A8 – Use of Humour

Humour is appropriate in almost any speech, either to lighten the mood, emphasise a point or help make a conclusion memorable. It is a technique that needs to be mastered to become a proficient public speaker since, judging the audience and level of humour, can be a difficult balancing act – what is suitable as an after dinner speech may not work when delivered to the Rotary Club or WI.

This speech should not be a stand-up comedy routine, instead humour can be inserted in subtle ways and add value to the overall content. It should not just be inserted because you feel it needs to be funny. As with all humour, timing is critical and it is this – along with other factors – that your evaluator will be assessing as you deliver this speech.