Open Your Ears to Find Funny Material For Your Speeches

Ask any successful comedian; being funny takes a lot of work and is actually quite a serious business.

Typically, there are many rounds of writing, re-writing and testing required to create an awesome stand-up set. And it can take time.

But, here’s a truism. Things can go a deal faster if you start with good material.

And one of my favourite tips to easily source material that – with a little spit and polish – can help you entertain most any audience is this:

Listen up to ‘find the funny’ in everyday situations.

An Easy Way to Find Potentially Funny Content For Your Speeches

Check out this recent example:

When visiting relatives with my family in New York over Easter, I went to a fancy restaurant and during the evening (as customers consumed many cocktails) noise levels rose quite a bit. And I about cracked up when I overheard a conversation at the next table.

A very elderly gentleman was sitting with his family at a large round table and, clearly struggling to get a word in edge-wise, said in a very loud and frustrated voice:

“I want you to listen to me”

There was a moment of quiet tension as his words hung out there for a bit until his elderly wife said in a deadpan and strong New York accent:

“Sheez. After 65 years, like I have a choice!”

The whole family creased themselves laughing and if they had looked my way they’d have caught me  ‘snort laughing’ too!

Fantastic material. I loved it.

And while I haven’t yet decided when or if I might use this small vignette in a talk, can you see how easily I might?

The upshot is this:

If you take the time to listen more deeply to what happens around you, day in and day out, you’ll be astonished how much ‘funny’ you’ll find with next to zero effort.




About Eamonn O'Brien

Public speaking master, Eamonn O'Brien is the founder of The Reluctant Speakers Club.