Public Speaking Tips:
Finding Humor for Specific Industries
If you are looking for stories and humor in a specific industry,
you must work a little harder than you would have to find general
humor. 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. Here's where the Public Speaking Tips is
again so very important.
Start a file right away for industry-specific information you
find. A good place to start looking for information to fill this file
would be in a trade journal for the specific industry. Almost every
industry you can imagine has one or more associated trade journals. If
you're looking for humor, sift through back issues to find humor you can
use now. Virtually no one remembers cartoons and jokes more than a
month or so. Watch for industry newsletters so you can extract usable
material. Check company bulletin boards regularly for whimsical
signs and postings. The Public Speaking Tips involves knowing your
audience and reading their trade journals is a good place to start.
The true Public Speaking Tips 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 you
can collect that is interesting and industry specific and soon you
will have the best collection around. Now does this sound like an
art? Yes, creating the best is part of the Public Speaking Tips.
Don't forget our friend the Internet. Anytime I need humor on
something really specific, I simply type the keywords (ex.
plumbing humor, or water humor) into one or more of the major search
engines. Something is bound to come up. You must be ready to do some
sifting though before you find some usable material. Here are just some
of the lines I came up with for the plumbing engineer group I was
speaking to. 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 the Public Speaking Tips involves learning
and then sharing the humor specific to your audience.
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