Humor and Presentation Skills — Be A Lifetime Student

Once upon a time, a very long time ago, there was a student at UC
Berkeley.  He knew that the University of California was a great
place to get a quality education.  But he soon found that the
Berkeley campus was a surprise a minute.  He just never knew what
he’d see around the next corner. 

So, it didn’t take me long to realize that I should always carry a
camera.  I would see people of every description. People dressed as
hippies.  People dressed as nuns (occasionally they were nuns).
People who forgot to dress. National guardsmen with rifles at the
ready, bayonets fixed.  Helicopters dropping tear gas.  All caught
on my film.

A regular on the campus was an evangelist nick-named Holy Hubert.
I don’t know who gave him the label, probably the students.  But I
wouldn’t rule out the possibility that it was self-given, a marketing ploy, good branding!

The interesting thing I observed on the main plaza in front of
Sproul Hall next to the Student Union and cafeteria, sort of the
town square for the campus, there were many speakers, activists,
entertainers and exhibitionists.  I became a student of “who
attracted the crowds…and why.”  If I saw a war protester, next to
an evangelist, next to juggler…I’d watch to see who was attracting
the crowd.

Holy Hubert was always a crowd getter.  Here’s what the crowd
pleasers had:

1.  Enthusiasm that was contagious.  Lack of enthusiasm is black
and white.  Enthusiasm is full-spectrum color.

2.  Boldness that made you want to watch even if you disagreed.
Commitment is magnetic.

3.  Interaction with the onlookers, rarely just a monologue.  Ad
libbing and chatting with onlookers is powerful.

4.  Excellent eye contact that made you feel connected.  The crowd
gatherers were not robots.

5.  Extemporaneous style that made it feel fresh.  Being in the
moment is a huge plus.

6.  The ability to draw a crowd right from the start.  Crowds then
build on themselves.

7.  They were physically expressive; most of the time they were
“showing” and not just “telling.”  More specifically, they were
almost always expressive with their face.

8.  They were usually funny.  If they weren’t funny, they were at
least fun.  Drab presentations turn audiences into pillars of salt.
You give them nothing interesting and fun…they give you nothing
in return.

9.  The ability to take themselves lightly.  Terminal seriousness
from the platform is not a crowd magnet.  I have a photo of “Holy
Hubert” holding up a sign with his nickname printed on it.  If you
can’t poke fun at yourself, you are probably not fun.  If you’re
not fun, you’re speaking to the wind.

The key for success in life is to always be a full-time student.
Study and analyze what you see.  Understand what you see.  Become
an expert on human relationships, connections and psychology.
Learn the secrets of being a superstar communicator by studying the
best…and in the process you’ll become better.