Jokes falling flat on their face are cringe-worthy and can turn any fantastic speech into a painful listening process for guests. It is agreed that done right, jokes make for a memorable speech. If you’re not well versed in the humor language, this quick guide should act to aid you in spicing up your rhetoric.
Is the issue intense?
If you work in rental property insurance and the company is not doing well, it would be easier to find a joke to diffuse the initial tension. The purpose is not to mock the situation. It acts to acknowledge that there is an issue, but it also makes it as something not to dwell on. It opens their mind to listen for solutions in your speech, as they will feel hope well up even during difficult times.
Moving on to lighter things
Transitions are crucial in making shifts in a conversation. It allows the listener to make that mental change that you are moving on to a different topic. In the same way, if you were talking about serious issues then making a light joke and what you shifted out of or what you’re moving into is helpful. If you don’t need one, then leave it out.
Make it context specific
Jokes ought to be relocatable as you always need to keep your audience and context in mind. Those that still make people laugh decades on are those that talk about specific careers. Lawyer jokes, vegan jokes and the like make for fantastic punchlines. If there is a running joke in the company, then you can use it. Same applies for the family inside jokes. These make for memorable moments.
Everyday things can look normal until someone points out something odd that you do. When coining your speech, look for seemingly typical things that taken out of context can make for good humor. It is both surprising and humorous — such points of your speech jolt people awake who had drifted off for whatever reason, which might not have to do with what you’re saying.
Record the speech
Aim to draft the speech early and record it. To see what works and doesn’t, play it back later to yourself a few days after seeing if you still find the joke funny. Whether confident or in doubt, get someone or more people to listen to it and give you feedback. That approach is best if you’re speaking in front of a large audience.