The Entertaining Speaker

Entertaining speakers are always in demand. Projects address preparing and delivering an entertaining speech, finding good stories and anecdotes to include in speeches, using humor, incorporating drama into presentations and presenting an after-dinner speech.

Part of the Advanced Communication Series.

Project Time Objectives
1. The Entertaining Speech
5-7 minutes An entertaining speech need not be funny.  It simply gives the audience an opportunity to enjoy themselves in some way. The speech may have a message, but the message is not the major focus of the speech. Relate your talk to the audience and its interests, incorporating personal experiences. Be positive, avoid lecturing, and strive for simplicity. The audience should not have to work too hard to follow your presentation.

  • Entertain the audience by relating a personal experience.
  • Organize an entertaining speech for maximum impact.
2. Resources for Entertainment
5-7 minutes Stories and anecdotes are an entertaining speaker’s lifeblood. Collect and file stories and anecdotes so you can select the right one for every occasion. Then adapt it to make it your own, reflecting your personal speaking style. Make sure your stories and anecdotes relate to your speech topic, are believable, and add to your message.

  • Draw entertaining material from sources other than your own personal experience.
  • Adapt your material to suit your topic, your own personality, and the audience.
3. Make Them Laugh
5-7 minutes Humor is an ideal way to attract and hold an audience’s attention. You can also us humor to build rapport, emphasize points, convey a sensitive point, or deal with unexpected incidents that occur during your talk. Humor includes some kind of unexpected twist that pleasantly surprises the audience. Practice delivering the material until you can do so smoothly, pausing before the punch line to create tension.

  • Prepare a humorous speech drawn from your own experience.
  • Strengthen the speech by adopting and personalizing humorous material from outside sources.
  • Deliver the speech in a away that makes the humor effective.
4. A Dramatic Talk
5-7 minutes Dramatic stories are another way to entertain an audience. Through drama you create images in listeners’ minds, which enhance and add interest to your message. Vocal variety is critical in a dramatic talk. Vary the volume, pitch, and rate of your words. Also convey drama through your body language and facial expressions. Make sure your voice and body language reinforce, not dominate, your verbal message.

  • Develop an entertaining dramatic talk about an experience or incident.
  • Include vivid imagery, characters, and dialogue.
  • Deliver the talk in an entertaining manner.
5. Speaking After Dinner
8-10 minutes After-dinner talks are challenging. The audience has just dined and they are becoming drowsy. Your talk should be light, lively, positive, and entertaining. Reflect on the occasion. Personalize the talk by referring to earlier events or people on the program and building on them. Use humor and drama.

  • Prepare an entertaining after-dinner talk on a specific theme.
  • Deliver the talk using the skills developed in the preceding projects.

Get the Manual (Item 226A)