A one-liner means using very short pieces of humor. Using one-liners
during your presentations can be the best and easiest way to add humor
to your public speaking skills. These brief bits of humor are quick
and easy to deliver and they don't have to be all that funny to be effective.
If you are a little unsure about adding a lot of humor to your speech,
learning to use one-liners in your public speaking course is a good
The audience likes one-liners, because they can get a quick mental
break from content heavy material. Keeping the audience alert is
important to what you use from your public speaking course. 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 you can use 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 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
"Prosperity is that period between the last installment and the
You'll run across one-liners everywhere once you start looking, and
then you can add them to your growing list. Some will even
have two lines. Don't worry. Write them down too.
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
How are you supposed to teach a kid what clockwise means when he's
wearing a digital GI Joe watch?
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