Let’s Write A One-Liner: An Easy Way To Add Humor To Your Motivational Speech

Writing humor is not an easy task, especially if you’re not a funny person, which is why I love the one-liner so much. It’s easy to write, easy to work into your speech, and easy for the audience to understand. And it always gets a laugh. If it’s funny. While many would say that one-liners should be put to rest with big hair and big bands, they are still a great way to flavor your writing and speech. And old fashioned or not, they still get a laugh. If you are a funny motivational speaker, this is a skill you’ll definitely want to have in your toolbox. Here is an example of a tired but still funny one-liner: Take my wife…please.

What makes this one-liner funny is that it sets the listener up to expect one thing, and then surprises them by saying something different. Very basic. But very effective. Audiences love it when you lead them in one direction and then surprise them by turning in another direction. Here’s another example of a joke I wrote yesterday: I only clean the parts of my house that people can see……..from the street. Okay, so maybe it’s not that funny, but it fits the definition of surprising the audience.

So start with a truth, and then spin it. Take this statement: My husband left me for another woman. What do we assume when we hear this statement? We might assume that you’re upset. Which is why I could finish the joke:  My husband left me for another woman. Please pray for her.

Let’s try another one:
I found this cream that’s supposed to remove unwanted bulges. So I bought it…

What do we assume? We assume that you bought it in the store. We assume that the bulges are on your own body. We assume the bulges to be small bulges on your body like cellulite. Here’s how I finished this joke: I found this cream that’s supposed to remove unwanted bulges. So I bought it and put it on my husband. He’s still here.

You can always go back and tweak the first part so that the joke makes more sense. So, to recap: Come up with a set up line. List what we assume to be true about that statement. Come up with an ending statement that the audience didn’t expect. They won’t all be funny. In fact, most of them won’t. But occasionally you’ll stumble on a good one.

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