The Power of Personal Stories

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Most people who know me as a speaker, consultant, or coach know two things about me:

  1. I love humor!
  2. I hate jokes!

Don’t get me wrong: I like hearing a good joke; I’m just not a big fan of their use on the platform. I think there’s a much more powerful resource for humor available to the speaker, and it’s called the personal story.

In my experience, personal stories—or personal anecdotes, if you prefer—have several convincing advantages over jokes, and I’d like to explore ...

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Stainton’s 10 Commandments of Humor

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[Tweet “Stainton’s 10 Commandments of #Humor “]

1. Thou shalt target thy audience

This is the first and great commandment! You must know who your audience is, and choose your humor appropriately. This doesn’t mean just knowing who the group is, or even who the individuals who comprise the audience are. It means understanding the occasion, knowing the back-story of the group, assessing the dynamics of the event. I was speaking to a group whose venerable and much beloved founder had just ...

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