Public speaking can be a daunting task for anybody. Most people would rather be in the audience than on the stage.
If you attend church or have watched any political debate in the last few years then you know that a dry and boring informational session can turn you off. If you are asked to give a speech, it is worth learning a few tricks of the trade to keep you calm and help you deliver a great speech.
Something that everybody can identify with is humor; laughter is the best medicine, and if you carry it off, it will get the audience on your side. Humor is often an element that people don't know how to add within a speech or just don't think they can pull it off.
Despite the fact that humor can often be a great ice breaker or starter for many public addresses, many people don't even attempt it. Humor can be used in many areas of speech writing. It is a great way to connect with your listening audience. Comedians write material to make people laugh, not everything they write is funny because we all have different tastes but finding the funny side of something breaks it down into a human emotion we all agree on. Laughter is the same in every language.
In order to inject a little comedy or humor into a public speaking engagement you have to know your audience. Granted you won't specifically know the people in the audience but you should know the material and tips on public speaking always allow for you to reach out from the microphone and capture their attention. After that you can make them feel more at ease and that is what public speaking is all about.
Most people who want to use humor in a public address do so at the beginning, it's known as an ice breaker or starter. It is best to use something that you can relate to people without them feeling uncomfortable, perhaps it was something that happened to you and the focus can be taken off of the audience for a while. Sometimes humor can break down a barrier that has been placed between you and your audience.
Test your humor on other people, see if they find it funny, if they don't then don't use it. Also, if you do not find the joke funny neither will your listening audience. Even if you don't have a funny bone you can still find humor in your life to use in a speech. Make sure its something tasteful and ties in with your speech. A lot of people find that humor gives them a chance to put people at ease, after that you can talk freely because the pressure has been lifted.