I-Laugh - Your 'Working' Humor Discussion List
Moderated by : Eva Rosenberg mailto:email@example.com
Assisted By : Gunjan Saraf mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
23 May 2001 # 008
A duel at dawn:
and the chosen weapon is
a power breakfast. (101 Corporate Haiku)
IN THIS DIGEST :
~ Dan Seidman
Useful Humor Tips
Know your Audience
~ Gunjan Saraf
Overcome the Terrors
~ Eva Rosenberg
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We received a mail from Dan Seidman after
Issue 007 (no, nothing to do with James Bond,
but would you take a quick peep at it below, so
you what I'm rambling about.) For me, it brings
up three important issues.
1) Starting from the bottom of his mail ...
"From Someone who Cares ...". This is a
condition, that I feel but don't really understand.
I'm subscribed to about 25-30 discussion groups.
Of these, there are about 3, where I really
feel that I'm a part of them and really care.
I can't really put my finger on just what it is
that makes them special or makes me
care but I know I care.
Can anyone define just what it is that makes
a discussion group really special? What makes you
feel a part of it ... and care! And how can we
give you that warm fuzzy here?
This would also be a great time to know how many
of you find I-Laugh special enough to care. We do
welcome all suggestions to make it more special -
to make it yours. Topics you'd love to see
covered. We would love to have your feedback.
Please remember this is YOUR discussion list.
2) The 2nd issue Dan brings to mind is that while
your joke may be hilarious or even relevant, it
may not be the right time or place to use it.
(The church signs item was most relevant to our
topic of how just a bit of carelessness can change
the meaning of your communication entirely).
But if it is clichéd to the targeted audience,
then it's not received well.
So as we discussed last time avoid cliché's like
the plague :-)
If you do want a list of the most clichéd
clichés ...take a peep at
3) The last issue, when you HAVE made a
muck-up what do you do about it?
I found some excellent answers to this in Karyn
Buxman's newsletter called lytebytes.
I reproduce verbatim...
Nearly every one of us suffers embarrassment at some
time in our lives. But whether it leaves a scar or just
a funny memory, say researchers, depends on how we
handle the situation.
Andre Modigliani, PhD, a sociology professor at the
University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, says "One of the
keys to escaping embarrassment is realizing that
others do not always see you in a negative light
when you do make a mistake in public. The
mortification is mostly in your own mind."
What can you do to deal with embarrassment?
1. Be prepared. If going to a meeting, familiarize
yourself with names, room setup, and equipment that
might catch you off guard.
2. Charge ahead like it never happened. Many
times other will have not even noticed.
3. Try for sympathy. Sometimes a direct appeal
to onlookers' compassion works best.
4. Deflect with humor. President George Bush
tried this approach after he vomited on Japanese
Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa at a state dinner
in Tokyo on June 8, 1992. "I just wanted to get
a little attention," he said to the U.S. Secret
Service agent who rushed to his aid. Later, he
told journalists, "I'm going to have a huge dry
cleaning bill to deal with!"
To the above four I'd like to add a fifth (used by
most politicians) Beat around the bush till the
original issue is forgotten! Hope I succeeded :-) !!
Your Grinning Moderator
===== Feedback =====
====> Stay Unique!
>From Dan Seidman <email@example.com
I look forward to the newsletter, especially the personal
stories that distinguish it from other humor resources.
However, I was very disappointed that you guys used the
church humor. This stuff, while quite funny, has been
passed around the web for 6 years and has appeared in
every humor email in existence.
What that does is make I-Laugh an ordinary joke source
like all the others.
Please strive to be different unless you want to just
send out funny things to friends (which everyone does
and that's no business model worth using). Selling and
growing the product happens best utilizing the unexpected.
Today I shared, with friends, a non-original joke that
I'm still laughing out loud over. Be unique!
Someone who cares,
(oh, here it is...)
Every day, the hummingbird eats its own weight in food.
You may wonder how it weighs the food. It doesn't. It
just eats another hummingbird. (Stephen Wright)
Dan Seidman, the War Correspondent of Selling
Sales Horror Story Library, read 'em and weep (or laugh)
=========== Helpful Humor Tips ==========
===> Know your Audience.
Whether you are talking to a huge audience or a
small group try to know your audience. Recently,
I was talking to a small group of people (about
6). I started talking about something and landed
up at a question which didn't have any answer. So
I very comfortably compared it to the question of
"which came first ... the chicken or the egg?"
Now one of the members of this group was Dr.
Santosh, a PhD in Ecology. He looked at me (gave me
that 'you poor moron' look) and said, "I don't see the
comparison. Unless you want to dispute the theory
of evolution, the question which came first the
chicken or the egg is most elementary.
It was most obviously the egg. You see there were
reptiles long, long before there were birds and
reptiles have eggs, so the chicken and egg
question should be obvious to a fifth grader."
I felt like a reptile and would have given half
of whatever I have for the reptilian ability to
burrow a little hole in the ground and bury myself.
An unforgettable lesson to know your audience
(and the words you utter) just a wee bit better.
'Be Prepared' as Lord Baden Powell said. :-)
Your Comic Guide,
[Editor: Next time, reply to the good professor -
"Of course, you're right! But, kind sir, which
came first? The reptile or the egg?" Eva]
===> Overcome Your Terrors
So many of us are put into positions where we
must do some public speaking. This was the
biggest terror of my life.
Although I was an excellent 'class clown,'
wisecracking and ad-libbing in classroom
settings, put me in front of the class - and I
froze like a statue. (and not a Rodin, either.)
I was forced to take a speech class in high
school, so I took it in summer school to make
the pain end faster. But it was horrible. No
matter what I did or how I prepared, when the
time came, I couldn't remember a thing - and just
wished that this would be the moment when we'd
have one of the convenient earthquakes that we
have in California - and the earth would swallow
As I grew older, I realized just how much of a
handicap this was. And I determined to fix it.
(We won't talk about how here.)
Finally, I reached the point where I was facing
my first paid speaking engagement at the Hilton
Hotel in Anaheim. The topic had something to do
with taxes or savings or financial planning -
who remembers?! But I remember the terror.
Looking out an audience of about 250 people,
most of them professional, my knees nearly
buckled. And I knew that some of them were going
to be CPAs and be able to catch my mistakes.
Suddenly, I had a brilliant idea. Looking calmly
around the room after my introduction. I said a
few brief words about the topic. Then, I asked
the CPAs and experts to please stand up.
Pointing them out to the audience, I said, "We
have quite a number of people here in this room
who can provide guidance on this subject. If we
get bogged down or need expert opinions, this is
who we'll turn to."
The pros, who would normally have been waiting
to pounce on my every error, were beaming. They
had become my allies. My terror diminished
dramatically. Now, I could go on with my prepared
speech and not worry as much about being wrong.
By the time it was over, we were all chatting and
laughing comfortably together.
Today, I am so comfortable on a podium that I
often fill in, on short notice, for speakers
who fell ill, or on radio shows, where the host's
guest couldn't make it. And when I do fill in on
short notice, I make a point of trying to get
to know the audience and having them help out.
(In fact, you may have seen me fill in as the
impromptu MC for the last two AffiliateFORCE
I've now earned the role for next year's
Now, I love the stage. It's fun - not terrifying
at all. Working with the audience instead of at
them makes all the difference.
And yes, if I can overcome the 'terrors,'
you certainly can. Believe me.
Your Comic Guide,
A tropical beach,
at last. I trace in the sand
a lazy spreadsheet.
(101 Corporate Haiku)
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