Archive for November, 2015

Losing A Speech Contest

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

Here is an inspiring internet posting by Laurette Lynn.  She lost a Toastmasters speech contest, and like all of us, she had to deal with the sting and disappointment of losing.  Her reflections on the experience are like a great movie.  The essay illustrates how we can deal with a challenge, be frustrated, and yet learn from the experience. It’s all about dealing with the upset and coming out a stronger person in the end.

Here are Laurette Lynn’s words

Humor Power Article:  So You Lost a Speech Contest?

Stand-up Comedy Open Mic Contest

Friday, November 13th, 2015

The Second-Annual
Stand-Up Comedy Open Mic Contest
Sponsored by PowerHouse Pros

Don’t miss this fun night of laughter.
Monday, November 30, at 6:15 pm

Special Persentation: What Agents are Lookng for in a Comedian.

The location is 920 Pilot Road in Las Vegas.
Join us for an evening of fun. If you miss it…we will have the last laugh!

Observational Humor — Case Study #142

Sunday, November 8th, 2015

Here is another Observational Humor monologue presented at the end of a meeting of the Las Vegas Chapter of the National Speakers Association.

First, we will look at the set-ups for the jokes. Then review the jokes.  And finally, we’ll look at what made the humor work.

The goal of studying Observational Humor is to develop your talent of creating just one original, fresh joke to include in your presentation.

The SetUp (What happened and what was said during the meeting,
before he monologue was presented.)

1. I was moving slowly due to stiffness.

2. Mike Rayburn played a difficult song on the guitar. He said: I do
that…because I can.

3. Mike Rayburn has played Carnegie Hall multiple times.

4. Debbie Allen said that every speaker’s first book usually sucks.

5. Debbie has written eight books.

6. Have a current photo in your promo materials so that when you show
up for an engagement, you look like yourself.

7. Debbie is one of the most successful and most highly paid women
speakers in the speaking business.

8. This is my second year to close every chapter meeting with an
Observational Humor wrap-up.

9. Sophia (chapter President) gave a thank you gift to Mike Rayburn
(immediate past President). She said Mike had it all, and the most
meaningful gift she could give Mike would be to write a check as a
donation to his church.


(I approached the front of the room very slowly. Not to setup a joke but because I was very stiff.)
I have an advantage over many speakers. When I give a one-hour keynote, I only need 30 minutes of content.
(The joke received less laughter than I thought it would. My voice
wasn’t strong that day, and I got feedback after the meeting that I was hard to hear. I should have been wearing a microphone.)

I’m not going to sing and play the guitar…because I can’t.
(A reversal of a call back.)

How do you get to Carnegie Hall?  Buy tickets to see Mike Rayburn.  

(Self-deprecation and also compliments a talented member.)

My speaking career is on track. I’m writing my first book…which will suck.
(self deprecation.)

I’ve written eight books. No…I ate my first book. I was hungry.
(Plays with sound-alike words EIGHT/ATE. Ate my first book was a
joke. I was hungry was a topper. And self-deprecation.)

My career was going great…until I showed up looking like myself.

(A call back. Unexpectedly applying prior advice twist to myself.)

And soon I’ll be ranked in the top-five of all women speakers.
(Silly but fun. A good laugh.)

How to get mentioned in one of John’s wrap-up monologues: Do or say something brilliant. Do or say something stupid. And keep doing it until you see John write something down.
(Absurd advice, since it’s unlikely any member of the audience was
wondering how they could be mentioned in the monologue.)

Sophia, I don’t have everything. You can make a check out to me.
(A call back. And self-deprecation.)

New Joke Contest — Just One Letter

Sunday, November 1st, 2015

The Difference Just One Letter can Make.

Can you name a menu or food item, and by adding, substituting, or deleting just one letter, turn it into something very different?

New contests are announced on the first of the month.

Here are three examples of what it could look like.  Put on your creative cap and see what you can come up with.

If a chef served French food at an Auto Repair Shop it would be known as Wrench Food…or maybe even Mr Good Wrench Food.

A Power Lunch with chips added would become a Poker Lunch.

If a fruit-stand burglar left his fingerprints on the Blue Berries they
would become Clue Berries.

And let’s avoid the cheap route to humor by turning Corn into Porn, or Crab into Crap, and other borderline switches. Let’s keep our jokes in the category of clean Corporate Humor.

Write as many lines as you can and submit your best three for our Top Three recognition selected by our panel of judges. You can submit more than three lines. The extra lines will be eligible for Honorable Mention.

Submit your entries by November 14, 2015, to

Our next contest will be announced on December 1, 2015.