Humorously Speaking #2 - Leave Them With a Smile

(See sample speech here)


Another lesson you learned in the basic Communication and Leadership Program manual is that your speech closing is important. The audience remembers best what it hears last. Your closing must be memorable, reinforcing your main idea and leaving your listeners with a lasting impression. Using humor in your closing is an excellent way to accomplish these goals.

If you want people to remember you and what you said, the old saying "always leave them laughing" is good advice.

Executive Summary

Closing your presentation with a humorous story insures 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 humor must be unexpected . A successful humorous story leads listeners 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 reemphasizes the speech’s main point.

  • Deliver the stories smoothly and effectively.

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 humorous story and ends with a humorous story. The opening story should tie into the subject and the closing story should reemphasize the main point of the speech. The stories may be based on actual personal experiences the speaker has had or on stories from other sources. The speaker is to personalize the stories.

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)