Tag Archives: stand-up comedy

Jim Vance is my public speaking secret weapon.

8 Sep

I recently switched jobs at my company so I’m now developing and delivering training for our staff. As the daughter of two teachers and a microphone addict, it’s the perfect job for me.

Today was my first opportunity to deliver new training that I designed, in the form of an hour-long interactive call that was part lecture, part Q&A, part interview and part crazy. I had an audience of about 50 people and ample question prompts, so I was expecting it to be ROCKIN’.

Unfortunately, I’d forgotten about the odd dynamic that happens on group calls. Normally talkative people go quiet. Everyone chooses to mute their line. It’s like pulling teeth to get a simple, “No,” when you ask if anyone has a question.

More than once, I found myself calling, “Beuller? Beuller?”

I could understand the silence if I were a robot-like presenter. But I’d like to think I have contagious energy  a pulse and am hilarious a WEE BIT silly. And yet: crickets.

I shouldn’t be surprised. I’ve facilitated large group calls for more than ten years and it’s always been the same.

When I was younger, I had an awful go-to joke. For whatever reason, whenever I would “share my screen” and allow people to view my computer, I’d feel compelled to make this crack:

Sure hope I remembered to close the porn!

Let’s just agree, while that can be funny, it’s probably not appropriate for work. Ever. And it only sounds creepier when it’s met with silence. As if people think I might surf porn. At work.

Maybe this is why mustaches are gross.

The only thing worse than that I can think of is the word porno. It’s about ten times worse than the word porn, for the same reason that mustaches are somehow inexplicably worse than goatees.

The good thing to come from today’s call was a reminder of why I haven’t yet worked up the nerve to hit Open Mike Night at the local comedy club. While some of my best dreams involve bringing down the house at the Improv, in reality, I think it might go a bit more like a conference call.

This made me realize: it’s always good to have some kind of secret weapon in your pocket. Something that people won’t be able to turn away from, that will weaken them and bring them to tears (preferably from laughter). Even if it has absolutely nothing to do with your presentation.

Once I had this revelation, I knew what my weapon would be: This clip of Jim Vance.

Please take a minute and watch it.

Just be sure you hit *6 first to mute your line.

Once you’ve closed out of any pornos you’re viewing, that is.
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