May 14, 2014 fm

Learn From The English!

He flew in from London. He was the alpha dog. The head of the banking team at one of the big global advisory firms.

11:02 am. There he is on stage – the keynote speaker! In his hand a cup of coffee. Wow, I think, a visual aid. Great. Then he starts.

This morning I survived this coffee. Even if it was English coffee.

73 hard working business advisors start to laugh.

Their coffee – they make fun of it. Their weather – they laugh about it. Their food – they… don’t even mention it. Learn from the English and make fun of yourself, your origin, your looks, your country, …

Self-deprecating humor is a wonderful way of causing great vibes in your audience. And it has a great side effect. Your audience perceives you as a likeable and humble person. Arrogant people don’t laugh about themselves. That page is missing in their autobiography.

Here are some more examples of self-deprecating humor.

  • She’s loud; she always knows everything better. She’s like me.
  • Bavarians know how to make beer, but we are miserable lovers. That’s why I’m Bavarian.
  • Everyone knows we have the best food in the world. — An Englishman
  • I come from a village where the best thing in summer is the public pool and the best thing in winter is… nothing.
  • I’m German – boring, efficient, alcoholic.

Your speeches and presentations need humor. Learn from the English and make fun of yourself. I constantly do it and it just works. Even if I’m German.

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