Humorously Speaking #4 - Keep Them Laughing

(See sample speech here)

Executive Summary

An opening joke can break the ice and help you develop a rapport with the audience. The safest joke to tell is one about yourself. Audience love to hear a speaker put himself done. Telling a series of jokes of the same subject in the body of your speech is also a good way to illustrate points or to break up complex or tedious portions of your presentation. Make sure transitions between jokes are smooth, as are your lines leading from your speech into the jokes, and from the jokes back into your speech.


  • Prepare a speech that opens with a self-deprecating joke.

  • String together two or three related jokes in the speech body.

  • Close the speech with a humorous story.

TIME: Five to seven minutes

Note to the Evaluator

The purpose of this project is for the speaker to present a five-to-seven minute speech that begins with a self-deprecating joke, includes at least two sets of jokes in the speech body, with each set composed of several jokes, and ends with a humorous story. The jokes in the speech body should illustrate or emphasize points or break up any tedious or complex parts of the speech. The closing story should re-emphasize the speech’s main point.

This information is provided as a service to members. For full details on this speech project, refer to the Humorously Speaking manual. All materials in the Toastmasters Educational Program are copyright Toastmasters International. All rights reserved.

The Humorously Speaking Manual

Every speaker benefits from using humor. Learn how to begin a speech with a humorous story to get listeners' attention, end a speech with a humorous story, use humorous stories and anecdotes throughout the body of your speech to emphasize points, incorporate jokes into presentations and prepare and present an entirely humorous speech.

(See sample speech here)