By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy
Here’s an idea to help spice your public speaking with humor. Reading time: 7:28
SEASON your next meeting with humor. SEASON is an acrostic for 6 ways to sprinkle your prepared remarks with a comic’s flair.
S for Substituting
When you substitute, you bait and switch.
You bait your audience with a straight line (the setup) then exchange it unexpectedly with another related concept –(the punchline) .
- Jay Leno, commenting on the nomination of John Kerry as Secretary of State says that John Kerry’s face “is longer than mine. He looks more like Secretariat of State.”
- Citing the wedding night of 86-year-old Hugh Hefner to a 26-year-old Leno says: “She wore Channel No. 5. He wore Fabreze.”
- And in the movie Duck Soup, in an era long before I-tunes and IPods, Groucho Marx says: “You haven’t stopped talking since I got here. You must have been vaccinated with a phonograph needle.”
E for Exaggerating
When you exaggerate, you stretch a point of view.
- Observing the longevity of Regis Philbin still hosting a TV talk show at 80, David Letterman exaggerated: “I don’t want to say that Regis is old but his first co-host was Eve.”
- Reacting to wintry weather in New York City, Letterman said: ” It was so cold today driving to work (in New York City), the navigation lady in my car directed me to Saudi Arabia.
- Mark Russell observed that “A trillion is a number so high that if you stood on the payment book you’d experience weightlessness.”
- And comedian Rodney Dangerfield noted: “The plumbing in my apartment is so bad that if I want to take a bath on Sunday I have to start running the water on Wednesday.”