Humour and wisdom is one of those great combinations - kind of like peanut butter and chocolate, or Oreos and milk. So why do they work so well together in a speech?

I’m going to suggest that they work well together for 3 reasons:

1. When people laugh, they relax and they open up. They are more receptive to your ideas.

2. Humour allows for great juxtaposition.

3. People are more likely to accept your insight and sage like wisdom if you can laugh… at yourself.

Few things get people to drop their guard more than humour. If you want your audience to consider a new perspective, one of the best ways to get them to open themselves up to it is to first get them laughing.

If you are interested in trying this in one of your own speeches then let me suggest this. First, write your speech out as a serious speech. Focus on your message and not your humour. Once you’ve got a great message, you can then go back and look for places to add humour to the speech.

One of the problems with trying to write a humorous speech with a serious message is that it can appear ‘jokey’ or ‘forced.’ So write the serious side of it first, then uncover the natural humour within it.

If you are looking for some tips on adding humour to your speech you can find it here. But one of the best uses for humour is juxtaposition. Below is a world championship winning speech by Darren LaCroix. It’s a brilliant speech, and even if you’ve seen it before I’d encourage you to watch it again – especially the part right after he falls on his face.