Some of my favorite speeches include humor. David Sedaris somehow combines just the right words, tone, and facial expression that have made me laugh until tears roll down my cheeks.
When used properly, humor allows us to connect with one another. It lightens the mood when the topic is serious. It helps us remember key points.
As a speaker, you can use humor in a number of ways: cartoons, anecdotes, personal stories, quotes, or jokes. Some of the best speakers tell stories or jokes that make audiences laugh out loud – but be careful. If you’re not accustomed to using humor, your intentions could backfire.
If possible, test your material on an individual or group that represents your audience, and see if your remarks got the desired result. Did your test audience laugh or cringe? Use that feedback to decide how to proceed.