I had the privilege of attending the summer convention of the National Speakers Association, August 2-5, 2008, and was delighted to see many uses of humor by the speakers and entertainers. The star-studded lineup of speakers included Steve Forbes, Marshall Goldsmith (one of the top five executive coaches in America according to the Wall Street Journal), Bill Marriott, Omar Minaya (GM of the New York Mets), Robin Koval (of the Kaplan Thaler Group), Angela Santomero (founder of Blues Clues), Dave Barger (CEO of Jet Blue Airlines), Rockers Kevin Cronin (REO Speedwagon) and Simon Kirke (Bad Company).
Additionally, there was no shortage of great entertainers. There were artist Michael Israel, impersonator Jason Hewlett, trombonist Jonathon Arons, Beatles tribute band BritishMania, and hip-hop dancing mothers, Momz-n-da-Hood.
For a great example of the humor Jonathan Arons fooled us into thinking he was going to play classical music on his trombone. Instead we got hilarious hip-hop dancing. See him here: " target="_blank">Jonathan Arons.
Both Steve Forbes and Marshall Goldsmith were not only charming individuals and great speakers, they were also very funny.
Another hilarious part of the conference included comedy interludes by Brian Walter of Extreme Meetings. You can watch his demo video here: Brian Walter
Probably one of the funniest moments was during the interview with Bad Company drummer and founder, Simon Kirke. He said that being creative led him to consider, “what would happen if we played a song on just the black keys?” The result was the song “Bad Company” and enough success, he said, “to send my kids through school and me through four rehabs.”
Humor can be the Great Equilizer for all kinds of serious information.