Archive for November, 2016

District 60 Humorous Speech Contest

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016

Kenneth Cheung, DTM, posted an insightful article about the creativity of the nine contestants of the District 60 Humorous Speech Contest.  The finalists reflect on how they turned ordinary experiences unto extraordinarily funny speeches.

Observational Humor — Case Study #153

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016

Here is another Observational Humor monologue presented at the end of a meeting. We will provide you with the set-up, the joke, and a comment on what made the joke work.

THE SET-UP (To help you understand the context of the jokes, we will share with you what happened and what was said during the meeting, before the monologue was delivered.)

1. Our NSA Chapter President gave a speech introducing himself to the chapter while also sharing an inspirational message. He said the title of his talk was, “Let’s talk about John Getter.”

2. The President’s speech included photographs from his childhood. “I started out as a child.” He told us he played the violin, but that did not qualify him to be in the marching band.

3. Our featured speaker was Mike Staver. He suggested when we try to catch fish we go fishing…so when we try to catch a cow, why don’t we go cowing?

4. A speaker noted that the meeting room was set up nicely. He pointed out that there were several speakers hanging from the ceiling.

5. Members were reminded to check in with Rocky first thing in the morning.

6. We had a guest from Switzerland. He was introduced as the “person who came the furthest.”

7. Laura gave a workshop-style program. Half-way through the program she said it was time to debrief.

8. Our featured speaker told of being on a weightlessness-training aircraft. When they went into wrightless mode, most trainees either giggled or they lost their lunch.


We were concerned about whether we would have time to do my meeting wrap up. Next month I will be sitting in the front row instead of the back row. That should save us about 10 minutes.

And now…let’s talk about John Kinde.

I started out as a child. (I showed a drawing of a stick figure character. I always have three types of pens; ball point, magic marker, and a heavier felt marker. That allows me to create visuals and speaking notes.)

In middle-school I played the violin (Drawing of a stick-figure orchestra.)

Then I joined the marching band. (stick figure marching band with one person playing the violin.)

On weekends we went cowing. (Stick figure of man with fishing pole with a cow on the hook.)

I’m moving slow today. Part of that is due to the walker. However, most of it is me.

But being slow opens new career opportunities to me. I go a job at Madame Tussaud’s wax museum. I was Mr Rogers. They told me I was almost life like. (Self-deprecation.)

But enough about me.

(Call-back phrase,)

I know that an audience at a stimulating meeting like this will have some questions.

I’ll give you the answer first and then share the question. (This is a set up for using the answer-man or Carnack format as a vehicle for humor.)

The answer is: Sneaking past Rocky before the meeting starts.

And the question is: How do you become a speaker hanging from the ceiling?


The answer is: Visit the NSA chapter in Geneva Switzerland.

The question is: How do you get recognized as the person who came the furthest?


The answer is: I thought… I’m glad I didn’t wear boxers today.

The question is: What crossed your mind when Laura said, We are now going to debrief.

(Playing with double-word meaning.)


The answer is: It’s when you are watching John Kinde’s humor.

The question is: What are you doing when half the people around you are giggling. And the other half are throwing up. (Self-deprecation.)