Engaging Humour

The Engaging Humor path is designed to help you build your skills as a humorous and engaging public speaker. The projects on this path focus on understanding your sense of humor and how that sense of humor translates to engaging audience members. The projects contribute to developing an understanding of how to effectively use humor in a speech, including challenging situations and impromptu speeches. This path culminates in an extended humorous speech that will allow you to apply what you learned. Note: *Not available in printed materials.

This path requires the completion of a minimum of 14 projects: three projects for Level 1, against 3 projects for Level 2, a minimum of three projects for Level 3, a minimum of 2 projects for Level 4 and finally a minimum of 3 projects for Level 5.

  • Level 1 and Level 2 are foundational levels. Their components are common across most paths.
    • Level 1 assists with learning and mastering fundamentals, such as building confidence and earning improved communication skills
    • Level 2 assists with discovering your sense of humor and offers an introduction to Toastmasters mentoring
  • Levels 3, 4 and 5: their components are more specific and relevant to each path.
    • Level 3 aims at increasing knowledge in the domain relevant to your path.
    • Level 4 aims at building or consolidating skills relevant to your path.
    • Level 5 aims at demonstrating proficiency and expertise with skills relevant to your path.

Level 1: Mastering Fundamentals

Level 1, Project 1: Icebreaker

This foundational project is designed to introduce you to your club and the skills you need to begin your Toastmasters journey.

  • Purpose: The purpose of this project is to introduce yourself to the club and learn the basic structure of a public speech.
  • Overview: Write and deliver a speech about any topic to introduce yourself to the club. Your speech may be humorous, informational, or any other style that appeals to you.
  • This project includes: a 4- to 6-minute speech

Level 1, Project 2: Evaluation and Feedback

This project addresses the skills needed to give and receive feedback. You will learn about giving, receiving and applying feedback.

Purpose: The purpose of this project is to present a speech on any topic, receive feedback, and apply the feedback to a second speech.

Overview: 

  • Project 2.1.: choose any topic for your first 5- to 7-minute speech. After your speech, carefully review your feedback.
  • Project 2.2: at a different club meeting, present a 5- to 7-minute speech in which you incorporate feedback from your first speech. You may choose to present the same speech again or a new speech. Your second speech should reflect some or all of the feedback from your first speech.
  • Project 2.3: finally, after you have completed both speeches, serve as an evaluator at a club meeting and deliver constructive feedback about another member’s presentation.

This project includes:

  • A first 5- to 7-minute speech on any topic
  • A second 5- to 7-minute speech on any topic that will incorporating feedback from your first speech
  • Serving as a Project evaluator (2- to 3-minute speech)

Level 1, Project 3: Researching and Presenting

  • This project addresses topic selection strategies, suggestions for research and methods for producing a well organized speech.
  • Purpose: The purpose of this project is to learn or review basic research methods and present a well-organized, well-researched speech on any topic.
  • Overview: Select a topic that you are not already familiar with or that you wish to learn more about. Be sure your topic is narrow enough to be an effective 5- to 7-minute speech. Research the topic and begin organizing the information, as described in this project. Practice your speech and continue to refine its organization. Present your speech at a club meeting.
  • This project includes:
    • Researching a topic
    • The Research Worksheet
    • The Speech Outline Worksheet
    • A 5- to 7-minute speech

Level 2: Learning Your Style

Level 2, Project 1: Know Your Sense of Humor

This project focuses on understanding what makes you laugh and how to share that with an audience.

  • Purpose: The purpose of this project is to begin developing a collection of humorous stories and to present a speech that includes humor.
  • Overview: Give a 5- to 7-minute speech on a topic of your choosing. Your speech should include at least one anecdote or story intended to entertain or bring humor into your presentation.
  • This project includes: A 5- to 7-minute speech

Level 2, Project 2: Connect with your audience

This project focuses on different audience types and how to address them effectively.

  • Purpose: The purpose of this project is to practice the skills needed to connect with an unfamiliar audience.
  • Overview: Develop a 5- to 7-minute speech on a topic that is unfamiliar to the majority of your audience. Because you deliver this speech in your Toastmasters club, you are familiar with the audience members’ preferences and personalities. Selecting a topic that is new or unfamiliar to your club members will allow you to practice adapting as you present. As you speak, monitor the audience’s reaction to your topic and adapt as necessary to maintain engagement.
  • This project includes: A 5- to 7-minute speech

Level 2, Project 3: Introduction to Toastmasters Mentoring

  • This project introduces the value of mentorship and the Toastmasters view of mentors and protégés.
  • Purpose: The purpose of this project is to clearly define how Toastmasters envisions mentoring.
  • Overview: Write and present a 5- to 7-minute speech about a time when you were a protégé. Share the impact and importance of having a mentor. This speech is not a report on the content of this project.
  • This project includes: a 5- to 7-minute speech

Level 3: Increasing Knowledge

Level 3, Project 1: Engage Your Audience With Humor

This project focuses on using humor to enhance the message you deliver in your speech.

  • Purpose: The purpose of this project is for you to determine your style of humor and apply it to a speech that centers around a central message.
  • Overview: Give a 5- to 7-minute speech on your point of view and what makes things funny to you. Your speech should include at least one anecdote or story intended to entertain or bring humor into your presentation.
  • This project includes: A 5- to 7-minute speech

Level 3 elective projects

Choose two or more elective projects from the following list. The purpose and overview of each Level 3 elective projects can be found here.

  • Active Listening
  • Connect with Your Audience
  • Connect with Storytelling
  • Creating Effective Visual Aids
  • Deliver Social Speeches
  • Effective Body Language
  • Focus on the Positive
  • Inspire Your Audience
  • Know Your Sense of Humor
  • Make Connections Through Networking
  • Prepare for an Interview
  • Understanding Vocal Variety
  • Using Descriptive Language
  • Using Presentation Software

Level 4: Building Skills

Level 4, Project 1: The Power of Humor in an Impromptu Speech

This project focuses on developing strategies for adding humor to any speech, especially impromptu speeches.

  • Purpose: The purpose of this project is for you to develop your method for giving impromptu speeches and practice adapting rehearsed stories during a presentation.
  • Overview: You will deliver two 2- to 3-minute speeches. When you are ready to begin the first of your speeches, the Toastmaster of the Day will select a topic from the Impromptu Speech Topics resource. Your speech must last 2 to 3 minutes and include at least one anecdote that is related to the topic. When the first speech is complete, give a second 2- to 3-minute speech on a new topic. Both topics should be selected at random and without your prior knowledge.
  • This project includes:
    • The Impromptu Speech Topics resource
    • Two 2- to 3-minute impromptu speeches

Level 4 elective projects

Choose 1 or more elective projects from the following list. The purpose and overview of each Level 4 elective projects can be found here.

  • Building a Social Media Presence
  • Create a Podcast
  • Manage Online Meetings
  • Manage Projects Successfully
  • Managing a Difficult Audience
  • Public Relations Strategies
  • Question and Answer session
  • Write a Compelling Blog

Level 5: Demonstrating expertise

Level 5, Project 1: Deliver your message with humour

This project focuses on creating a keynote-length speech that effectively delivers a message and humor to an audience.

  • Purpose: The purpose of this project is to practice developing and presenting a longer humorous speech.
  • Overview: Write and present an 18- to 22-minute keynote-style humorous speech. You may choose to use visual aids if they fit your speech and your style. If you receive advanced approval from the vice president education, you may present your speech to a non-Toastmasters audience.
  • This project includes:
    • The Speech Outline Worksheet
    • An 18- to 22-minute keynote-style humorous speech

Level 5, elective project(s)

Choose 1 or more elective projects from the following list. The purpose and overview of each Level 5 elective projects can be found here.

  • Ethical Leadership
  • High Performance Leadership
  • Leading in Your Volunteer Organization
  • Lessons Learned
  • Moderate a Panel Discussion
  • Prepare to Speak Professionally

Level 5, Final project: Reflect on Your Path

This project is designed to give you an opportunity to share your experience at the end of your path.

  • Purpose: The purpose of this project is to reflect on your growth during the completion of an entire path.
  • Overview: At a club meeting, present a 10- to 12-minute speech to share your experience completing your path. Use this as an opportunity to reflect on how far you have come, summarize the skills you have learned and developed, and to celebrate your achievements. Your speech can be humorous, informational, or any style that that appeals to you and supports your speech content.
  • This project includes:
    • The Your Toastmasters Journey resource
    • A 10- to 12-minute speech