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Adv Manual Humorously Speaking: Project 2 Leave Them With A Smile

“Assignment Executive Summary

Closing your presentation with a humourous story ensures the audience remembers you, lets you reaffirm your message, signals the audience that your speech is over, and lets you exit with flair. The story must reemphasize the main point of your speech. Remember, humour must be unexpected. A successful humorous story leads your audience in one direction, then at the last minute fools them by suddenly changing direction.


  • Prepare a serious speech that opens and closes with humorous stories
  • Prepare a closing story that reemphasized the speech’s main point
  • Deliver the stories smoothly and effectively

Time: Five to Seven minutes”

Dubhlinn 2016, The Pride and The Prejudice

Delivered at Northampton Speakers 1st Anniversary/ festive meal on 5th December, 2016 at the Old White Hart Inn, Northampton

I ask you. Have you ever won a fabulous stay somewhere super exotic?  Can you picture the crystal azure seas, the silver sun drenched sands and the warm fragrant air bathing your body?

This is a chance of a life time you say…absolute bargain you say. Then you price out the flights, the insurance, the dog kennels, the vaccinations, the visas, the airport car parking, the transit hotels, the hire cars, etc.

On the 22nd of October I had a similar experience. Both of my Area’s contestants Danielle Hillery of this club  and Richard Foster Fletcher of Eldergate Toastmasters had won our Division  G contests. They were going to the finals at the Dubhlinn conference in November.

A Proud moment. Then I priced it up!

Do I really want to go? Generally, at conferences I find the technical program is mainly boring, the social program is mainly ghastly and the whole thing is totally exhausting.

That is exactly what I expected early on the Saturday when I went to the keynote session of Craig Valentine the 1999 world champion of public speaking. Stone the crows! He effortless had the audience of 300 engaged and dancing along to his speech. I am used to seeing nearly half the room on their laptops and smart devices and mlost of the rest deep in their chairs dozing.

You had to be there as nothing I could have read, heard, or seen would have prepared me for the experience of being in live audience with him.

A great performer is like a great wine, better experienced than described.

The gala dinner was part of the social program and I ended up sitting on a mostly Irish table at the Gala dinner.  Two thirds of our District 71 are Irish. I could have been a fish out of water, but no!

One of the most striking things to come up in conversation was how they all thought Richard Foster Fletcher was a properly brought up boy. It must be in the accent. Furthermore, a fellow competitor to Richard called Ted was on our table and gave some more insights on to his humorous speech on and “Fearnomoreoftabletopicsmytedfoxiicyn”.

They say you should choose your companions before your road.  We Toastmasters are all on a journey. A good road gathers good companions.

My third revelation came up sometime later when I was walking back to my AirBnB just under a mile away. It was nearing one AM and I realised that I was still pumped up with a spring in my step. Great presentations are energizing not exhausting. That was a first!

Conferences are like romantic partners some give you energy, and some take energy.

Disabused of a third significant prejudice I am reminded of an American tourist doing a European tour in the 1950s.  In Stockholm whilst riding on a tram he chanced on conversation with a fellow passenger who had good English.  After sometime the gentleman asked the tourist if he was enjoying his tour. He said he was, but that it is not at all like it is the States. In the states anyone can speak with the President. Over here it is so stuffy and alienating with the class system and its palaces, pomp and protocols. At the next stop the gentleman got up to get off and casually mentioned that in Sweden you can share a tram ride with the King.

It all proves the biggest barrier to progress is prejudice. Thank you



It was very hard to find just the right joke/ humorous speech to end it on that was both funny, short, and on message.


  • The two humorous speeches wokred well
  • The were comforatbly told and entertaining
  • The final story really made the point of the whole speech
  • Some really good pauses


  • It would be better to end the speech on the punch line
  • Remember to project the voice at the back of the long dinning table, not half way up.


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