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The Non-Humorist's Handbook

How to Easily Add Humor to Your Speeches

By Brian Woolf

Softback, published in January 2018

About the Book...

Do you feel that:
·  Speaking humorously is beyond you - but you wish it wasn't?
·  You are uncomfortable or shy about using humor in speeches?
·  You don't know where to begin, even if you wanted to, to add humor to your speeches?

If you nod your head in agreement with any of the above, this book is for you. It will show you how to easily inject humor into your speeches. No, it won't turn you into an overnight success as a stand-up comic - but it will put you on a path, guided by many examples, which will give you the comfort and confidence to create humor. Yes, there is hope for Non-Humorists! There are a variety of ways to spark laughter as a speaker. This book deals with the four easiest, based upon viewing and studying many hundreds of speeches and reading innumerable books on humor - Twists, Asides, Putdowns, and Exaggeration. They succeed, because they:
·  Are simple to understand and use.
·  Are easy to create, remember, and deliver.
·  Have the element of surprise, the foundation stone of humor.
·  Generate smiles and laughter which builds bonds with audiences.
·  Have a low risk of failure, and if one does, it's over-looked and quickly forgotten.

What's In It?

Part I: Humor Help for Speakers
Definition & Explanation
Lessons from a Leader: Jock Elliott, WCPS

Definition & Explanation
Lessons from a Leader: Kelly Swanson, Humorous Storyteller

Definition & Explanation
Lessons from a Leader: Darren LaCroix, WCPS

Definition & Explanation
Lessons from a Leader: Randy Harvey, WCPS

Part II: Humor Help for Chairmen
Chair - For All Events
Introduction & explanation
Opening the meeting or event
About the meeting
Quips to use as and when appropriate
Ending the meeting
Speaking and speeches
Introducing speakers
Fun after-speech comments
Encouraging speech appreciation
Connecting comments with the audience
Verse and worse for all audiences

Chair - For Toastmaster Events
Introduction & explanation
The organization
The speakers
Our club
Longtime members
Connecting comments with the audience
Verse (and worse) for Toastmaster audiences

What Others Are Saying

"WARNING: It's difficult to put the book down. While the short chapters and individual quotes make it a perfect book to pick up when you have just a few minutes, I found myself wanting read "just one more quote" before I put it down. I also found myself thinking about how I could use the examples or my own experiences in a similar manner and I kept going back to reread sections as new ideas popped into my head."
·  John Conroy, Executive Marketing Director

"Roasters, toasters, moderators, facilitators and public speakers of all ages - Brian's handbook will be helpful for everyone who speaks in public. The humorless will find an abundance of useful and funny support and the humorous will find loads of new material for their storehouses of wit. And for those who rarely or never speak in public, read it for fun. I could have used this 40 years ago. It's a winner!"
·  John Shepherd, DTM

"I love HUMOR! I want to be a humorist "when I grow up!" Reading Brian Woolf's book lets me know the possibility is still there! I love the information he has compiled and shared with his readers. Never will you find a more comprehensive listing of material from Toastmasters around the world and people from so many walks of life! I love his beginning idea of TAPE (if you want to know what that is, you'll have to read the book)."
·  Pamela S Christopher, M.ED.

"I am gobsmacked to see so much diverse helpful material in one place! While primarily aimed at Toastmasters, this book is an absolute boon to anyone who makes public or business speeches. I wish that it had been published a decade or two ago, when I was spending hours writing, rewriting and honing business talks, trying to inject some humour and lightness into a potentially dense subject. It wasn't easy and this book would have been such a help. My congratulations to the author for all the research, selection and compilation that must have gone into it. From now on, there can be no excuse for dull talks."
·  Robin Clark, Co-Founder, The Wise Marketer

"I think it's really neat the way you have analyzed and dissected how humor works - but then give numerous examples of that particular approach to humor. I have enjoyed browsing through the "Handbook" for suggestions on the how-to's, and find that instructive - but, invariably I also get caught up in enjoying the humor that you present. (An effective and painless way for me to learn.)"
·  Charlie Tulloh, DTM

"This book cuts to the chase. Within minutes you can be adding humor to your speeches. As Brian mentions in the Introduction, first review the descriptions of each humorous type: Twist, Aside, Putdowns and Exaggeration - each one of the descriptions is only about a page - and then thumb through the examples. This is enough info to get started yourself. The techniques are so simple, now anyone can apply humor. I've been to classes and read other books where I keep wondering when am I going to learn what I need to know. This book gets right to learning immediately."
·  Leslie Glascock

"Brian, I completed reading the book today. I have laughed and laughed and laughed some more. Many lines jumped out at me but I am still laughing at these ones: "Speeches are like babies - easy to conceive but hard to deliver" and "Do not underestimate your abilities - that's your boss's job." And next time I am making a speech, I will remember to move back-and-forth on the stage in case someone wants to throw something at me - because it's "hard to hit a moving target". This book is a masterpiece. It's the toolkit to turn dull speeches into dazzling! It's speechcraft wrapped in humor - even for born-humorists."
·  Sam Wambugu

About the author...

For too many years I was a Non-Humorist. I was a straight-laced, analytically-minded accountant who saw fellow Toastmasters(R) using humor in their speeches, seemingly without effort, and wished I could, too. Since I didn't know how, my early attempts generally failed. However, given the way my mind works, I decided to analyze humor to see if there was a way, a method, a path, that would help me at least crack a smile or, perhaps, even evoke a light laugh. My journey took a lot of time yet I eventually succeeded. I now comfortably trigger smiles and laughter before audiences of all sizes and when chairing large meetings. This book covers the approach I learned.

Over the past 50 years, I have observed that the majority of people appear to be Non-Humorists, many wanting to change their status. This book is written for them. It explains the four simple, easy ways to confidently add humor when speaking. And the more often one does, the more comfortable one becomes. It's a journey that has no end because once attuned to simple, humorous ideas, new ones just keep appearing.

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Copyright © 2022 Brian Woolf