As I Was Saying

Well I’ve gone and done it now. I committed to a speaking engagement with the topic “Using Humor to Overcome Adversity.” When I booked the talk months ago it seemed so far away, but now I have just a few more weeks to prepare, and the problem is, once you start analyzing humor and researching the healing properties of laughter and putting together PowerPoint slides, everything becomes uniquely un-funny. Meh.

Sure, there’s the Darwin Awards and gallows humor, but I need some substance folks, and I need your help. I would like to exploit leverage my readers’ experiences using humor to overcome adversity. Please, share your stories and insights with me so that I can pretend that I came up with something clever. You’re not just supporting me…you’re putting food in my cats’ mouths and getting me out of Dan’s hair. This is important, so please give till it hurts.


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7 Responses to As I Was Saying

  1. bethteliho says:

    Of course I’m completely stumped with how to help you, especially since I immediately revert to sarcasm and dry wit under any stressful circumstances, BUT, I had to jump on and let you know, YOU CAN DO THIS. You’re one of the funniest ladies I know. Don’t be overcritical. Just be you.

    • Jill Foer Hirsch says:

      Thanks for the vote of confidence! I think we could be the Sarcasm Sisters, a fine talent I admire greatly. Here’s hoping I have an epiphany of some kind soon and come up with a bunch of material for the talk.

  2. Pam Waits says:

    Here’s an example of humor diffusing tension. Context: I had a new puppy who was going through obedience training. Story: I was in a business meeting with my boss and her boss. We were planning our strategy for handling a serious situation. I was responsible for executing the work. Concerned about the project’s success, my boss’s boss looked at me and asked me if I was trained. Before I could stop myself I said “woof”.

  3. Jill Foer Hirsch says:

    My talk is also an hour; I love to hear myself but an hour is a looong time to fill, especially since I don’t drink. The good news is that the talk is for a group of “seniors” (well, age 50++) so I’m thinking if I just have 15 minutes of material I can repeat it four times and everyone will be too senile to remember. OK, bad, but thinking that could be my opening joke! Seniors (which apparently I am a year away from being) love to be reminded of their diminished short-term memory! At least this is a group of people I can (maybe) outrun if it becomes necessary. I’m reconsidering the martini angle…seems very clever!

  4. katecrimmins says:

    Not sure I can help but I can commiserate with you. I agreed to do a one hour keynote on public speaking which was six months later. That was the fastest six months ever. I did it with a friend and we were totally stumped for a creative opening so we did what any logical person would do — we went to a local pub at 4 in the afternoon and had a beer. It came to us. We wanted to make the point that a good opening was critical to capture the audience and you were very limited in time to do this. We opened by making a martini in 90 seconds complete with stopwatch. This was for a breakfast session. The audience was captured. They had no idea why we were doing this for a speech on speaking at breakfast. Sometimes alcohol loosens those tight brain cells. We will want to hear how it went!

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