Speech to Entertain: An Overview
The primary purpose of a speech to entertain is to have the audience relax, smile and enjoy the occasion. The speech should have a central theme or a focus. A series of jokes will NOT work well for this type of speech. Good speeches to entertain typically mix humor with more serious morals, lessons learned, or experiences. In other words, they have a real point to make… they are not just silly, slapstick humor. You can tell a lighthearted, personal story that reveals a life lesson you’ve learned or examine a familiar subject from a different and unexpected viewpoint or take a lighthearted look at a particular issue. Example: Summer jobs: “Summer jobs for high schoolers: The daily diary of the American Nightmare.” Additional suggestions for the composition and delivery of after dinner speeches are as follows: 1. Carefully select an interesting, timely, and appropriate topic. Having something familiar in the talk that the audience can relate to will enhance listener interest. 2. Build your speech around a central theme, moral, or idea. 3. Support your main point or central theme with colorful stories, narrative and examples. 4. Be imaginative and creative when delivering your talk. Few speeches demand more imagination and creativity than the speech to entertain. 5. Be positive and good-natured when delivering your talk—irony and sarcasm are acceptable but not bitterness. 6. Be optimistic and modest when speaking and create an appropriate mood for your listeners. 7. Humor is a key ingredient in speeches to entertain, but can take many different forms. It can be accomplished through satire, irony, banter, sarcasm, and wit. A speech does not have to have the audience rolling on the floor laughing in order to evoke humor or entertainment. Some of the recognized elements of humor are:
• Exaggeration: the process of taking an idea or statement beyond the limits of reality. • Incongruity: the process of...
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