March, 2010

Hook on to Humor

Humour is the cheapest, most abundant gift you can give to others. Hook on to Humour by recalling your own humorous, even embarrassing stories, and then share them with others.

Quotation of the month:
"When you humorize, you humanize."
D. LaCroix 2001 WCPS


"When I speak, I try to make my audiences: T.A.L.L. ĖThink, Act, Laugh and Learn."
C. Valentine 1999 WCPS

"Use the 4 Hís in your speeches: Head, Heart, Humour, and have a Heavy-duty message."
Ed Tate 2000 WCPS

Opening: In 2007, I attended Patricia Fripp's weekend presentation skills seminar in Las Vegas. "Do I really have to be funny or entertaining?" a newbie speaker asked her. "Only if you want to get paid!" was Patricia Fripp's answer.

Promise: Highly esteemed speakers don't need to be standup comics to hold an audience's attention, but they do need to be entertaining. Using humour, just like speaking, is a process that can be learned. Anyone can learn the process! It takes new tools, practice (in front of real audiences) and time! How can you be funnier, if you arenít yet comfortable in front of an audience? It is guaranteed that the more you practice with the right tools, the more comfortable you become, the more effective you become!

Roadmap: This month we will simply look at:
  • different secrets of the trade that require practice
  • a few "DON'TS" in attempting to be humorous

But Iím not a comedian! Can I still be funny and make people laugh?" you may ask. Even if you don't have them rolling into the aisles with laughter, you can definitely learn to be entertaining and, with extra effort, even funny!


Body is Language!
Act and react using your emotions! Donít talk and tell, share and show...gestures, facial expressions, vocal variety, (use the 4 Pís... projection, pace, pitch, pauses), whispers, in your characters

Facts Tell, Stories Sell: Tell Personal Stories (not Hollywood Blockbusters)! Just make fun of yourself, not others (self-effacing humour, own embarrassing stories)

Humour Resources

I have studied with both Darren LaCroix and Doug Stevenson at different times...both are outstanding humorists and incredible teachers of the craft of humour. Are you ready to learn how they make people laugh, so that you can too?

Darren LaCroix's site: Click on Books & CD's and his numerous resources on humour from special packages, to books, to Cd's to DVD's.

Doug Stevenson's products:

Doug Stevenson's Get More Laughs: The 29 Disciplines of Comedy (2 CD's). Are you ready to get more laughs, write funny material and be more consistent with your comedy ?
PRICE: $35.00

Doug Stevenson's Never Be Boring Again (55 minute DVD) Watch and study physical humor and body language, while Doug teaches Story Theater.
PRICE: $30.00

Comedy Stems from Tragedy!
Share your 4 Fís: flaws, firsts, frustrations, failures
  Unexpected Twists
People laugh when their minds are tricked "I was so nervous about the trip, I took a blanket, a flashlight and....PAUSE.... my mother!!" –D. LaCroix
Reactions Create Humour
React by showing facial expressions, use appropriate timing by pausing, then state the punch lineÖthen BE QUIET!! (Shut Up!)
Power of 3's
Especially when you 'derail' their thoughts. i.e., Compared to audiences in comedy clubs, "I love Toastmasters; they're so attentive, so supportive and soÖ.sober"
D. LaCroix
The Audience's Minds...
Read their minds and then tell them what they're actually thinking; i.e. When you KNOW you've given information from which you know they're trying to figure out; for instance, your age, tell them! You may say: "Ok Ok, I know youíre doing the math....carry 1...take away 3..."
  Don'ts in Trying to Use Humour Don't recycle jokes and stories
Don't laugh throughout your story, especially before delivering the punch-line
Don't deliver a story too quickly or not loudly enough
Don't slip out of character when telling a story
Don't step on your laughs – allow them the time to laugh
Let your characters be: seen (physical descriptors) known (back story) and especially heard (dialogue). Humour is in the DIALOGUE!
Don't Add Humour. Uncover it! your stories and especially in the characters' dialogue.

I leave you with a lesson by Darren LaCroix:
"When people laugh, they relax, when they relax, they learn, when they learn, they remember." Do YOU want people to remember what you said?

Join me next month when we examine and discuss the letter "I" as it relates to another speaking skill. Until then Hook on to humour, have fun and happy speaking!

Certified World Class Speaking Coach

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