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TitleDos and Taboos of Public Speaking
TagsPublic Speaking Television Playing Cards Sales General Motors
File Size2.4 MB
Total Pages216
Table of Contents
The Three Secrets for Banishing Fear
Organization of Business Speeches
To Read, or Not to Read?
Getting Physical
Using Audio-Visual Equipment
Appearing on Television
Special Speaking Situations
How to Turn Professional
Resources for Help
Parting Advice fromSuccessful Speakers
Local Chapters—National Speakers Association
Additional Reading
Document Text Contents
Page 2

Do's and Taboos of
Public Speaking

How to Get Those Butterflies
Flying in Formation

Roger E. Axtell

Illustrations by Mike Fornwald

John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
New York • Chichester • Brisbane • Toronto • Singapore

Page 108


laugh, but it serves as a wonderful confidence-builder for you,
the speaker.

Quotations are another good device for producing smiles,
with Yogi Berra being one of the most popular resources.
("When you come to a fork in the road, take it.") Numerous
reference books filled with provocative and memorable quota-
tions for the past several hundred years are readily available in
bookstores and libraries. Refer to them when preparing your
material. As indicated earlier, they provide the added benefit
of provoking some forgotten statement or idea stored in the
back of your mind.

Most of us enjoy hearing examples of double entendres,
malapropisms, and mangled misstatements. Much humor is
based on such misadventures with language. Author Richard
Lederer has produced two wonderfully lighthearted books
crammed with examples like these (including the earlier ones
about the Magna Carta, Queen Elizabeth, and Sir Francis
Drake). His first book was titled Anguished English (Laurel
Press, Mill Valley, CA, 1987). This was followed by Crazy Eng-
lish (Pocket Books, New York, 1989). Both these books would
be good investments for the resource shelf of any aspiring
humorous speechmaker.

Another good resource book is Malcolm Kushner's The
Light Touch—How to Use Humor for Business Success (Simon
& Schuster, New York, 1990). Kushner provides the following
five rules for successful delivery of humor:

1. Learn Your Lines. Practice the story and figure out
which words to emphasize.

2. Be Confident and Comfortable. Don't tell an anecdote
you are uncomfortable with. Enjoy the story yourself.

3. Don't Announce That You're Going to Tell a Joke.
Sneak up on the audience. Surprise them with your
funny line.

Page 109


4. Pause Just before the Punch Line, and Then Wait for the
Laugh. A one-beat pause just before the punch line
adds emphasis to the key words. If you continue talk-
ing immediately after delivering the line, the audience
will miss the impact.

5. Keep It Brief. An overly long anecdote or joke tends to
bore an audience.


The following collection of stories, quips, and anecdotes will
jump start your own humor generator. As I discussed earlier,
lists of jokes rarely seem to provide exactly the right humor-
ous stories for you or your particular speaking situation.
However, they are often useful to jog your memory, or you
may be able to bend them to fit your speaking occasion. Of
course, if you do find one or two here that tickle your sense of
humor—take them.

(Ian Kerr, Public Relations counselor for Rolls Royce sup-
plied this one.) "When I finished speaking at a large luncheon
meeting, the emcee said that I had provided a 'Rolls Royce of
a speech.' At first I was delighted, but then I realized that the
two main characteristics of a Rolls Royce are that they are,
first, inaudible, and second, they last forever."

When it comes to optimism, perhaps the best example
I've ever seen comes from the surviving members of my fa-
ther's high school graduation class. They still hold annual
reunions, and each one has a special theme and slogan. For
one reunion the slogan was "Help Me Make It Through the
Night"; for another, it was "The Last Supper"; and the most
recent one was "Stay Alive 'Til '95."

Page 215


Television, 4
announcers, 56-57
interviews, 141-145
appearing on,131-147

Tension, 9
Thermal transfer printing, 120
Timing a speech, 44
Timing, value of, 11, 90
Toastmasters, 181-182
Tomlin, Lily, 8
Training for TV appearances,

Transition statements, 41-42
True, Herb, 85


U.S. Chamber of Commerce,

VCRs, 123-124
Video cameras, 21

Video projection equipment,

Videos, 108
Videotape appearances, 146
Videotapes, 112, 123-124
Vinci, Vincent, 12
Visual aids, 113-125
Visual materials, 105-129
Visuals, production of, 115-124
Voice, 69-71


Watson, Tom, 185
Weigell, Carl A., 187
Weiner, David L., 36, 186
Williams, Robert, 12, 46
Wright, Rudy, 160-161
Writing speeches, 48-53
Yeager, Chuck, 2

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