For example, I brought Kimberly onstage during my speech at the conference, (no it wasn’t planned) and asked for a difficult moment in her childhood. She mentioned an encounter with her teacher in 4th grade. I sensed there was a bigger story. Finding out she lived in South Carolina, I asked her, “What was it like to live as an African American surrounded by Confederate Flags?” That opened up thoughts and feelings that she'd kept buried for years and led to her proclaiming a powerful message, “No one should ever be made to feel less than.”
What part of history has affected who you are and, therefore, can be your message?
And the answer, “No, only if you want to get paid.”
Mohammed got a laugh on his first word – “What?”
Doesn’t look funny does he, but add facial expression, attitude, and audience interaction and he got a huge laugh on the very first WORD.
But most important, he wasn’t going for the joke, but rather for his message.
As a comedy writer, I never go for the jokes when I'm doing my first draft. I start with the message – stories and ideas and find the logic. When that's in place, I punch up the material. To get laughs, start by looking for people you can “act-out.” Get a copy of The Comedy Bible to put together a standup act, or use the Comedy Formulas for Speakers in The Message of You.
And the man sitting next to her said, “With that attitude, you'll never win. You’re thinking of helping someone and every Toastmaster man is thinking, “How can I become the champion?”
He does have a point. Women tend to be caretakers, always out to support someone else. That's something we should do for ourselves too. We have to consider what's our message and work on telling it the best way possible. It requires focus and looking inward.