Public Speaking Skills:
Finding Humor for Specific Industries
You must look a little deeper in order to find humorous stories or
jokes that fit a particular industry.
Certain professions like police, law, or medicine have many
individual books, newsletters, and articles written about them. But
if you are a plumbing executive, or you are speaking to the plumbing
industry it is unlikely you could go down to your local public bookstore
and find a plumbing joke book. This is where you need to use your public
speaking skills effectively.
It is a good idea to start a file as soon as possible with any industry-specific
information you find. A good place to start looking for information
to fill this file would be in a trade journal for that specific industry.
Pretty much every
industry out there has one or more associated trade journals. If
you're looking for humor to use in your presentations, sift through
back issues to find humor you can use now. Virtually no one remembers
the details of cartoons and jokes more than a month or so. Watch for
industry newsletters so you can use some of their material. Check company
bulletin boards regularly for funny
signs and postings. Your public speaking skills involve knowing your
audience and finding humor that relates to their specific industry.
The true devoted public speaker goes even further. Call others
in the industry to look for stories or incidents that would be of
interest to your audience (remember to give credit). Collect everything
can that is interesting and industry specific and soon you
will have the best collection around.
Don't forget to utilize our friend the Internet. Anytime I need humor
something really specific, I simply type the keywords (ex. plumbing humor,
or water humor) into one or more of the major search engines. Almost
always something relevant pops up. Though the internet might make for
some good material you must be ready to do some sifting before you will
find that material. Here are just some of the lines I came up with for
the plumbing engineer group I did a presentation for.
Note: these are the people who figure out how much water it takes to
flush a toilet. hahaha
My wife's an earth sign. I'm a water sign. Together we make
mud. - -
The shower is the greatest invention. I don't like to take a
bath. I don't like to wash my face in the water I've been sitting in.--
How come when you mix water and flour together you get glue ...
and then you add eggs and sugar and you get cake? Where does the
glue go?-- Rita Rudner
(and she could further the joke by saying, "Maybe my hips?")
Getting married is a lot like getting into a tub of hot water.
After you get used to it, it ain't so hot. -- Minnie Pearl
So you can see that having good public speaking skills involves learning
and then sharing the humor specific to your audience.
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