A tribute speech involves praising people, organizations or groups that deserve recognition for their services. It could be a family member who has raised money for charity or a local organization that has helped improve the community's way of life -- tributes can also be given at funerals to commemorate and honor the deceased. Adding humor to your speeches will really help lighten the mood for more serious occasions and also help engage your audience, making your tribute speech more memorable and enjoyable.
A personal funny story is a great way to engage and amuse your audience, especially if it includes any of them in particular. Family tributes, for example, might involve any amount of funny stories about cousins, aunts, uncles, siblings and parents. If you are delivering a speech for a company or organization, try telling some hilarious office tales or talk about some of the funnier incidents when they were starting out.
Tell Their Jokes
If the person is (or was) particularly well known for her humor then tell her jokes. At a funeral, a funny tribute speech can really lighten the mood, and telling some jokes from the deceased helps the audience to remember the person more fondly. Punchlines and one-liners are a nice little addition to an otherwise heavy speech, but make sure you capture the essence of the person's delivery by mimicking her actions and body language.
Make sure the comedic aspects of your tribute speech don't overwhelm the key message. Remember that the speech is designed to praise a specific person or organization so use humor only as a decoration to the body of your tribute speech. The body of the speech should highlight any admirable qualities of the person or group, for example their excellence in performance, unusual accomplishments and service to the community or world. Make the speech more personable by including your own adoration for the individual or group.
Writing and Delivery Tips
Repeating the name of the person or organization will help the audience remember the subject's name if they don't know it already. You might also refer to a person by his first name if he is a close friend or relative, but stick to formal or professional titles when appropriate. Avoid clichés and corny sentiments and aim to keep the speech to a length that honors the subject but doesn't bore your audience -- five minutes is a good length of time to engage and interest your audience.