1300 finance people heard me tell this joke:

“Hey, great to be here at the Mayo Clinic, where you guys invented Cortizone!

Well…. not you guys.

And then you GAVE it to the world! How cool is that?!

By a show of hands, how many people would like to get that patent back for just a couple of months to pay for some new parking.”

Funny or not?

I was recently hired to be a motivational humorist speaker in Minnesota at the Mayo Clinic. I strongly believe that if I can get the audience laughing at the beginning of the speech, I’ll have their undivided attention when I get to the “wisdom” parts of the presentation. If they are laughing, they are listening. And if they are listening, they are ready to learn.

So… again… I spend a ton of effort on customized humor and comedy for every group… even the groups that want a strong business tie in.

Back to that joke. I told that joke pretty much as it is written when I was there in Minnesota. If you read it, you realize that it isn‘t funny. But I can tell you that the Mayo folks laughed hard. Nobody told THEM it wasn’t funny.

Why? Because that joke is all about them. They did invent Cortizone. They did “give” it away. And the lack of parking is a horrible pain in the sides for most of those folks. (Parking is so bad that most of the Clinic’s people are bussed in.)

So by combining two truths — horrible parking and Mayo inventing and gifting Cortizone — you get a joke. An inside joke. You get customized humor.

What’s my point? If you’re a speaker, you need to make sure you have some tightly targeted humor…. it creates a connection between you and your audience you wouldn’t believe.

If you’re looking to HIRE a motivational keynote speaker, make sure your speaker can speak your language, knows you’re inside information, and — perhaps most important of all — knows how to use your culture to create some very funny humor.

[Oh, and by the way, I’d love to be that guy. :)]

Looking for a motivational speaker for your event? Contact me here.

How to be a Comedian on YouTube

How to be a Comedian

Interested in learning how to use humor in your presentation? Check out Brad’s Got Mirth: Milking Your Presentation for all the Humor It’s Worth.

Learn more about how to be a motivational speaker with my how-to audio

Related Blog Posts:
How to Be a Motivational Speaker (Part 1) | Get a Mentor
Part 2: Choose the Right Topic
Part 3: Format of a Keynote. A Template!
Adding Humor (1) The Act Out
Part 5: Give the Audience a Voice
Part 6: What to Do When Your Humor Bombs
Part 7: How to Be a Motivational Speaker — Find A Niche to Make you Rich
Part 8: Be a Professional Speaker — Be Authentic On the Platform

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