I get to spend some of my volunteer time working with a group of young people helping them to prepare for speech competitions. It’s very rewarding work, and I never fail to learn new things myself from the great topics these kids come up with. One of the most recent came from a young lady named Grace.
Grace’s topic was on the anatomy of humor; how it is structured, why it makes us laugh, and the health benefits of it on us. As you might imagine, her speech is peppered with snappy one-liners aimed at helping her audience engage more in her message. One of her best examples of a joke comes from Groucho Marx, and I’ve shared it below.
There is no question that laughter is in fact the best medicine. Research is clear that laughter and having a sense of humor is beneficial to reducing stress, lowering blood pressure, increasing happiness, and making one fun to be around. That being said, humor often gets lost somewhere in translation when it comes to business and even life in general.
You may have met individuals that take themselves too seriously. They’re not easily amused by their own foibles and failures. They’re often stoic, overly focused on the business at hand, and guarded about their own value and work. Often, they feel defined by their job and accomplishments. If those are in jeopardy, they fiercely protect them.
The most respected leaders tend to be people that are the first to laugh at themselves. Rather than take themselves too seriously, they are apt to make a self-deprecating joke. They build relationships through putting people at ease. They also tend to have a broader perspective on life and business.
Life’s too short to take ourselves too seriously. We are all human and we will both succeed and fail. I’ve found that it’s too much work to take one’s self too seriously. It’s most often true that the quickest way to success and significance – and to unleashing your own potential – is to have a sense of humor and laugh early and often.
So a duck walks into a bar….
Quote of the Week:
“Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.”
~ Groucho Marx
© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
P.S. My special Baby Boomer offer has one week left to take advantage of the giddiness I have of becoming “Pops” in a few months. You can thank the baby for that! Click here to learn more about how you can benefit!
April Fools Day.
One of my favorite days, especially because it’s my wife’s birthday. I’ve always teased her because she is an April Fools baby and I was a New Years Eve baby, which means everyone parties on my birthday, and plays practical jokes on hers. Fortunately, she sees the humor in it and can laugh along with me. Believe me, I give her plenty of ammunition to poke fun at me!
I remember years ago (back in the mid-1980s), Sports Illustrated ran a featured story on a pitcher by the name of Sidd Finch. The Curious Case of Sidd Finch was written by prize-winning journalist, George Plimpton and chronicled the unbelievable story of this guy who had a 168 mph fastball and was trying to make the New York Mets staff. It was a 14-page article that caught like wildfire (in the non-Internet dark days). Of course, it was a hoax, but as is the case with much jocularity when the propaganda is so outlandish, many people fell for it only to be told, “April Fools Day!” One of my favorite stories almost 30 years later.
The ability to laugh at one’s self is priceless. It’s actually not fool’s gold, but the real McCoy. In good times and challenging times, laughter and humor can save us from despair, depression, and disgust. Being able to laugh at yourself instead of someone else is a true test of your ability to have humor. I hope this April Fools Day, you will take some time out of the day to have a hearty laugh and a full sense of humor.
This week’s quote –
“A fool and his money are easily parted.”
– Mark Twain
As many of you might know, my father has had some serious health issues of late. If you’ve ever gone through it, the result to the rest of the family is a lot of stress and anxiety to deal with. Laughter helps.
Last night at our Toastmasters Christmas Party, we did a white elephant table topics gift exchange. While everyone was terrific, one member, Jim, brought the house down. Jim found a hilarious way to engage everyone and make us all roll with laughter. For me and my wife, this was excellent medicine!
When you find yourself in times of stress and anxiety, find a way to get humor in your day. A funny movie or TV show; a humorous book; or a Toastmasters meeting! Laughter is after all, the best medicine!
© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved
Check out the humorous speech I gave on Friday night at the Toastmasters District 32 Comedy Showcase. I apologize for the poor lighting. That is Rule #1 for video recording! Let me know what you think…
I am thrilled to be a contributing author to a brand new book on how to help you add humor to every presentation you give. Go Ahead & Laugh: A Serious Guide to Speaking with Humor is now available on this site. Look right at the top of this page and you will find a navigation bar with “Go Ahead & Laugh.” That’s your clue as to where to find it!
Hard copy books are due out in August but you can pre-order them now and receive a bonus. In addition, you can get a jump start on that next presentation by purchasing your e-Book today!
Many thanks to Rich Hopkins for asking me to be one of the fantastic authors of this book.
I hope you will make an investment in your speaking by adding humor to effectively deliver your message. Pick up Go Ahead & Laugh today!
Somehow he gets right to the point. Maybe we as consultants can learn a thing or two:)