In 3 Easy Steps” That’s Right – This FREE Report Will Show You How You Too Can Finally DeClutter And Organize Your Home In 3 Easy Steps. Get it here: Http://www.DECLUTTERHELP.ORG.

Coming soon – a groundbreaking novel

The Yellow Birds

Kevin Powers

“The war tried to kill us in the spring,” begins this breathtaking account of friendship and loss.
With profound emotional insight, especially into the effects of a hidden war on mothers and families at home, THE YELLOW BIRDS is a groundbreaking novel about the costs of war that is destined to become a classic. =>

The Ability that Will Change You Forever

Just like riding a bike or playing piano, motivation is a skill that can be learned and mastered – and with ease. It’s not that getting yourself to act is difficult; it’s simply that no one has ever shared with you the entire process in a way that was easy to understand and apply, if they taught you at all.

To solve this problem for the millions of people just like you who want to live richer, more rewarding lives, I dedicated several years to uncovering the secrets and outlined every step of the process in The Motivated Mind – and made the entire guide easy to understand and even easier to use.

Simply by following six short steps you will gain the rare ability of instant motivation. You will actually be able to overcome all of your fears and worries and instantly feel driven to act toward your goals.

Just imagine what you could achieve in your lifetime with the ability to motivate action at the drop of a hat. You could be like one of the many readers who have made The Motivated Mind a part of their lives and enjoy experiences like…

A career you absolutely love. Challenging, exciting, and satisfying work you can’t wait to get to in the morning. Co-workers you count as good friends and a knowledgeable boss who greatly admires you and your work.

A brand new body – in shape, attractive, and healthy. More energy and juice than ever before, without a hint of the old aches and pains, not to mention the worries that come from living an unhealthy lifestyle. And best of all – a longer life.

Earning enough money to save, invest, and prepare for a comfortable retirement. Being able to donate to those in need and provide for your loved ones. And finally, enjoying a few perks in life – a new home, a new car, and vacations to the tropics.

Finding it easy to make new friends and develop relationships that make you feel on top of the world. No more worrying about fitting in or trying to live up to everyone’s expectations. Being comfortable in your own skin and in every situation.

Feeling happy. Truly happy with who you are and where you’re going. Enjoying the peace of mind that comes from being in total control of your life and its future.

How would you like to experience these things on a daily basis for the rest of your life? You can, and The Motivated Mind will show you exactly how to make it happen.

Success and failure

“Be prepared to ride the cycles and trends of life; success is never permanent and failure is never final.”

—Brian Tracy

From the Pivotal Book Club Archives: the winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and an addictive mystery

A Visit from the Goon Squad

Jennifer Egan

Readers will be pleased to discover that the star-crossed marriage of lucid prose and expertly deployed postmodern switcheroos that helped shoot Egan to the top of the genre-bending new school is alive in well in this graceful yet wild novel.

When We Have Wings

Clair Corbett

This book is intoxicating; it made me imagine things I never imagined before. The world of flying is so complete, so detailed and real, it was as if I was flying, as if I could feel my wings. This is an addictive mystery, clever and compelling.’ Jane Campion, director of The Pianoand Bright Star


“Achievement is largely the product of steadily raising one’s levels of aspiration and expectation.”

Jack Nicklaus