5 Joke Templates for Toastmasters (Canada)

Apr 04, 2021

The number one rule of comedyistiming.

Hmmm, it looks like timing is the number one rule of writing.

A lot of people are asking how to add humor to your speech without being a comedian?

Lucky you, I'm going to give you 5 joke templates for Toastmasters.

First, two lessons:

  1. All humorous Toastmasters and speakers must learn to Bomb and move on.
  2. Smile.

1: Bomb and move on

In the book: Pretend the World Is Funny and Forever: A Psychological Analysis of Comedians, Clowns, and Actors. Psychologists Seymour and Rhoda Fisher proved that comedians share one common trait. Comedians take risks with jokes, and if the joke bombs they simply move on.

Take a risk, bomb, and move on. Simple.

Yet, all Distinguished Toastmasters have watched a toastmaster's humourous speech script bomb in front of twenty people-- and you never see the speaker again!

Too bad because bombing jokes is what I do best.

It's true, it feels good for me to tell a joke the audience doesn't get. NOW! It never used to feel good. BUT! I still did it. I just Googled jokes and one-liners and I put them into every speech. I still do.

That way if the joke doesn't work out you can blame Google.

2: Smile

Next time you go for a walk, consciously make yourself smile for ten seconds at a time. Do it now, while reading this sentence force yourself to smile. One, two, three, four, five, hold it, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, and release.

Wondering how you can add humor to a serious speech?

Are you aware that when you smile at someone the chances of them smiling back raises to 83%?

When you smile, and people see you smiling they smile back. It's called a 'mirrored' response.

I always ask speakers, " When you see your best friend or someone that you love, do you smile when you see them?"

Only 2 students said no, and I believed them!

The rest say yes so I ask em, "Wouldn't you like the audience to think you are their best friend?"

The only speaker exempt from smiling is a comedian, but a lot of comedians do smile and laugh at their jokes. They enjoy their stage time. Smiling is a way to let the audience know you are enjoying your time with them.

Are public speaking courses worth the expense?

Now For Those 5 Expert Joke Templates for Toastmasters Canada

The Rule Of Three:

The rule of three is the oldest known joke template, and the easiest to master. All you have to do is take any subject and come up with three points about the subject. The first two points are believable and the third point is something only you can think of.

Example: somebody talks about tractors.

You say, "Tractors remind me of three things; my childhood, the rodeo, and my trip to India."

What?!? That's not even funny, and yet I am laughing my face off as I read this. If I read this ten times and laugh my face off every time then the joke stays.

Fun Fact: babies start LOL'ing when they are as young as three months.

The rule of three break down

A simple way to to add humor to your speech without being a comedian is to take a subject and follow it up with 3-points.

  • point one: believable
  • point two: believable
  • point three: something only you can dream up.

My grandma likes 3 things: knitting, crochet, and involuntary manslaughter.

I've noticed my friends often just say the believable facts so I jump in with my third funny fact and they light up.

For example, my friend was talking about buying a new truck. He showed me a picture of a Ford and mentioned it was affordable and had low milage. I said, " And do you know how to fix a Ford?"

He looked puzzled,

"Buy a Chevy!"

All comedians use the rule of three. It's so common many comics go to 4. I'm showing you the rule so you can bend it however you like.

WIKI calls it the "comic triple." The classic example of a comic triple is the reference to a blonde, a brunette, and a...

Notice how your brain automatically finishes the sentence. Research shows that your brain naturally processes triplets. Three Billy Goats Gruff, Three Musketeers, Three Blind Mice, and three little pigs.

One day my wife came home from work and said, "Did you make dinner, and clean the bathroom like you promised?"

"I sure did honey," I responded. "And I bathed the dogs."

My wife couldn't help but love me for 24 hours. Why? Because I understand the rule of three.

PS. If you didn't bathe the dogs then do not tell your wife you bathed the dogs!

Being funny is mostly telling the truth about things- Bernard Sahlins, comic writer.

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2. The One Liner

The one-liner is usually the first thing you think about certain subjects and it's often the truth. There is no template for one-liners but I do suggest utilizing your smartphone. Like the time I was at a wedding looking at my phone. My wife asked what I was doing so I said, “Well I couldn’t think of a wedding joke so I’m Googling one in case I have a chance to speak to the wedding party.”

My wife got interested and we picked out a one-liner. As the evening went on I had just a few seconds to greet the wedding party table so I blasted, “Is the lovely couple open to a little advice?” They shouted yes so I said, “Never go to bed angry. Stay up and fight!”

Look for spots to insert one-liners into your speeches. Google the one-liners. I've been Googling one-liners for years and like I always say, "If the joke doesn't work then blame Google."

3. If… then…

This is the easiest joke template for toastmasters to crack a joke. If (this happens)… then (punch line).


If I can make you laugh out loud… then you must be feeling good.

I have a list of if's I bring to training. One of the statements is: If a cow could jump over the moon…

"Then you can trust a man!" Shouted a woman.


Simple, effective, humor.

If you walk a mile in my shoes… then you are a thief! 

IDK, I just write em as I go, and remember, IDC if it's funny. I use this joke template on my wife pretty much every single day and she laughs 70% of the time. Worth it?

4. Would you like to know the secret to?

Would you like to know the secret to be funny?

Tell a joke!

Would you like to know the secret to life?

Don't die!

Would you like to know the secret to getting good grades?


I know, the answer is the most obvious answer but you set the audience up with that key word. SECRET.

People love a good secret. All you have to do is tell them you have a secret and you have their attention. Now tell them the secret and it's sp obvious they have to laugh or at least enjoy your company.

Would you like to know the secret to a happy marriage and awesome life?

Yes Dear!

Daaang, it's so obvious I know, and yet powerful.

5. Exaggeration

This is a golden ticket to add humor to a speech. Simply exaggerate things. I walked home so fast my feet were flaming!

An easy way to exaggerate is to use phrases like:

  1. it was so big
  2. it was so small
  3. it was so wide
  4. it was so...

I went to a small town. It was so small that in the winter they spread salt with a nerf gun!

I saw a Canada Goose the other day. It was so big I called weight watchers!

Another great way to exaggerate is to use Similies and metaphors.

  1. it was like/as
  2. It was

I had a student who met Kobe Bryant. She said, "He was as tall as a mountain."

I once caught a fish so big it was like reeling in an elephant!

The main point of exaggeration is that you give your audience a visual that they can remember and often enjoy.

Now for something not so funny.

Avoid Making This Mistake.

At least three professional public speakers have told me, "I don't tell jokes!"

I'm impulsed to respond, "Ha. Ha. Ha." I have to hold myself back.

I feel like a speaker is doing a disservice if they don't have the audience laughing their faces off. That's why telling jokes is a part of my training program.

A man tells his doctor, “Doc, help me. I’m addicted to Twitter! ”The doctor replies, “Sorry, I don’t follow you …”

What did one hat say to the other? You wait here. I’ll go on a head.

I asked my French friend if she likes to play video games. She said, “Wii.”


To Sum This Up: you have to learn how to bomb, and move on. Practice telling a few bad jokes to your friends and unless you are going straight into comedy you have to smile. The easiest way to put humor in your speaking and writing is to enjoy doing it. Smile while you write. Finally, I showed you 5 plug and play joke templates that you can use to add humor to your next speech:

Bonus material:

In the following video, Jerry Seinfeld says, "You think people are going to be interested in this (how to tell a joke). But they're not. Then Jerry sits with two yellow-lined papers and says, "I've probably been working on this (joke) for two years." Then Jerry finishes, "That's what people want me to do, spend a lot of time wastefully."

For Seinfeld fans, here is the five-minute interview where Jerry tells the New York times how to tell a joke and be funny.

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Have a great and wonderful day,

Devin Bisanz