You have a big speaking opportunity and you don’t want to F’up. Did you include humor upfront? If not, prepare for awkward silence and blank stares. I’m not suggesting you start a meeting/speech with lame jokes because then I’m not even listening. Seldom is anyone expecting a professional women to grab their attention and make them laugh, so let’s prove em’ wrong! As I look back on my career, humor would have helped me immensely. What I mean ladies – we need to put a rest to the resting bitch face.

Chuckles Required

While I’m no Joan Rivers or Amy Schumer, I still have the ability to start with a relatable chuckle, as do you. Audiences today are distracted by their devices so getting their attention and maintaining it is not easy. I should know, I have two Insta-addicted, device obsessed daughters. (If you two are ACTUALLY reading this…love you!) Check out TED talks, many start with a funny anecdote that gets the audience paying attention from the get-go. (I just referenced TED talks AGAIN, but this time for humor!)

Laughing With The Team

When you have a riff with your boss or a colleague about a mistake THEY made, discuss it using humor. It really eases the tension, and after all, nothing smoothes out a prickly situation like laughter… unless they have no humor at all. In that case, you’re screwed.

Laugh at Yourself Too!

This is probably the most important. We are not perfect – we all make mistakes. Take a moment to chuckle at yourself when you misstep. People will love you for it.

Kim Martin