Art of Public Speaking:
One-liner is a general term for very short pieces of humor and often used in the
art of public speaking. Using one-liners is probably the best and easiest way to begin adding humor to your public speaking
assignments. These brief bits of humor are quick and easy to deliver and they don't have to be all that
amusing to be effective. If you are a little apprehensive about using humor, in your
art of public speaking this is the place to start.
The audience likes one-liners, because they can get a quick mental break from content heavy material. Keeping the audience alert is part of your
art of public speaking. Also, if the audience is there to get high levels of content, they don't feel you wasted their time with long stories and jokes.
One of the handiest sources for one-liners to be used in the art of public speaking is a small and inexpensive paperback called 'Today's Chuckle: 2500 Great One-Liners for Every Occasion' by Paul Harlan Collins. Most public speaking resource books are broken down into categories. There are 25 categories in all and I can't imagine a talk in the
art of public speaking that wouldn't benefit from one of these selections.
This book has categories such as "Affairs of State and Other Political Indiscretions" where you might find the one-liner:
"Politicians are like polkas. They have different names, but they all sound alike."
or the category 'Money and the Meaning of Life' where you would see truisms like:
"Prosperity is that period between the last installment and the next purchase.'
You'll run across one-liners everywhere once you start looking, and constantly looking for good material is your duty in the
art of public speaking. Some will even have two lines. Don't worry. Write them down too, and start adding them to your public speaking
assignments. Just for fun, I'm including some of my favorites:
Thanks to automatic teller machines you are always conveniently close to being broke.
Behind every successful person stands a bunch of amazed co-workers.
Computers can do complicated mathematical calculations in 1/100,000 second, but the invoices still go out 10 days late.
My accountant is shy and retiring. He's $250,000 shy. That's why he's retiring.
How are you supposed to teach a kid what clockwise means when he's wearing a digital GI Joe watch?
You can see from just these few one liners how they can add to your art of public speaking.
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