Roast Humor and Insults
During your public speaking course you will learn about the proper
way to roast an individual. A person who is being roasted is actually being given an honor , but
you must be careful to still respect the people while you are roasting
them. You can joke about things that are true or joke about things that
are obviously untrue, then exaggerate them to make them more obvious.
When choosing the butt of a roast joke or story, pick big targets.
Never make fun of a small target (janitor, secretary, etc.). Make fun
of the boss. He or she is still the boss after all the teasing and will
look like a great sport for going along with it.
Members of 'in' groups can joke about their peers and insult each other
all they want. Bob Hope made fun of Ronald Reagan. Everyone knew they
were buddies, and both were acknowledged masters of their public speaking
If you widely spread an insult or collection of insults, the group
can laugh together. No one is individually embarrassed. The same remarks
aimed at one person removed from the influence of the group might cause
someone to get mad or upset. Understanding this key point can make all
Always clear your comments IN ADVANCE! Preparing the way is essential
to your public speaking skills. Unless you are participating in a full-blown
roast program, always make fun of yourself first. If you kid yourself
first, the audience will be more receptive when you kid them. Here are
some roast examples:
To an AT&T executive:
If a Martian called Ed's office to contact earth, he'd try to sell
them on the benefits of our new 800 service.
Keep remarks focused on unimportant things that can't be damaging!
The art of public speaking builds, not destroys.
"Folks we are here tonight to Roast Joe. I'm particularly happy
to be here because I can now say in public all the things I've been
saying behind his back. He/she is a man/woman of the world . . . and
you know what bad shape the world is in."
Insult about areas of recognized strength and superiority! The art
of public speaking raises praises "of, by and for" the people.
To a great family man and/or community leader, the art of public speaking
roaster might say:
"Joe's (neighbors/business associates/preacher, etc.,) all say
what a wonderful couple he and his wife make . . . if it wasn't for
The roaster might say to a well-known philanthropist:
"He is a man of rare gifts . . . he hasn't given any in years."
At a program with a long head table with lots of speakers, an art of
public speaking emcee might say:
"The emcee's job is not to be wise or witty. In fact, it is his
job to appear dull so that the speakers on the program will shine in
comparison. Tonight it looks like I'm going to have to rise to new heights
To the audience emcee or speaker might say:
"I'm glad to be here tonight to look into your faces. . . . And
God knows there are some faces here that need looking into."
"And Doctor Lookgood, your friendly plastic surgeon will be in
the back of the room at the end of this program. And Doc, see me afterwards
to pay your bill for this makeover of your image, and no I do not take
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