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September 2023
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How to Bring Humor to Toastmasters

  • Appoint a Joke Master role. Years ago in West Boca Raton, Florida, we had a very funny club member. He was so funny, in fact, that whenever I was Toastmaster of the Day or Contest Master, I appointed him Joke Master. In the course of a meeting, I would call on him to tell a very short joke. He was a smash—and by the way, it did wonders for his speaking skills.
  • Make a big deal of the Humorous Speech Contest at the club level. Plan for it ahead of time by bringing humor into club meetings in the form of jokes, cartoons, funny sayings, humorous speakers, etc.
  • Select funny or simply uncommon words for the Word of the Day. It’s not so easy to use “burp,” “banana,” or “bugaboo” during a meeting without being funny.
  • Ask the meeting Toastmaster to put a joke or cartoon on the weekly agenda page.
  • Encourage all evaluators to give a shout-out to speakers who were funny.
  • Coordinate a themed meeting on humor.

—Caren S. Neile, Ph.D.


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