Lenny Ravich
Here’s How I Prepare for a Humorous Speech

Here’s How I Prepare for a Humorous Speech

March 11, 2023

Hi there. Welcome. I’m Lenny Ravich author of the bestselling book “Everlasting Optimism” and humorous keynote speaker in London.

I will (If God be willing) celebrate my 87th birthday in July. When you get to be my age you take a lot of pills. A lot of them. I always read the side effects of each prescription my doctors give me and in all of them awful things can result. Worst of all I’ll have to give up nursing my babies.

If They’re Not Laughing, They’re Not Listening 

When I stand in front of an audience my “muse” tells me, “If they’re not laughing or at least smiling, they’re not listening”.  This has left me with no other option. I have to be funny. It’s a life or death situation. When I am existentially threatened you can believe me, I have to find a solution or die. I don’t remember who said this: “Death is easy. Comedy is hard.”  Whoever came up with this sentence, bless her or his heart. I want to get my message across and to do this I must be outstandingly funny or somebody else will.

How I Do It

This is how I do it. Read the second paragraph of this article. See what I did? I took a real issue in my life and bent it out of shape a bit to get a beam from you. If you’re still reading this, you must be smiling. Am I right?

That’s how I start my talks. I find something about myself and go off the edge with it. Example: “According to statistics a male child born in the USA has a life expectancy of 74.5 years on average. Since I will be 87 in July, I hope you don’t mind if I rush through my presentation to make sure I get to the end. (Pause) Before the end gets to me.” (laughter) This establishes, “this guy is fun and his talk is going to be enjoyable. I’m in for the long haul and I don’t care if I have to use the toilet.”   

Tell a Story. Act it out

I get them amused right from the get go. I then tell a story (acted out) to relate my message: “At the Age of Eleven My Mother Changed My Life with One Sentence.” Are you still reading this? Of course you are. Here is a shortened version:

When I was in 6th grade I was put into a special education class, known to my friends as “the dummy class.” I was considered to be “disturbed” I’m still “uneasy.” What is the difference between a troubled child and a disturbed adult?   One gets humiliated and the other makes tons of money. 

I had trouble concentrating on the lessons and would draw pictures of war all day.  War has sounds as well as colors, so as I sketched I unconsciously added, “Boom! Eayawe” Crush! Ping, ping.” I looked up and the class was laughing. I thought to myself, “This is why I came into this world. Laughter!” But there was one person in class who didn’t agree that I would get more attention than she. Right. The teacher. She put my chair with my back against the wall and I was isolated from the class. So I started pantomiming eating peanut butter and cracker sandwiches. (Acted out, of course). My mother was invited to school to discuss my behavior at least once a week. It was decided that I would see a guidance counselor. A guidance counselor is a person who used to be a teacher but decided not to work anymore. He would call me “God”. Whenever I came to his office he would exclaim, “God, it’s you again!” 

And, of course, my mother was requested to come to discuss my situation.

The last day of school I received my report card. I failed everything. Everything accept physical education class where all I had to do was show up and take a shower. I felt dejected and guilty as my mother asked to see my grades. I hesitatingly handed them over to her and after one glance she blurted, “This report card belongs to ME. I’m in school more than YOU!”  With that one sentence we both laughed and bonded. The laughter was so pure, so loving and the closest thing to a prayer.

What I Learned

I learned that one day and that one sentence to remember to laugh at myself and never to take things too seriously. I have taken her gift and have played it forward to the world.  I offer it to you. Can you learn to laugh in the midst of anxiety and stress? 

Do you see how I prepare a humorous and inspirational speech? Take a true story, add a bit of wit and entertain your audience with a powerful message. This is how I became the funny, inspiration speaker in London.

To book an amusing, motivational speaker for your next event or to “rap” with me personally refer to www.lennyravich.org

Let me know how it’s working out for you.       

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