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

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

8th June 2004    #     Issue 162
I believe when people think of his courage, they think first of
what happened that day in March 1981 when he was shot.
He tried to walk into the hospital himself but his knees buckled
and he had to be helped. They put him on a gurney, and soon
he started the one-liners. Quoting Churchill, he reminded
everyone that there's nothing so exhilarating as to be shot at
without effect. To Mrs. Reagan, it was, "Honey, I forgot to
duck." To the doctors, "I just hope you're Republicans."
To which one doctor replied, "Today Mr. President we're
all Republicans." Maybe he caught Reagan's courage too.

(Extract from an essay by Peggy Noonan)



Moderator's Comment
                                              ~ Gunjan


Speaking Tip
                                     ~ from Tom Antion


What are the odds?
                                      ~ Scott Allen

Superstition  (Extract from Clocks)




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Moderator's Comment

Dear LaughMates,

Isn't it strange that as one dies one brings a flood of memories to life. Today as I sit here collecting quotations from President Ronald Reagan for the upcoming issue of Humorous Quotes (subscribe by sending a mail to
92561-subscribe@zinester.com ) and as I come across snippets of his conversations, interviews, speeches, asides, even a microphone test (My fellow Americans, I am pleased to tell you I just signed legislation which
outlaws Russia forever. The bombing will begin in five minutes) I see everywhere examples of how Mr. Reagan used humor to his advantage. Ahhhhhhhhhhh ! I-Laugh should have kept a much closer eye on him.

However, this gives me an idea for another feature in I-Laugh -> Humorous History. It may not feature in every issue of I-Laugh but as often as possible I'll try to have an example of a how a public figure used humor to his or her advantage. Naturally we'll start this week with Mr. Reagan.

Do let me know your views on the new feature, and feel free to forward to me your favorite humerous historical moments.
And now, with no further ado, here's I-Laugh #162


With best wishes
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===> Speaking Tip

The Laws of Humor  Part I by Scott Friedman

Law #1
You Do Not Have To Use Humor, Unless You Want To Get Paid
People will pay more to be entertained than to be educated.
Two Trends in Speaking:
1.Immediate application
2. More entertainment
Incorporate the 3 Es:
1.Educate 2. Enlighten 3. Entertain

Law #2
Know Thy Audience
The more you know about the audience, the more
opportunities you will have to play with them.

Ways to Learn About Your Audience:
A.Pre-program questionnaire:
B. The fastest way to know the inside humor of an
organization is to ask. Ask about the characters in the group.
C. Read their annual report, past newsletters, copy of the
program, web site address, Hoovers
D.Attend meetings and field trips before you speak. Find
humor hot buttons.

Law #3
The Shortest Distance Between You And The Audience Is A Good
Laugh Eliminate all barriers between you and your audience.

Create the illusion of control. Approach the audience as
though everyone came to have a good time. The purpose is
not to control them, but to ask, "What is it we have
in common?"

Four Effective Humorous Openings:
A.Self-effacing Humor Creates a bond with the audience.
B.Physical surroundings If it is on the mind of the audience,
you must mention it.
C.Tap into "Inside Humor." Comment on what everyone is
chuckling about. All of a sudden you are one of them. You
immediately gain respect because you did your homework.
Always check with person you are going to poke fun at.
D.Current events: What is happening in that particular city,
around the nation, or worldwide?
**The purpose of your opening is to loosen up the audience
and invite them to listen.

[from Tom Antion's 'Great Speaking' newsletter.
To subscribe why not use our affiliate link (given below) ]


Comments or if have you a tip to share -

Click: The Ultimate Guide to Electronic Marketing for
Speakers, Authors, Coaches and Consultants...by Tom Antion


========= NEW DISCUSSIONS =============

===> "What are the odds?"
(By Scott Allen)

On one of the many online discussion forums in which I participate, a debate has been raging about various marketing approaches -- essentially, the "by the numbers" proactive marketing approach vs. the "law of attraction" approach.  Staunch supporters of the former approach insisted that you have to play the odds, proactively reaching as much of your "target market" as possible and trying to incrementally drive up your conversion rates.

During the course of that discussion, someone brought up about my decision not to immunize my child, which I have been public about before. In fact, my entire family rarely goes to see traditional doctors. I don't evangelize this approach to others, but it's the choice we've made that's right for us. A
number of people responded by quoting statistics about side effects and complications compared to the seriousness of contracting disease, and several challenged why I would take that kind of chance with my child's health.

Here's how I replied to both issues:

I'm tired of hearing "the odds" as justification for all manner of decision-making.  Be aware of them, sure, but don't run your life by them.

If everyone lived their life by the odds:

- No one would ever start their own business.
- No one would ever write a book and try to get it published.
- No one would ever take up a competitive sport.
- Science as we know it would be almost non-existent. (Do you have any idea how many scientists work their whole life with no discovery?)
- No one would ever gamble. The odds are ALWAYS in the house's favor.

Mankind's great accomplishments have almost all been achieved in utter defiance of the odds.  On a smaller scale, I imagine that if you look honestly at your life, you'll find the same has been true for you.

How does that happen?  Is it just because "you win some, you lose some"? I don't believe that, and I bet if you think about it, you don't either.

We undertake those things that are against the odds because we are called. We are driven. We hear a voice, either from within or without, that tells us, "You will beat the odds, and here's how." For those who are really in tune with their higher power, whatever it may be, it goes beyond that -- it becomes
a deep knowing that "this is the right thing to do", regardless of what the odds say.

Why should that be any different with immunizations or marketing plans than with entrepreneurship, book authorship, or scientific discovery?

Play the odds?  No thanks -- I've got a better source for my decision-making.

Scott Allen is the About.com Entrepreneurs Guide
(http://entrepreneurs.about.com), helping tens of thousands of budding entrepreneurs find, follow, and fulfill their vision of business ownership.  He is also co-author of "The Five Keys to Building Business Relationships Online" and the forthcoming "The Virtual Handshake", and offers free tips
and resources for building quality business relationships online at

Comments -

===> Superstition (Extract from Clocks)

In the middle of the night my wife woke me up in a great state of alarm, to say that the clock had just struck thirteen, and who did I think was going to die?

I said I did not know, but hoped it might be the next-door dog.

My wife said she had a presentiment it meant baby. There was no comforting her; she cried herself to sleep again.

During the course of the morning, I succeeded in persuading her that she must have made a mistake, and she consented to smile once more. In the afternoon the clock struck thirteen again.

This renewed all her fears.  She was convinced now that both baby and I were doomed, and that she would be left a childless widow. I tried to treat the matter as a joke, and this only made her more wretched. She said
that she could see I really felt as she did, and was only pretending to be light-hearted for her sake, and she said she would try and bear it bravely.

The person she chiefly blamed was Buggles.

In the night the clock gave us another warning, and my wife accepted it for her Aunt Maria, and seemed resigned. She wished, however, that I had never had the clock, and wondered when, if ever, I should get cured of my absurd
craze for filling the house with tomfoolery.

The next day the clock struck thirteen four times and this cheered her up. She said that if we were all going to die, it did not so much matter. Most likely there was a fever or a plague coming, and we should all be taken together.

She was quite light-hearted over it!

After that the clock went on and killed every friend and relation we had, and then it started on the neighbors.

It struck thirteen all day long for months, until we were sick of slaughter, and there could not have been a human being left alive for miles around.

(Extract from Clocks by Jerome K Jerome)

Comments -

Oscar Wilde was the master of the studied insult. His jabs
at hypocrisy, pretense, and boring conventionality still have
a penetrating power. His snubs and put-downs became the
talk of his time, no less by his targets than by Oscar Wilde
himself. This collection features over 750 biting comments...


=============  HISTORIC HUMOR  ==============

Ronald Reagan, some would argue had his quips scripted, but that's to diminish his genuine talent.  He, like all comic personalities, undoubtedly had a library of jokes and one-liners which he could yank out on a moment's notice.  But his ability to yank them out, blend them with his natural wit, and deliver them warmly was a true gift.

In fact, there was a time when he was scripted that got him into some trouble.  During the first debate in the 1984 campaign with Mondale he stammered and stuttered trying to recall the script.  Nancy was infuriated that he had been over-prepped and thus made her famous mandate:  "Let Reagan be Reagan."

In the second debate, Reagan was Reagan.  On October 21, 1984 in Kansas City, Missouri, the world got a chance to see one the greatest examples of Humor in action.

To fully appreciate it, one must understand that there had been many whisperings about President Reagan's fitness for another term in office.  He would be 78 by the time a second term was up.  It was rumored that he fell asleep in cabinet meetings.  His performance in the previous debate hadn't
defused questions about his the advancing age.  It was a legitimate question:  was Reagan too old to be elected to another term.  But it was also a highly personal question. How do you ask someone if he's too old to do something?
It was a question he would never have to answer.

Henry Trewhitt, a diplomatic correspondent for The Baltimore Sun, was the first and last person to have the courage to put the question directly to the President.  Here's the transcript:

MR. TREWHITT: Mr. President, I want to raise an issue that I think has been lurking out there for two or three weeks, and cast it specifically in national security terms. You already are the oldest President in history, and some of your staff say you were tired after your most recent encounter with Mr. Mondale. I recall, yes, that President Kennedy, who had to go for days
on end with very little sleep during the Cuba missile crisis. Is there any doubt in your mind that you would be able to function in such circumstances?  

REAGAN: Not at all, Mr. Trewhitt and I want you to know that also I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit for political purposes my opponent's youth and inexperience.

Maybe he had planned it in advance, maybe it was just genuine wit, whatever the case, the response to Reagan's shifting of the issue from
his age to Mondale's lack thereof was overwhelming. The hall erupted
in laughter. The camera cut to Mondale who had his head thrown back
in unabashed mirth.

Comments -

=============  Twisted Lessons  ==============
[ W h a t   I   L e a r n e d   d u r i n g   t h i s   w e e k ]

The Importance of finding the right audience for your pitch.

My Teacher -


(This cartoon is put up temporarily just to share with
you what I learned this week and will be removed
by next week)

Comments -

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

An English teacher asked her 8th grade class to write an essay on what
they would do if they had a million dollars.

Morris handed in a blank sheet of paper.

"Morris!" yelled the teacher, "you've done absolutely nothing.  Why?"

"Because if I had a million dollars, that's exactly what I would do!"

(Thanks JoLene's Daily Humor)

Comments :


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