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Public Speaking Course: 

Definitions

In your public speaking course you will learn that using humorous definitions gives the audience a quick, funny twist on a word they already know. Just make sure that the word defined is relevant to the point you are trying to convey to your audience.

Here are some definitions that I like:

Banker: A person who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining and wants it back the minute it begins to rain. ~~ Mark Twain (with a similar quotation by Robert Frost).

Just make sure you know who your audience is going to be. You wouldn't want to use this one if you were talking to bankers, but if you are a banker talking to nonbankers you could change the definition it to read like this:

"Some people say that a banker is a person who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining and wants it back the minute it begins to rain. As a banker, I want you to know that statement is simply not true. I would lend you my umbrella anytime at X percent interest.

(Possible extender line) If you want to borrow MONEY, now that's a different story."

Jury: Twelve persons chosen to decide who has the better lawyer. ~~ Robert Frost

Radical: A man with both feet planted firmly in the air. ~~ Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Song: The licensed medium for bawling in public things too silly or sacred to be uttered in ordinary speech. ~~ Oliver Herford

Zoo: A place devised for animals to study the habits of human beings. ~~ Oliver Herford

City Life: Millions of people being lonely together. ~~ Henry David Thoreau

Conservative:
A man who just sits and thinks, mostly sits. ~~ Woodrow Wilson
A man who is too cowardly to fight and too fat to run. ~~ Elbert Hubbard
A man with two perfectly good legs who has never learned to walk. ~~ Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Death: To stop sinning suddenly. ~~ Elbert Hubbard

There are plenty of definitions available in comedy books, quotation books, and books for speakers. In many cases you will have several to choose from on many different  topics. I probably had at least 20 choices on the subject of conservatism alone, and liberals are a laugh a minute. (just joking,,,)

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