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.