Jan 10

After Dinner Speaking – part 1

A few weeks ago I was asked to do a speech at my local Toastmasters club’s Christmas Dinner. I had lots of humorous ideas and access to a plethora of street jokes, but I wasn’t quite clear on what an after dinner speech was.

I googled the term and found the seven golden rules as written by Gyles Brandreth the British author and M.P. who holds the record for the longest after dinner speech.

I already knew a lot of these tips so it was nice to have them re-established for me. The website Wise Geek defines an after dinner speaker as follows:

After dinner speaking can be seen as an art in itself. The speaker must have the ability to entertain their audience in a captivating manner. Part comedian, part lecturer, the after dinner speaker should have a certain “wow” factor.

That gave me a lot more to go on. Unfortunately, I didn’t really have a lot of time to create material from scratch and fully react to it like the Killer Stand-up System recommends.

So what I did was come up with a topic that I was interested in and that I thought I also might be able to promote to speaking agencies in the future.

Then I sourced some relevant street jokes and I came up with a structure that would allow them to flow together in a logical order.

From there I incorporated humorous lines that either I had written and used in my old stand-up act, or witty reactions that I’d made a note of from conversations that I’d had. That just meant I went through my ideas notebooks to find those lines and incorporate those too. You do write down your ideas in a notebook, don’t you?

After lots of rehearsal I delivered my speech to my fellow Toastmasters. I nearly “killed them”, but not quite. How do I know that I nearly killed them? Because I recorded my speech onto my dictaphone and then played it, whilst I ran it past the Comedy Evaluator Pro software from the Killer Stand-up System.

Okay, here’s the skinny on this great piece of software. When a performer, whether a speaker or comedian, is in front of an audience there are two things that could be happening:

1) the performer is speaking

2) the audience is responding. the audience response (laughter, cheering, applauding) is referred to as a Positive Audience Responce or PAR.

For comedians the following is often true: headliners are getting 4-6 laughs or more per minute. Therefore their PAR score is in the 30s, 40s or even 50s. An open mike comic often gets a PAR score under 5. So you get the idea.

On the other hand a speaker or presenter who uses comedy aims for a PAR score of 15. So I was very pleased when my speech came in at a respectable 11 PAR.

I’m estimating that it will take me another one or two performances of this speech to get it up to a 15 PAR. That said I do, however, want to reduce the amount of street jokes I use and replace them more and more with my own humorous reactions. So it may take a little longer.

3 pings

  1. Pages tagged "humorous"

    […] online community. The best part is … it’s all 100% free! Check them out here: Join Hey Nielsen! After Dinner Speaking – part 1 saved by 1 others     jimboready bookmarked on 01/10/08 | […]

  2. Pro Humorist » Blog Archive » Advanced Humorous Speaking - How Do You Define Bombing?

    […] Response (PAR) wasn’t on the level I was expecting. Note: I describe what PAR is in my previous post on after dinner speaking. I know that instinctively without using the Comedy Evaluator Pro […]

  3. Pro Humorist » Blog Archive » Toastmasters Mystery Speaking - The Hidden Benefits

    […] them so I have a record of the speech and also something I can edit based upon my evaluations and a PAR review if […]

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