All activities and contests open to Speakers League and Skill Builders members. Members are free. Friends, families, and others can purchase spectator tickets for $5 in advance at this link, or $10 at the door.
9:00am-9:15am – Welcome and continental breakfast
9:15am-9:45am – Impromptu tips and techniques panel
10:00am-10:45am – Impromptus Contest (contest rules below)
10:50am-11:30am – Teleprompter/Green Screen experience
11:30am-12:15pm – Humorous Speech Contest (contest rules below)
12:15pm-12:45pm – Pizza Party with open mic for humorists & poet laureates.
12:45pm-1pm – Awards and Recognition
All activities and contests open to Speakers League and Skill Builders members.
Contestants will be kept from the room until it is their turn. Each contestant will receive the same question and will need to put together the best Impromptu of at least two minutes, but no more than 2 ½ minutes. Winner will be judged by a panel.
Members will have a chance to try out a teleprompter in front of a green screen. We’ll capture it on film and produce a fun video with different backgrounds added.
The object of this 5-7 minute speech is to use humor to get your audience smiling and laughing. Keep it appropriate to all audiences. Winner will be judged by a panel.
Think you’re too young to compete? Check out this Skill Builders member who competed at the 2018 SLAM in Los Angeles. She worked hard, and practiced hard, and it was terrific!
Do the Reverse
This kind of humor comes from surprising your audience by staking out a position that is the reverse of what would be considered normal. If you are giving a speech on candy, talk about how candy is a vital part of our diet because it gives us energy. Giving a speech about nursery rhymes? Talk about how they promote dangerous behavior by children – jumping over lit candles??! The absurdity of your topic will get them laughing.
Change it Up
Lots of things can be funny, and variety can also keep your audience surprised and amused. Puns, physical humor, exaggeration, irony, sarcasm, and word play are available to you.
Finish with a Winner
In a humor speech you want to start strong to get the audience warmed up, but don’t use all of your best material and leave a weak ending. Be sure to close your speech with a final joke or observation that ties it all up well.
In speaking, there is a technique called a “callback.” When using this technique, you reference something from earlier in your speech. This helps tie your speech together and can be used to great comic effect. For example, you could mention that your teacher wants homework turned in by email and that this makes it hard to come up with the old “my dog ate my homework” excuse. Later in the speech your “callback moment” is when you mention that you call your computer Rover because it has seemingly eaten so much homework every time it has crashed.
Other things to remember for a humor speech:
Even with the best preparation, some parts of your speech may not go as well as you planned, in terms of audience laughter. Don’t scold the audience for not “getting” your humor or let this negatively affect the rest of your presentation. Just keep going and give the audience more chances to see and hear the humor.
When they do laugh, be ready to adjust to it. Don’t talk over it, and keep in mind that laughter will affect the length of your speech. Build in some time to account for audience reaction, and be prepared with a few things to cut from your speech in case you risk going over time.