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Persuasive Speech Tips: How to use Humor

How do you use humor effectively in a speech and why would you use it? Here are some reasons to use it first and then we will talk about how to use it.

Humor will ease emotional pain and establish a connection with your audience and allow them to feel that they are comfortable with you. It will create an environment that is positive while generating interest in what is coming from your mouth. It will also increase audience participation and make what you are saying memorable.

Now that we know the benefits let's take a closer look at how to integrate humor into your persuasive speech. Start it off light...make your humor be something that everyone in the audience can relate to whether it is weather, traffic or stress.

  • Use humorous quotes. These can be from such people as Winston Churchill or Mark Twain. While you are using these quotes show a link between the quotes and what your main topic is. Use the quotes as a segue into deeper topics in your speech.
  • When you are writing your speech you should plan for some backup humor in case the main material may not be appropriate for the crowd or the reception that you are getting. This backup material can save you in the long run with a tough or close minded crowd.
  • Try your speech out on some friends or family members first and gauge their reactions to not only your humor but also to the speech as a whole. Take their suggestions into account and rewrite your speech based on them. Ask them to be brutally honest so that you can make the speech into the best it can be. When you rewrite it try it out on them again and repeat the process until it is perfect.

Why are you writing a persuasive speech anyway? Are you a student and doing this as an assignment or are you in the business world and you are trying to sell a service or a product?

You know who makes good persuasive speeches? Religious leaders. Think about it. They make speeches at least once a week to crowds of people and they persuade them to believe in their interpretation of whatever religious book they believe in. They persuade people to follow all sorts of rules that they place not only on behavior and social interactions but also on the very things that we put inside our mouths! These people are everywhere too...you probably know more than one. Ask them for tips. Surely they will oblige seeing as how they are all about doing good and helping the people. Take pointers from them...they know what they are doing!