One of the big reasons that groups get together is to give out awards! If you’re speaking at the awards banquet (or even writing about the awards prior to the event) then you’ve got a great opportunity to include humor. Most award recipients enjoy jokes about the award because it gives them extra recognition. . .they’ve worked hard, and sometimes they only get like 10 seconds or less of kudos, so if you can stretch it out into a joke, it’s even better. Most people in the audience enjoy the jokes about the awards because it makes the whole ceremony TOLERABLE! So when giving out awards, here’s some things you can goof around with. . .
Qualifications. Make up some funny requirements, or some hilarious reasons why they REALLY got the award, and it’s sure to get a laugh. I recently did a show in which the award was named after one of the recipients, so I had some fun with that by asking “how does this association awards thing work anyway? Do you just make up an award and give it to yourself when you feel like getting on stage?” Take it to the extreme, maybe even find out the real requirements for winning, and add your own twist.
The actual, physical award. Sometimes the actual award is funny – especially if it’s not just a plaque. I emceed an awards banquet in which the awardees got a very nice glass award that was hand blown by a local glass-blower. While backstage I mentioned that I took glass blowing in college, but that all my classmates’ projects resembled bongs. The client cracked up and begged me to say that on stage – so I did and it killed. NORMALLY I would never make a drug reference, but the client really knew her group and knew it would be hilarious. So take a look at the physical award and see what it reminds you of. . . or maybe have some fun with what we COULD be giving the recipient.
Other Awards – what other awards could you have jokingly considered giving to the person? Take a look at the winner’s personality/hobbies/skills, and conjure up some funny, fictitious awards that describe that person. Is the person a multi-tasker? Then maybe you can joke that you’re giving them 3 awards at the same time? Or has person been in a volunteer leadership position for a long, long time? Then maybe they were also considered for the No-Free-Time award. Highlighting someone’s personality in a fabricated award is a great way to get some more mileage.
Competitors. . .Who else could have received the award? She’s such a humanitarian that she beat out Mother Theresa for this award! Think of who you can compare the person to and have some fun with that.
Awards presentations can be deadly to the people not receiving them (and even sometimes to the recipients), so take the yawn out of it, and spice it up with some much needed humor.