I had the good fortune to have a wonderful conversation with part-time speaker, emcee, humorist, comedian, Palmo Carpino on my podcast. We met years ago at a NSA convention and he’s been a great friend, mentor and sounding-board over my many years as a motivational speaker.
Palmo has made a career both in print media and spoken media in advertising and communication. He’s a part-time speaker and has experience in Toastmasters and in working for various professional clients over the years. Currently he works in the advertising field for a private company, developing advertising copy or informational messaging both in print and spoken media. Palmo is very active in CAPS (Canadian Association of Professional Speakers) and credits his associates there with keeping his work in speaking fresh and relevant.
Comedy & Humor for Speakers
We talked about his background in comedy and humor. Palmo discussed his origins as akin to the person behind the comedian, meaning he would often come up with funny ideas or pranks in his younger days that he would have other people pull off. He is by heart a writer and a thinker.: What makes something funny and how and where is the most appropriate use of humor. Humor philosophy I guess you would call it.
He prides himself on being a resource person—a person clients can rely on to present a professional program delivering quality information in an appealing manner. His bread and butter in the speaking industry is doing breakouts, workshops and short after-dinner or lunch programs that talk to the appropriate use of humor and improvisational humor in particular. We discussed how there is always a danger of being inadvertently offensive when you work for a corporate client. Programs must be squeaky clean, and avoid hot-button issues like race, gender, politics or appearance and more. I’ve had my share of close calls and things I wish I could take back. Palmo lives by the creedo that don’t take the chance on doing a joke that pushes boundaries because it will always come back and bite you in the butt.
Palmo believes that knowing your audience, understanding what the client wants and delivering a clear and professional message is the key to getting great reviews from audiences. Part of delivering a perfect keynote or breakout session is keeping up with trends and constantly improving speaking skills. Palmo says he wants to be the speaker who has 30 years of experience, versus the one who has 1 year of experience he’s kept repeating for 30 years. So keep learning and keep practicing.
We talked about how both of us feel that mentoring new speakers is rewarding and productive. Some of his current mentors are those in the speaking industry in CAPS (which is the Canadian equivalent of the National Speakers Association in the US). Members of CAPS are always available to answer questions, listen to problems, congratulate your successes and help you improve where appropriate. Palmo has the utmost respect for his co-members of CAPS and the challenges inherent in being both professional and amateur speakers.
I always ask my guests what gives them hope. What gives Palmo Carpino hope is the ability to move forward in the journey of life—we’ve made it this far and had good fortune, the kids are healthy, educated, and happy, he enjoys his career. He’s hopeful he will keep moving forward both professionally and spiritually.
Thank you Palmo Carpino for being a thoughtful speaker, who always has something interesting to say and is always looking to learn and adapt. I’m glad you’re my friend!