Whether you are running for president of your school or president of the United States, you will likely have to make a speech at some point in time on your way into office. A well written speech can mean the difference between campaign success or failure. Many political hopefuls elect to inject humor into their campaign speeches. By incorporating humor, you capture the audience's attention and allow them to see that you are a real person who really cares about their wants and needs. When time comes to compose your all-important campaign speech, make it a humorous one. Your listening audience will likely appreciate it.
Know your audience. The type of humor you want to use depends greatly upon your audience. You would not attempt to use the same humor at a high school assembly as you would at a retirement village. Before you even consider composing your speech, take some time to consider what type of people will likely fill the audience when you present your speech.
Tailor your speech to your audience's sense of humor. When composing your speech, make reference to pop culture topics with which your audience will be familiar. If you don't know what your audience may like, consult someone who is either that age or has worked closely with people similar to those to whom you will be speaking.
Keep it appropriate. Many people enjoy off-color humor; however, as an individual running for office you need to take extreme care to avoid offending anyone. Remember, things you say in your speech will likely be recorded, so don't say anything that you wouldn't want as a part of the permanent record, regardless of how funny it may be.
Speak relatively informally. Your speech will seem disjointed and awkward if you try to be both funny and serious. To create continuity in your humorous speech, you must keep the whole address relatively informal. Use simple, everyday language, and speak in a conversational tone.
Use clever anecdotes. Give your audience an inside look at your campaign by telling them about funny things that have happened on the trail. Or allow them to feel as if they are part of your family by sharing funny stories of your life with them as a way of illustrating your points.
Pepper your speech with jokes. While jokes are a great way to insert humor, you do not want to rely too heavily upon them. Use jokes sparingly, and take care when selecting them. Do not select jokes that some might find offensive. Also, be sure to stick with jokes that are relevant to your campaign or your platform.
Include a humorous quotation. Borrow a line from a politician who expressed your sentiments in a humorous way. For example, you could quote California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger who said, "to those critics who are so pessimistic about our economy, I say: Don't be economic girlie men!" If you do this, be sure to cite your quote and give the original speaker his due credit.
Laugh at yourself. If you want the audience to laugh at you, you have to be willing to laugh at yourself. If, when giving your speech, you make a joke that flops, acknowledge the joke's lack of success and join in the crowd in laughing at your attempt. The audience will likely develop a kinship with you as you laugh right along with them.
Erin Schreiner is a freelance writer and teacher who holds a bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University. She has been actively freelancing since 2008. Schreiner previously worked for a London-based freelance firm. Her work appears on eHow, Trails.com and RedEnvelope. She currently teaches writing to middle school students in Ohio and works on her writing craft regularly.