When beginning a speech it’s recommended to break the ice with a funny joke. I told the following joke at a Brewers Convention once, and the audience loved it.
A lady walks into a bar holding a duck under her arm. A drunk patron at the bar looked up and slurred, “Where did you get the pig?” The lady said, “Sir, this isn’t a pig, it’s a duck.” He focused hard on trying to see only one of each of them as he asked again, “Where did you get that pig?” Raising her voice, the lady yelled, “I told you already, this isn’t a pig old man, this is a duck.” The drunkard replied, “I was talking to the duck.”
You must tell jokes like this to the right audience, otherwise, it won’t go over so well. And that’s why it’s very important that you know your audience; don’t make the mistake other public speakers do…cater your speech to only that particular audience. Don’t make template speeches to fit every audience. I’m Just sharing my opinion from years of experience.
Breaking the tension with laughter will usually get you invited back, and that’s a good compliment for any public speaker.