It was that time of year in the Toastmaster's Calendar for the humorous speech contest.
Who would enter?
I decided to. I hadn't entered that particular contest before, despite having given
numerous humorous speeches, sometimes even intentionally. It would be a challenge, a stretch and who
knows, it might even be a laugh!
I chose a topic and mixed the ingredients carefully.
In short all the elements I know that make up "funny" in a humorous speech.
You'll find many of them discussed here on these pages:
And that one teeny-tiny oversight was the largest of them all.
I'm tempted to write its name in a very little font because I'm embarrassed. This is definitely from my "should-have-known-better" file.
Quite simply I did not practice with an eye on the clock. If I had, I would have realized my speech was too long. The result was inevitable. I got disqualified for going over the time allowance.
What I hadn't thought through was the laughter.
People laughing take up time! You have to wait for them to finish before you go on.
And neither had I thought through my own capacity to respond to laughter. I got bigger and better in delivery. The "biggerer and betterer" I got, the longer I took. Until ...
... suddenly there was the red light. For those of you who don't know, the red light in Toastmaster's means STOP. No more. Sit down.
Here are my lessons, learned the hard way:
You'll know what I'll be doing next time the humorous speech contest around.
And there will be a next time because one of the many benefits of Toastmaster's is that there is no real or permanent failure. There is experience and experience can be learned from.
My career as a humorous speaker may not have begun triumphantly but it is not over yet!
The text for my speech is here. I converted it to a PDF with the thought that others may appreciate learning what-not-to-do from it!