Section Name

The Public Speaking Basic Course


Most contemporary public speaking texts contain some reference to the effective use of humor by public speakers. This advice tends to reflect common assumptions on the role of humor in public speaking and the ability of the novice speaker to incorporate humor in a speech. A review of 27 contemporary texts explores the trend in humor instruction and offers 11 categories which summarize the treatment of humor: (1) theories of humor, (2) rationale for the use of humor, (3) guidelines for the use of humor, (4) sources of humor, (5) humor as a factor of attention, (6) specific humorous techniques to employ in a speech, (7) injunctions on the use of humor, (8) who should use humor, (9) the use of self-deprecating humor, (10) how to deliver the humor, (11) humorous speaking.