It is not uncommon to hear my fellow Toastmasters’ reveal they have become addicted to public speaking. While I share this same addiction, I feel it comes with a slight twist; I am addicted to trying to make the audience laugh.
Was I a class clown as a youth? No, I was more likely voted as the boring student, that was way too shy to put up her hand to answer a question. The teacher’s pet, the nerd, anything but the class clown.
Somewhere along the way things started to change. At some point before, during or after I joined Toastmasters, there was this innate desire to be funny and to make people laugh. In my speeches I would always try to incorporate a funny line or two (whether or not I achieved my goal would be another debate entirely).
Have you ever seen someone laugh? Not the polite smile, not the polite chuckle. I’m talking about the kind that comes from a well-timed, clever and witty joke that forces them to erupt with laughter? Do you notice the way their eyes sparkle and their entire face glows? Do you know how beautiful they look (guys and girls alike) when they smile from the inside out?
In a nutshell, that is why I do it. That is why I am always searching for the next funny/clever/witty joke that will make them explode with laughter. I’m doing it for myself really; hearing their laughter and seeing their eyes sparkle, that is my high. Knowing they are laughing because (or perhaps even at) me, that adds fuel to the fire and keeps me coming back for more.