Anybody who has seen me present has probably heard at least one of my “hunourous” anectdotes. Most often if I am telling a story it is laced with some humor…and humor that can be related to the topic or our industry. Humor can be an ice breaker to relieve tension but it is also a great way to bond with clients and your audience. Some of the best presenters of our time used humor as part of their presentation, but also some who you might not suspect went further bcause of their sense of humor. For example:
In 1960, few expected National Football League owners to pick 33-year-old Pete Rozelle as their new commissioner. At the time, Rozelle was the low-profile general manager of the Los Angeles Rams. After several rounds of balloting, the owners decided Rozelle possessed the right mix of qualities to lead the league. Before the final vote, the owners asked him to leave the room. He learned of his new job while in the bathroom. Returning to the conference room, he began by telling the owners, “I come to you with clean hands.”
Known for his humor and good nature, Rozelle (1926-1996) realized that his agreeable personality helped propel his success. He later concluded that he got the job because he was “the only one who hadn’t alienated most of the people at the meeting.”
This can work in client meetings as well. Reps who are likeable tend to have more success and a good sense of humor can help.
— Adapted from “Pete Rozelle Commissioned A New NFL Business Model,” Michael Mink, http://www.investors.com.