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Jokes and Tips For the Toastmasters Humorist (steal this)

Posted by Steve Haase

Apr 23, 2014, 10:00 AM

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Need to find a good joke or funny story? If you're filling the humorist role at your next Toastmasters meeting, you might find yourself scrambling. To help you out, here are two of my favorite jokes I've heard (or told) at HubSpot's Toastmasters meetings, plus a tip for discovering your own humorous story.

My very first time presenting at Toastmasters was to deliver the following joke, which I first heard on Garrison Keillor's Prairie Home Companion, and it went over pretty darn well. It's also a good opportunity to use that Scottish accent I know you've been working on. :)

An American moves to a remote cabin on the Shetland Islands of Scotland. He hasn't seen anyone for three months until one day there's a knock at the door. He opens it to find a burly man with a scratchy sweater and a scratchier beard.

The visitors says, "I've come to invite you to a party."

Intrigued, the man replies, "A party sounds nice, what should I expect?"

"Well, there'll be drinkin'."

"Sounds good to me," replies the man, "I could use a drink."

"Then there'll be a fight. There's always a fight."

"Hmm, well, I boxed when I was in the army. I could hold my own in a fight."

"Then there'll be sex."

"Wow. Given that I haven't seen anyone in three months, sex certainly would be nice. I'm in! What should I wear?"

"Come as you are," says the burly visitor, "It's just going to be you and me."


Joke number two, ideal if you are as big a fan of puns as I am. I heard this from Thariq at our Toastmasters meeting last night.

A man walks into a nearly empty bar and orders a drink. After a few minutes he hears a voice say "Nice shirt." He looks around, sees no one near him, and goes back to his drink.

A short while later he hears the same voice saying, out of nowhere, "I like your hair."

Truly perplexed, he calls the bartender over and asks, "Where is that voice coming from?"

The bartender says, "It's the nuts."

"The nuts?" replies the man.

"Yes," says the bartender. "They're complimentary."


And now my tip for you, the humorist. A few weeks ago I was tasked with this role and decided that I would tell a funny story from my own life. After ruminating on it for a bit, I remembered the time when my family went to Las Vegas for a vacation. I know, it's funny already, but the actual story had even more comic potential than just that setup.

And so I told it, highlighting the points that truly were hilarious, speaking about the quirks, surprises, and lucky circumstances of my family on vacation in Vegas. It went over very well and also gave people an insight into my life and what has shaped me into the person I am today—a real win-win.

After telling my parents about their starring role in that evening's Toastmaster's meeting, they brought up other comical situations we've been in as a family over the years. Mind you, we're no comedians, and my life is not that different from many others. But when you've done things together, and you've suffered through less than ideal circumstances with people you love, you often find that, 5-10 years later, those stories are pretty much hilarious.

So take a quick inventory of your past. Any big mistakes or big adventures that would lend themselves to the soft humor of hindsight? Share those in your meeting for an even bigger, more satisfying laugh.

What are some of your favorite jokes or funny stories? Share them in the comments below!

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Image credit: Wikipedia

 

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