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Public Speaking Tips:

Heirloom Handouts

If you want your handout material to be kept forever, according to the
Public Speaking Tips you must give each audience member a reason to
keep it. I do this by strategically adding important reference material
to EACH PAGE of the speaking handout. This material was picked
specifically for that day's audience.

The reference items could be important phone numbers, web site
addresses, book titles, or even humor that applies to the audience*s
industry. A tip from the Public Speaking Tips is the reason the
information isn't put on one page at the back of the handout is because
that page could be torn off and the rest of the handout thrown away.
Don't forget to put your contact information on every page of the
handout too.

Sigmund Freud even has a sensible word or two to say to masters in the
Public Speaking Tips. Freud wrote:

"The most favorable condition for comic pleasure is a generally happy
disposition in which one is in the mood for laughter. In happy toxic
states almost everything seems comic. We laugh at the expectation of
laughing, at the appearance of one who is presenting the comic material
(sometimes even before he [she] attempts to make us laugh), and
finally, we laugh at the recollection of having laughed."

This concept has been termed '"In fun" by people that study the art of
public speaking humor. If you want your audience to laugh, they must be
in fun. You, the speaker, must be in fun. The emcee or program
coordinator must be in fun. The whole program should be designed in fun.

Don't do anything to take them out of in fun. Don't speak about
controversial subjects like religion or politics and don't make
unfriendly comments to audience members. If a problem occurs which must
be dealt with, find an in fun way of doing so. For instance, if I'm at
a speaking engagement and someone asks me who I voted for I say, "I
voted for the USA." That's a cute way to say that I really don't want
to talk about it. Keeping in tune with your audience is part of the
Public Speaking Tips.

Retired National Speakers Association member and one of the greatest
humorists of all time Dr. Charles Jarvis, told me about a friend of his
who was excellent at speaking, truly a master in the art of public
speaking, but lost his audience when he forced someone to turn off a
tape recorder. He was so nasty about the way he said it that the in fun
audience totally turned against him.

An "in fun" audience is more critical for the public speaker who is
there to entertain, but the concept should be in the back of every
speakers mind who seeks to practice the Public Speaking Tips. Your
material may be controversial by nature, but that doesn't mean that you
should go out of your way to do or say things that will take the
audience further out of in fun.

Also, pay close attention to the total program. One friend of mine had
to present comical material just after a passionate plea went out to
the audience to collect funds for starving babies. He came on stage
just after the teary-eyed audience had seen slides of emaciated
children. If you ever get caught in this situation, the art of public
speaking suggests subtlety, DON'T start right in with your humorous
material. Start out gently with a sincere reference to what the
audience has just seen. Cut most of your early speaking humor and get
to your subject to ease the audience's transition to your more
lighthearted topic.

How do you put in fun into practice? One time I had a ventriloquist
introduce me at an early morning meeting to wake up everyone and get
them in fun. You could pass out fun snacks to the audience or put
balloons on their chairs. Public announcements and agendas can be
decorated with cartoon characters. The Public Speaking Tips may
involve using comical props as a great for putting people in fun. Do
anything you can to be sure your audience knows that it's OK to laugh.

Copyright 1998 - 2004

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