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Moderated by : Eva Rosenberg  mailto:eva@workinghumor.com

Assisted By : Gunjan Saraf   mailto:gunjan@workinghumor.com

3rd July  2002    #     Issue 66



Moderator's Comment -
                              ~ Gunjan

The Other Moderator's Comment
                            ~ Eva


Why so many people hate MLM ...
                               Tom Trottier

More about Con Link Exchanges!
                             Joseph Harris

Handling Stress with SPEED
                            The Stress Doctor

Speaking Tips
                               ~ from Tom Antion


Sincerity and Humour ... Can the twain meet?
                              ~ Gunjan


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Moderator's Message

Hi LaughMates,

Happy Canada Day and Happy Independance Day
to our Laughmates in Canada and the U.S.A. !!
Too much good stuff in this issue for me to rant on ;-) ...
Ignore me and enjoy yourself with I-Laugh #66!

With Best Wishes,
Many a true word is spoken in jest.

Subscribe to
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The Other Moderator's Comment

Good morning, LaughMates,

I just read Mark Gorkin's SPEEDy cure for stress.

Wonderful stuff. There's nothing there I don't already know.
It's just the implementation...sigh.

And there's nothing in there about being so excited about all
the opportunities and all the possibilities and all the wonderful
things....never mind.

Anyway, you'll need to read his clever tips.

Let's me just add another secret cure for stress - and, please,
don't misinterpret it.

S=Shortcuts. Pause and think about the task at hand before you
start it. Is there a faster, easier, better way to do it? Has someone
already done this before and set up a procedure to cut through
the weeds? Is there a certain about of repetitiousness to the task
that can more efficiently done? (This doesn't mean, do a quick
and sloppy job.)

For instance, I am working on developing a study tool to help
people pass IRS's annual 2-day  certification examination.
(Here's what the Special Enrollment exam covers

As part of the project, I have to go through the last three years worth
of exams and find all the text, or links to the text, in IRS's forms and
publications, that contain the answers to the questions.

It's rather grueling. And you can really only keep this up for no more
than three hours at a time. It would be much easier just to write my own
answers. But I found a shortcut that actually makes it kind of fun.

Many of the questions are repeated over the years, or asked in different
formats, but the answers come from the same pages of the same publication.
I finally figured out a way to search the document for similar words and to
paste the same answer into the appropriate field. That way, each time I
research the question, I don't have to keep going back to the text, or
to find the last time I answered it. That has made it much less tedious.
And I get to feel I am outwitting the examiners.

Oh sure, when I'm all done with this the links to the texts, I'll still have
to write my own explanations and interpretations.  But that's easy. It's
all in my head. And its ROM is quite high speed.

So, my challenge to you this week is, how can you create your own
shortcuts, without sacrificing quality?

Your Comic Guide

Eva Rosenberg
http://taxmama.com     -  and please visit TaxMama's Boutique:

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=====  Continuing Discussions  =====

====> Why so many people hate MLM ...

Dear Gunjan,

 > While MLM may not be my first choice of  marketing channels, do not
 > scoff. Those folks make a fortune. They really do - at least the ones
 > that find the right products and work them

The problem with MLM is that it's based on your taking advantage of
your (soon-to-be-ex) friends to make you rich, and worse, convincing
them to do the same.



====> More Link Cons!

Hello LaughMates,

I had a con mail recently that, when I clicked on the quoted link, simply
took me to a hard sell page. I sent a reply mail asking why it did so.
No reply, of course. But at least it didn't bounce!

Then there are the directory "publishers" who tell a business they have
been added to a directory - and then, for a trifling fortune, they may
have their entry enhanced, boxed, done up with lights, or whatever.
In hard print days the directory was often never published.

It is worrying that these make people chary of trading links, if,
like me, you are setting up a directory (this one is Smile Poetry
Family Friendly Humour* Directory - to be found as part of the
site http://www.smilepoetryweekly.com).
*Humour that includes you (u)*?;
[I just thought of that one. But should I have bothered?]

Links, anyway, are the lifeblood of the net. Just getting on is making a

Any effort at deception is of concern. I can't put this on Smile Poetry,
but I think a page with a competition for the correct punishment for the
conners should be set up. Boiling oil comes to mind.

But then I'm a very pacific kind of guy. That is to say another
possibility involves a stone weight and the deepest part of the Pacific.

Uncle Joe


=== > Handling Stress with SPEED

(Here is an important section from the March Newsletter of
The Stress Doctor that I mentioned in my comments last
week. You can find the entire issue at

Q:  How can we prevent burnout?

STRESS DOC:  I recommend my formula for "Natural SPEED":

S = SLEEP.  If I may be lyrical, don't be cheap with your need for sleep.
It's nature's way to ebb and flow and help you grow.  While recent
research questions the health benefits of excessive sleep (over eight hours)
a pattern of less than six hours for most people yields cognitive
that is, a loss of mental sharpness.  Lack of sleep, not just all work,
makes Jack and Jill dull.  Also, sleep research supports brief napping
(10-40 minutes) during the day for mind-body rejuvenation.

P = PRIORITIES. In a "do more with less" world, it's imperative to
grasp two organizational and interpersonal maxims:

a. Pareto Principle (named for an Italian sociologist).  80% of your results
are produced by 20% of your activities. So focus on the strategic when
problem-solving or trying to be productive. The principle also means you
can drop 4/5 of what you are doing without feeling guilty. ;-)

b. N & N. Establishing limits on and boundaries with others is critical for
generating positive expectations and achievable goals, especially when
quantity and quality are paramount. The essential tool:  the ability to say
"No" and to "Negotiate."  In other words, don't "Just do it."  Tactfully yet
assertively discuss what's "urgent" (must get done now) versus what's
"important" (which gets prioritized) as well as develop manageable
timelines.  There really can be life after deadlines!

E = EMPATHY.  Many folks place their own stress in perspective by
helping or, at least, supportively listening to others. Just make sure the
shoulder lending is not a one way transaction. If you are always the pillar,
those who lean on you may not be quick to see when you're feeling
shaky. This is especially likely if you habitually play a heoric,
superman or superwoman role. At work and/or in your home life, have at
least one stress buddy with whom you can let your hair down (especially
on a "bad hair day." As a t-shirt purchased for an ex-girlfriend proclaimed:
"How can I control my life when I can't control my hair!")

E = EXERCISE. The benefit of regular exercise is both physical and
psychological. Thirty minutes of vigorous, non-stop, large muscle
movement activity -- brisk walking, swimming, bike riding, dancing, etc.
-- releases brain chemicals called endorphins which are the mind-body's
natural mood enhancers and pain relievers. It's less a runner's high and
more that we can step back and see things with a calmer disposition
and fresher perspective. Also, exercise itself can be a positive ritual.
When everything's up in the air, doing a 2-3 mile walk or jog creates
a beginning and end point for a tangible sense of accomplishment and
control. And as we'd say in N'Awlins, the "lagniappe" or added benefit:
"I like feeling virtuous!"

D = DIET. More than a waistline is at stake. A diet high in saturated fats
(red meat, whole milk products, fried oyster po-boys; it was tough eating
sensibly in "The Big Easy") and simple sugars (sodas, chips and cookies
and excessive chocolate; sorry folks) induces drowsiness and mental
torpor, not to mention clogged arteries. And too much alcohol and
caffeine is a roller coaster headache -- moodiness or depression often
follows aggression and agitation. Balancing protein, fruits and vegetables,
complex carbs, grains, nuts and sufficient water is vital for optimal energy
and alertness along with cardiovascular health.  Remember, a mind is a
terrible thing to waist!

Mark Gorkin
The Stress Doctor

Comments or if have you a tip to share -

=== > Speaking Tips

Gimme Three Steps by Tom Antion

Do you remember that song by Lynyrd Skynyrd?
"Gimme three steps, gimme three steps mister, gimme three steps
towards the door." I try to remember that song when I am moving
on stage. When you are moving on the stage, make sure that your
movement has a purpose. If you take a step, go at least three
steps in that direction to cue the audience that you are moving
for a reason. One of the biggest problems I see, even when
coaching top speakers, is that many of them wander around or take
a step here and a step there. This is extremely distracting to
the audience.

When making an important point, move toward the audience.
Three steps forward from center stage would be a very powerful
position that would command attention (especially if you walked
right off the stage and fell on your face -- hahaha).

Upstage (away from the audience) left and right are weak
positions. They can be used when you feel you are overpowering
the audience or when you want to remove attention from yourself.
I use these positions when I direct the audience to do some task,
such as talk among themselves. Upstage center is a strong
position, but one that makes you appear disconnected from the
audience. I usually avoid this position.

When I want to be playful and/or really get the audience
involved, I'll go right into the crowd. I might have to come down
off the stage, but to me it is worth it. I get really connected
and I feel like one of them when I am out there. I am also
sending a message that I really know what I am doing. I don't
need any notes. I don't need any visuals. I don't need anything
but interaction with them. They love it!

The main thing you have to watch out for when you are out in
the audience is that in large rooms with lots of attendees many
people can't see you, so they start to lose interest if you stay
out there too long. This is counteracted if you are being
projected on a large screen and you have an on-the-ball and
well-rehearsed video crew. (If you don't alert the video crew
ahead of time of your intentions, they will be scrambling to
follow you and it won't look good on the screen.) You will
probably be lit poorly too.

When you are being projected, think about toning down your
overall movement because it's not easy to follow you wildly
around the stage with a video camera.

from Tom Antion's
Great Speaking

You can subscribe to Tom's free newsletter 'Great Speaking'
To subscribe why not use our affiliate link (given below)


Comments or if have you a tip to share -

Cartoon Break

Same old Story

New Lingo

Modern man

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=====  New Discussions  =====

====> Humor and Sincerity - Can the twain meet?

Hi Laughmates,

A few weeks back I gave my second project (Speaking with
Sincerity) speech at The Toastmasters meeting. It was on the
topic Expertise and Learning? I had discussed the speech with
DC (Our Laughmate DC Stultz, who is a CTM, holds a
Toastmasters' World Record and publishes The Morning Message)
and other than a few suggestions on where it could be polished,
he had liked it tremendously. When I delivered it too it was pretty
well received by most people and I got a glowing evaluation.

However, last week as I sat with the seniormost Toastmaster
of the club, he started telling me, (in sugar coated language
off course) that in my speech, my sincerity didn't really come
through. He then told me of some girl who in his opinion wasn't
as good a speaker as me normally, but in her 'Speaking with
Sincerity' project had talked of her own life problems (molestation,
abuse, etc) and it had come through as a very strong speech.

He then advised me to redo my project 2 (which I'd already cleared)
and talk about some of my life's troubles. My first reaction was ...
but I don't want to share my troubles. I want to share my passions,
the new things I learn, the little bit of wit and humor that I have,
and every pleasant thing that I can. Not my troubles, I'm sure the
audience has enough of it's own already.

As I kept thinking about what he'd said I started feeling - "How much
easier it is to talk of your troubles, to relive them on stage and
how easily audiences get taken by them."
Try to make an audience laugh and it needs so much skill,
but making them feel miserable is so much easier.

This thought got me feeling pretty sad at the general state of the world,
and made me reflect on these subjects much more, when suddenly -

I've come up with some ideas on why, quite often, humorous topics
don't seem to come from the speaker's heart; why they can easily
offend; and a few tips to get over them. Please do let me know what
you think of my ideas.

To explain the ideas let's take a simple example.... Mr. A and Mr. B are
faced with the same irksome problem. They are stuck in a traffic jam.
No space to move their vehicle, and yet the car behind has a loud
and irritating horn and keeps tooting at it, though neither is there
space for our heroes to move, nor a chance to let the irritant through.

Mr A, as is normal, starts going red, getting irritated and in about
15 minutes time (an eternity under the conditions) is mad enough
to skin the offender and thinks he is having the worst day of his

Later when he is recalling the incident, whether to a few friends
or in front of a large audience can easily relive the incident and
unless he is extremely dumb, his speech (or at least that portion)
will naturally come straight from the heart. It will normally be
easy for the audience, especially if they've gone through similar
agonies themselves, to empathise with him.

Mr B, on the other hand is a humorist. As he starts getting irritated
by the offender, a little voice in his head is whispering that if he can
get one really funny idea right now, he'll have a whale of a time or at
least a good laugh instead of getting red faced and irritated. So he
let's mental imagery take over and soon has drawn a cartoon in his
head in which the driver of the other car has a huge horn instead of a
normal head. As he keeps seeing the cartoon ... instead of
finding the situation aggravating, he starts finding it amusing. If the
offender can see Mr B, this will irritate him further, make him toot
even louder, getting Mr B into absolute fits of laughter as he now
visualizes smoke coming out of the horn or the horn bursting.

By the time Mr B gets out of there, in the same 15 minutes (but which
seemed liked just a few minutes) Mr B is high on laughter, and on his
own creativity. Add to this his sense of achievement at not having got
irritated in a tough situation, at having enjoyed himself when most
people would be fretting and also at having got something positive
(in this case the cartoon which hopefully he should be able to sell)
out of the situation and he is ebullient.

Now imagine him trying to tell you about the incident. "Hi, a fantastic
thing happened to me. I was stuck in this traffic jam....." In your head
you're saying what a bum ... must have come from a village or from
Mars to think that traffic jams can be fun. Certainly, he doesn't get
stuck in a jam every morning and evening like me or he wouldn't
find ANYTHING fantastic about a jam. Alternately, you think, ok
you Buddha, you may have conquered anger completely, but for
most 'normal' people like me it would have been different.

Am I right with my portrayal of the above examples? In my personal
experience I certainly think so.

So what are the lessons I draw from this as a speaker.

First, think back to the incident completely and not just it's highlight
for you. Before you describe the highlight, describe the trouble or
irritant. Don't make light of it. Go on to describe your inner struggle
(and try not to make yourself sound like superman in the process)
Then move to the victory, the highlight, the pleasure. This should
enable the audience to empathise with you as one of them who
managed do something different and as such enjoyed himself.
Thus they should be able to enjoy your success along with you
instead of thinking of you as a freak who has never known trouble.

DC, Eva, Linda, other laughmates who are good speakers,
would you agree with my assesment of the situation and the
tips I've learnt for myself? Any other related advice on the topic?

Aspiring, Future CTM? ;-)


===========  This week's Humor  ==========

"Do you want to know how to really compliment a chairman
or the head of some committee? This will do it," guarantees
Fred A. Hartley, Jr., New Jersey congressman.

"There is an old Chinese proverb which says that wherever an
uncle kisses his nephew for the first time, there shall he gain
special attainment. For instance, should he kiss his nephew
on the forehead the child will become a great thinker; if on
the throat a great singer. Now I don't know where Bob Smith's
uncle kissed him for the first time, but he certainly has made a
wonderful chairman."

(From Rich Sagall's Old Jokes)

Comments :


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