Testing a humorous speech

Public speaking tips tick

Am I funny? Now there’s a question.

Would I be happy if people laughed at my humorous speech or do I want them to laugh with me?

Could I think that I have the funniest speech in history only for it to fall flat?

It’s probably about time I tested my humorous speeches. At the very least it will help me to decide which one to use..

How to test a humorous speech?

There are three ways I plan to test my speech and the humour within:

  • Out loud – I will deliver my speeches out loud (and proud) to gain an understanding of time and if they are the right length for the competition. If they are not, I could be disqualified. I will also use this to identify areas where I can add in speaking techniques such as pauses, changes of pace, volume and tone (from my speaking toolbox).
  • Against criteria – as the humorous speech is being prepared for a competition, I will test each speech against the judging criteria to check that it meets and possibly exceeds these criteria.
  • To real people – I’m not sure if I will test my full speeches out loud to my holiday buddies – they are after all trying to relax. But I will definitely try and get some of the anecdotes into our conversation and see how they go down. If they flop, I’ll have to have a rethink!

How does everyone else test and quality check the content of their speeches? Do you just get upĀ  and do it?

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Rich Watts is the UK Business Speaker of the Year and a past JCI National Public Speaking champion. He setup and now runs Rich Public Speaking providing presentation skills and public speaking training.

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