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Masterclass Webinar: Putting Humor into your Speeches

May 18, 2020 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm PDT

Putting Humor into your Speeches
Led by: Ashley Harkness, DTM, PDD
When: Monday, May 18, 2020, 7-8pm Pacific
Register here:

Have you ever heard someone tell you “You are really a funny speaker to listen to”?  If so, GREAT!  If not, do not despair. Humor is an artful skill that all can create, use, and enjoy. 

Humor moves us.  When we laugh, our whole being is having a lot of fun.  The secrets of all of the comedians are out there for you to emulate and use.  There are a host of source materials and examples of guiding and teaching sessions for you.  Putting them together into your speech is the part that makes it worthwhile.  When your audience laughs, they are more comfortable and willing to listen.  In fact, they are demanding more and you are ready to give it. 

Join this Masterclass to discover:

  • Subject material and the audience. Things about your audience to consider before you take the stage.  Surviving when the laughs don’t come?
  • Placement and timing: Can you get them laughing in the first 15 seconds?  What is your “laugh rate?”
  • Simple rules: Puns? Shaggy-dog stories? Fast clips?  What fits you and your delivery?
  • Getting help and enlarging your experience: Working with a “humor helper.” Where to get face time and exposure for free.
  • Professional Speaking: Putting humor in its proper place.
  • Comedians’ secrets they never share, except now: Preparing to win, keeping track, and staying loose.

Attendees will come away with a broader knowledge of how humor will work for them, where to take their audience, and ways to “hook” them and keep them laughing.

Ashley Harkness, Jr. has been a Toastmaster since 1997. He has served in numerous club and district officer and training roles including District 57’s District Governor, (2008-9).  He has been a regular presenter for the D57 Speakers Bureau and keynote speaker at several events. Early on, Ashley was a charter member of the “Laugh Lovers Cantu Comedy Club.” The club is dedicated to the memory of San Francisco’s primer humor club operator, John Cantu (web: “Cantu Comedy Club”). (Remember the Smothers Brothers and Robin Williams?  They got a start at Cantu’s club in San Francisco.) The training imparted in that Toastmasters club helped develop Ashley’s humor skills. Ashley is an award-winning professional conference speaker and electrical industry safety trainer for industrial electricians.  He will tell you that, “Effective use of humor can open an audience in the best way. However, when the chips are down, as a safety trainer with lives on the line, humor is the best skill to have to reach the audience.”


May 18, 2020
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Event Category: