One of the issues with putting together a humorous speech is getting all the funny stuff organized. so your first task is to find a theme to hang your humor on. One useful structure is The List.
The List can work one of several ways:
1. The Top 10 list (You know, like Letterman)
- The top 10 results of…
- The top 10 ways to….
- The top 10 reasons for…and so on.
You could make the list appear initially to be serious issues but you give each one a funny twist, building from slightly silly to downright ridiculous.
Or they can be funny right from the title “The top 10 ways to annoy your mother-in-law.”
Just remember that 10 is a lot of points to cover in seven minutes. You don’t have much time to comment on each one, especially as you need to allow time for the audience to laugh..
2. A short list of three, five, or seven “how to” points. Think of the on-line ads you see –
‘three secrets of…’,
‘five best ways to…’,
‘seven proven ways to speed up your….’
You could think up wild and wonderful secrets as well as crazy topics that people might want dissected in your own inimitable style.
3. A list, again of three, five or seven points (odd numbers work better than even numbers) of steps you took to achieve….. Often the goal itself is humorous and part of the title “Seven essential steps when giving a cat medication”, “five ways to prevent your children from getting a puppy”.
As long as you have points lined up and developed to be even funnier than they seem at first you will have a well structured speech.
Arrange your points from mildest to funniest and within each point build so that your punchline comes at the end.
Once you’ve got your list of points decided, develop an opening that draws your audience immediately into the humor of your speech. Link this to a conclusion that is the grand climax – the biggest laugh of all. Leave people laughing so hard that they will always remember you.
And enjoy the laughter – you’ve earned it.