Public Speaking Training:
Words are Funny
All professional comedy writers agree on the following techniques taught in
my public speaking training. There are certain words that sound funnier than
others. The sound of certain words can almost guarantee a laugh from your
audience. The words you choose for your presentation can be very important to
creating a successful witty line and not having a dud.
In Neil Simon's play, The Sunshine Boys, Willy, who is a main
character, gives his nephew a lecture about comedy:
"Fifty-seven years in this business, and you learn a few things. You
know what words are funny and which words aren't. Alka Seltzer is funny. You say
"Alka Seltzer" you get a laugh . . . Words with "k" in them
are funny. Casey Stengel, that's a funny name. Robert Taylor is not funny.
Cupcake is funny. Tomato is not funny. Cookie is funny. Cucumber is funny. Car
keys. Cleveland is funny. Maryland is not funny. Then, there's chicken. Chicken
is funny. Pickle is funny too." Remember being funny is part of using
the skills you learn in your public speaking training.
Someone actually researched why the 'k' sound gets such a funny reaction.
They deduced that it has something to do with the sounds we hear as babies that
are associated with comfort. Like cootchie-coo, cuddle, cozy, etc. Note that
these words don't have a 'K' in them, but they have the 'K' sound. Kinda Crazy,
huh? Or how about Captain Kangaroo? That brings up a funny memory or two.
Those turkeys over at XYA (remember no Z's allowed) company can't hold a
candle to our team of installers.
I'll bet you a cupcake to a cucumber the blue team will outsell the gold
So kids, keep on keeping on with what you learn in my public speaking