Personal Growth — Speaking Skills

Oh no!!!  Not another observational humor monologue!

I realize that few readers have an interest in writing observational humor monologues.  And I also realize that because of the You-Had-To-Be-There factor, reading a transcript of a monologue from an event that you did not attend probably doesn’t make you laugh.  So why do I publish them?

Writing about creating and using humor can easily result in something that looks and sounds like a lecture.  Nothing but theory becomes an exercise in mental gymnastics.  It’s not especially interesting and it’s difficult to link the theory to real-life examples.  You’ve probably heard the E.B. White quote, “Analyzing humor is like dissecting a frog. Few people are interested and the frog dies of it.”

So the question becomes, “how to teach and learn humor without feeling like you’re in a lecture hall?”  I use observational humor monologues as a teaching tool.  Hopefully it’s a vehicle which brings humor techniques to life with real-world examples of humor in action.

My improv troupe had a workshop last week.  Ten of us met to practice the principles of good improv comedy.  Nobody in the group has a dream of becoming a main-stage player at Second City or being discovered by Saturday Night Live.  Most people take improv classes because they are fun, because they teach skills which apply to success in life, and because they help people become better public speakers.  It’s not about the improv…it’s so much more than that.

Likewise, members of a Toastmasters Club did not join because they intend to become a professional speaker.  They join for the fun and to gain some skills that will make them more productive and competitive in the workplace.  It’s not primarily about public speaking, it’s about leadership, growth, and personal communication.

Within a Toastmasters Club, members have the opportunity to compete in several contests every year.  It’s not about the contests, it’s not about winning.  People participate in the contests to improve their skills. 

You don’t enter a Cartoon Caption Contest or a Joke Contest with the intent of becoming a professional writer.  You most likely do it to sharpen your creative skills.  Maybe you do it just to have fun.

People don’t go to the gym to become a body builder.  They go to the gym simply to be in a little better shape than they are today.

So it is with studying Observational Humor Monologues.  It’s not about creating the monologue.  It’s about discovering the Ah-Ha’s which help you make the connections needed to create your own fresh humor.  It’s about the possibility of closing a PTA meeting with just one observational humor line.  It’s about brightening a staff meeting with just one small quip which you create out of nothing.  It’s about relaxing a prospect at a sales presentation because you can react naturally with humor, even if it’s only once.  It’s about opening a speech with just one observational humor line.  It’s about becoming better at using humor…just a little bit.  Studying Observational Humor Monologues, you slowly begin to see how humor connections are made.  One step at a time.  We grow in baby steps.  And the exciting thing is…the better you get…the faster you get better.

So remember, it’s not about the monologue.  It’s about something much more important…you and your skills.