How to inject humor into any speech

Whether you feel uncomfortable writing humor or your speaker feels uneasy delivering it, these pointers can help both of you.

No one enjoys feeling foolish, and that’s why most speakers are uncomfortable with adding humor to their speeches, David Glickman, chief writer of “Funnier Speeches,” says.

But Glickman doesn’t want speakers or speechwriters to be afraid of being funny.

Here are some of his tips for slowly injecting humor into speeches:

Write the entire speech first. Don’t put the pressure on yourself to be funny. Write the speech first, and then go back to find the opportunities for humor.

Add one funny line at a time. If your speaker is uncomfortable with humor, just add one funny line to the middle of the speech. That way the joke is surrounded by content the speaker feels comfortable with, and will be less obvious. If the speaker delivers the line with success, add a few more funny lines to the next speech.

Customize the humor. “The more specific the humor, the more terrific the humor,” Glickman says. Find terms or pain points the audience will identify with, and consider whether these pain points and terms lend themselves to humor.

Hear more tips for adding humor to speeches:

COMMENT Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive the latest articles from directly in your inbox.