Well contest season at Toastmasters is rapidly approaching… again. It only seems five minutes ago that we were approaching the International Speech contest, which was waaaay back in February this year. Yikes. Now we have the Humorous Speech contest.
This is probably going to have to be an occasion where I take a back seat. I’ve recently stepped up to the plate as Vice President Education (essentially second in command) so I’m over-seeing club members progress, organising the contest and running a workshop on humorous speaking. That’s a lot of organisation, I’ll manage to squeeze in some stage time though.
I got to looking at the speech contest rules again and I discovered something very interesting. Well, interesting to me at least. Audience response – i.e. laughter – is quite low down on the Judge’s Guide and is only worth 10 points. I say only because the areas of speech development, effectiveness and speech value all are wortha total of 15 points each.
Laughter a mere 10. This goes some way to hightlighting the distinction between comedians and humorists. A comedian’s message is the laughter, whereas for a humorist laughter is the medium for the message. Which is why speech development is high on the list of the Humorous Speech Contest.
Here’s a link to the contest rules on the Toast of Chicago website.
If you’re taking part in the contest this year have a browse around this site see if there’s anything useful. I’ll point you in the direction of some of my other articles that I’ve written on humour away from this blog.
I’d also recommend a few resources that I’ve found invaluable. There is an emphasis on creating stand-up comedy material, but the creative processes are exactly the same if you’re having to create a humorous speech. Here are the two products that have had a major influence on me creating humorous material:
You never know, I may take part and end up reciting a few of Andrew Dice Clay jokes. Hmm… maybe not.
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