A speech sans humour is like a computer without a byte


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I don’t know about you, but I don’t like listening to long speeches, especially the ones that are full of data, stats and numbers. So, in order to captivate my interest, a speech must be witty, inspiring, motivating, interesting and most of all, humorous.

Therefore, if you’re planning to write one sans humour then count me out. You certainly won’t see me sitting in the front row. I want a speech that is funny—as in ‘funny ha-ha’. Yes, I want a giggle and a titter, a guffaw is most welcome. Are you with me or not?

Moreover, please do not bore me by rattling of ratios or babbling up percentages. Citing laws and levies also, is much too taxing for my little grey cells. Duh.

However, if you must, then sprinkle (please!) all this dreadfully-boring-but-informative stuff with a bit of wit, a dab of ‘funny ha-ha’ anecdotes plus oodles and oodles of humour. For then, assuredly, I will happily digest it all, but without that indigestion of the surplus tedium.

Now, down to brass-tacks. Ready, eh?

Okay. You have been asked to address a large group of people at a function. Whether it is a business gathering or a students’ graduation, think carefully. Plan it wisely; ensuring proper inflection. Be articulate with acceptable gestures at the appropriate time during your speech.

Of course, if your speech has the right ingredients, you’ve scored well with your audience. A standing ovation is the ultimate praise. Kudos.

In 2008, ‘Harry Potter’ author JK Rowling delivered the Commencement Address at Harvard.

Watch and listen to her. The speech is long but the way she delivers it leaves the audience spellbound, begging for more, and then at the end, they give her a standing ovation. Yes, wow!

What do you think stands out the most in her speech? Most importantly, listen to all that laughter!

Click here to read the full text of her Commencement Address…Harvard Magazine.

Maloquacious © 2011

10 responses »

    • You’re welcome! I thoroughly enjoyed watching/listening to her speech. She’s conveyed different messages in a very interesting and powerful way. No wonder she’s such a big success!
      Thank you, Priya, for visiting my blog and leaving a comment.. 🙂


  1. I have to mildly disagree. I am the director of Power Presentations in Morristown, NJ, , where I teach public speaking techniques. We all would prefer to hear a lively, humorous and entertaining presentation BUT not all presenters have the personality to pull it off.

    We always tell people that humor can be introduced by telling a story about something that happened in your department or a person who did a funny thing. People love to hear their names mentioned, so saying “Joe once told me…” If you’re not someone who is comfortable telling jokes it’s not a great idea to do so when you’re in front of an audience, and nervous.



    • Hi there, Ronnie, great to get your views on this…deeply appreciated! It’s a good point to raise. Heck, I’d love to learn some tips from you! How about writing a blog piece to help us curb those tummy butterflies? 😉

      Thank you for your time and comment! 🙂


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