Sounds like the average television commercial – doesn’t it?

high school studentI did a seminar recently for a group of high school seniors. I was told they were not necessarily underachievers, but had no firm plans after graduation. Some had thought about college, a job or the military, but most seemed only interested in hanging around waiting for something to happen. The common thread was a strong case of “Senioritis” and a short attention span for remaining school requirements.

The teacher that sponsored the seminar told me previous speakers had used the standard follow your dreams advice and ended up with a group of bored and distracted students. They had heard the same message since preschool days watching Barney and Friends, and he was concerned it didn’t say enough about what they would encounter in the real world.

Even though I don’t wear a purple dinosaur outfit, I’m the last person to discourage anyone from following their dreams. But the reality of the real world is not everyone will win The Voice or have their idea bankrolled on Shark Tank. My assignment that day was to keep the students interested and involved in my seminar on communication skills and share practical real world advice.

But as usual, I also had my own agenda…

Everyone has a talent and a desire for something. It may not even involve becoming The Voice or the next Bill Gates. But whatever it might be, it doesn’t have much of a chance becoming a reality by “hanging around waiting for something to happen.”

Groucho 2

The Wacky Professor

Lucky for me, the seminar was in the school’s library. So I opened with a very effective follow your dreams message by pulling two of my books from the shelf. It got their attention. Then to hold their attention (staring at book covers for more than ten seconds is not as interesting as checking text messages for most high school students), I turned the attention to them.

I asked about their personal interests.

With this particular group of students, no one said a word about math, science or history. They talked about music, poetry, fashion and art. And when they expressed their ideas, the enthusiasm was obvious. They wanted to talk about it and involve the others. I imagined it was quite different than their normal participation in math, science or history classes.

So I took it a step further and asked for two volunteers. Most of them raised their hands (probably unlike during the classes mentioned above), but since we had a limited amount of time until the class bell, we could only go with two.

One was a girl into fashion and the other a boy who played guitar.

I told the girl she was going to tell us about her favorite sweater. With the boy, we wanted to know about his dream guitar. Then I gave them a quick assignment. I asked each to write down twothoughts about their item. I wanted to know:

  1. How owning the item it made them feel and…
  2. How owning the same item could make someone else feel.

Then they would each talk about their item in a way that would convince the other students they HAD to have either the sweater or the guitar.

Sounds like a sales pitch – doesn’t it?

Then I borrowed an exercise from my stand-up comedy workshops. I told them to imagine we were at a party. All their friends had told interesting and funny stories – and now it was their chance to talk. How would they tell us about their item in a creative way that would express their feelings AND make us laugh?

This is similar to an audience participation game I use at conferences with business people and educators looking to improve their communication skills. In a nutshell, the idea is to make your message more effective while using creative and humorous enhancements to keep it interesting.

Guitar PlayerIf I could, for my next business conference seminar I’d bring these students with me, take a seat in the audience and let them talk. She basically told the other girls how great they would look in her sweater and how, of course, they would attract more boys. He told the guys how they could look like rock stars with his dream guitar and of course, attract more girls.

Sounds like the average television commercial – doesn’t it?

Yes, they were a lot goofier (for lack of a better term) than you’d expect during a real business world sales pitch or networking opportunity. But the end result was the same.

* They held our attention by delivering their message in a way we found very entertaining and memorable.

Sounds like the average television commercial – doesn’t it?

In this case it was using creativity and humor to express and share their interests. In the case of high school students, their interests are what could determine future careers. For others in the real business world already pursuing careers, looking to expand or even make a change, better communication leads to better opportunities. The real world is competitive and to stand out from the competition you must know how to express yourself in a productive and interesting way.

Sounds like the average television commercial – doesn’t it?

Better communication leads to better opportunities. And along with that purple dinosaur, I’m not going to tell anyone they shouldn’t try to make their dreams come true. Sometimes it all depends on how you communicate them.

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Comment? Please use the form below. In the meantime, thanks for reading and as always – keep laughing!

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Dave Schwensen has designed and instructs university courses in communications and presentation skills. He is an author, speaker, trainer, and nationally recognized humor and comedy coach. For information about training seminars and keynotes for your next event or conference visit www.TalkingForSuccess.com

For Dave’s author page on Amazon.com CLICK HERE.

Copyright 2017 – North Shore Publishing

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Using “Seinfeld” to hit a home run in communication skills

Are you a fan of the television show Seinfeld? It was one of the great all-time sitcoms that will live on in reruns our grandchildren will watch. If you don’t believe me, just think of how many generations still watch I Love Lucy, which was the top sitcom from the 1950′s. If you communicate in a way that is entertaining, an audience will listen for as long as you want to talk.

How long do your clients or co-workers listen to you?

Do you hold their attention long enough so they actually listen to what you want them to hear? I hope so, because verbal communication is still the key for successful customer service, teamwork and networking.

In the video conference on communications I taught for a high school last month, I gave the students an in-class assignment. I asked them to list three things that actually happened (truth) during their journey to school, followed by how each experience made them feel. The key to the assignment was that they had to express their feelings (personal thoughts or opinions) using only positive terms.

school busThen I asked each to tell us about his or her journey (driving, riding a school bus, or walking) to school, combining the three facts and their positive feelings in a way that might make their friends or family laugh. The results were creative and entertaining stories that held everyone’s attention.

All the students could relate since it was an experience they had all shared. After all, none of them had spent the previous night at the school. They all had to travel from somewhere else that morning.

Finding common ground – something your listeners can relate to – is a great method on how to attract and hold someone’s attention long enough for them to hear what you really want to say. It’s a technique that breaks the ice and makes a memorable impression. Once you do that, you’re on the journey toward better and more productive professional and personal relationships.

Truth + Creativity & Humor (Thoughts & Opinions) = Conversations

Too easy?

Does it sound too easy? It is. The secret is to take a positive outlook on a shared event, tap into your personal creativity, (we all have feelings, thoughts and observations), and turn it into a conversational tool. I learned this method from some of the experts at relating to – and conversing with – an audience, which takes us back to Seinfeld

When I was scheduling performers for The Improv Comedy Club in New York City, I worked with the sitcom’s creator and many of the writers. And it wasn’t just at the comedy club located in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan, but also as a member of our softball team that competed in the Performing Arts League in Central Park. Since we were sponsored by The Improv, our team was made up of comedians, comedy writers and one talent booker (me!).

One teammate was Ray Romano, who went on to star in Everybody Loves Raymond, but this story involves our first baseman, Larry David. Along with Jerry Seinfeld, Larry created Seinfeld and his own show on HBO, Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Fortunately that particular season we won more games than we lost and made the playoffs, which was our first goal. Our second was to win the playoffs and be the funniest champions of the league.

Unfortunately, on the day of our first playoff game, many of the best players, (who were also good comedians), were performing outside of New York City. That meant some of us who were more comfortable sitting on the bench watching would have to play in the field. And others, who were used to a regular position, had to play somewhere else. I was pried from the bench to play second base and our first basement, Larry David, was moved to shortstop.

Baseball fans know shortstop is the most demanding defensive position. The best shortstops are usually smaller and quicker than the other players. It was not the best place for a tall, lanky first baseman and there were a number of balls hit between Larry and myself that added up to more runs for the other team. To put it gently, we lost and were eliminated from the playoffs after one game.

It was not a positive moment since we now had the unwanted task of telling our returning teammates that our season was over. I also remember standing near our bench when Larry threw down his glove and said something to the effect of, “I’m never playing this stupid game again.”

Fast forward a few years…

Heading for home!

Seinfeld was the number one show on television. One night I tuned in and saw the character George Costanza, (based on the real life Larry David), running down the third base line during a softball game in Central Park wearing an Improv t-shirt.

My first thought was, “That’s my team!”

After a losing effort, George Costanza threw down his glove and said something to the effect of, “I’m never playing this stupid game again.”

Can you guess my second thought? I played in that game!”

The lesson behind this long dissertation was that Larry had taken a moment that wasn’t very positive at the time, creatively found the humor and made it entertaining. It was a one way conversation with the viewing audience and all he did was tell the truth with creative license.

Anyone who had ever played or watched a softball game, or even experienced the “agony of defeat,” (a quote borrowed from another television show), could relate.

The Home Team

This and other episodes of Seinfeld based on real experiences that viewers could relate to from Larry, Jerry, and other writing contributors held their audiences’ attention for nine seasons and still continue today in reruns. Talk about making a memorable and lasting impression!

The bottom line is not always what you say, but how you say it.

The best part is you don’t have to be a stand-up comedian to grab your listener’s attention. Find out…

  • What you have in common
  • Take a positive outlook and…
  • Enhance it with personal creativity and humor

It’s a great way to break the ice, start a conversation, and build a relationship with someone you want to do business with.

Go ahead and give it a try. Tell the person next to you about your drive to work today. Use a few facts, be creative, stay positive and tell it in a way you think will make them smile or laugh. Chances are you’ll strike up a conversation – and you never know what doors that may open.

Comment? Use the “leave a reply” link below – thanks!

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Dave Schwensen has designed and instructs university courses in communications and presentation skills. He is an author, speaker, trainer, and nationally recognized humor and comedy coach. For information about training seminars and keynotes for your next event or conference visit www.TalkingForSuccess.com

Copyright 2017 – North Shore Publishing

The secret to customer service, teamwork and networking

I thought the above title would grab your attention. It could be interesting, entertaining, and maybe (if you know my background) even humorous. You won’t know for sure unless you continue reading.

So… what is the secret to great customer service, productive teamwork and successful networking?

aie6gdGi4A study released in the journal Psychological Science found meaningful conversations (actual talking between people) increased productivity and the happiness factor – which is a guaranteed way (the secret!) to improve customer service, teamwork and networking.

Psychologists at the University of Arizona in Tucson and Washington University in St. Louis have finally discovered what some of us have known for years:

Small talk doesn’t cut it.

Here’s what researchers did to learn about the importance of strong conversational skills. They had volunteers complete personality and well-being assessments. Then over the next four days the volunteers wore recording devices that recorded 30 seconds of sound every 12 minutes. After sifting through 20,000 recordings, the researchers put the conversations into two groups: trivial or substantial.

two-groups-of-peopleSort of like what we do every time we’re talking with someone – right?!

They concluded that the most productive and satisfied (there’s the happiness factor again) participants spent 25% less time alone and dealing with trivial conversations – and 70% more time having substantive conversations. Researchers suggest meaningful conversations breed stronger interactions.

So let me ask you a few questions:

  • Do you want to improve customer service?
  • Do you want to increase productivity through team-building?
  • Do you want to build your client base by networking?
  • Do you want to increase sales?

This is only a guess, but I would say you answered “YES” to all of the above questions. And the answer (again, the secret) is to have more conversations your listeners will relate to and therefore, listen to and remember.

In a nutshell, here’s a winning technique:

  • Keep them interested
  • Entertain them
  • Humor them

The idea is to involve your listener by building an immediate relationship through common interests or experiences. The result should help you stand out from someone who doesn’t.

In other words – they’ll remember you.

people-laughingAs an example, in my keynotes and training seminars, I rely a lot on audience participation. Not that I don’t have a lot to say (I do!) but it’s good to build interaction and keep everyone involved. I mean seriously, who really wants to just sit there and listen to someone lecture for an hour or more? I’ll admit there are speakers who can hold our attention for a good length of time and get paid TONS of money to do it. But I’m sure we all have memories of long-winded instructors at school or group leaders at work that… well, I’m getting bored just writing about them.

If a topic isn’t presented in a way that will hold your interest, chances are it will be an hour of your life that is hard to describe to someone else:

Bored You: “Yes, we had a speaker. He talked about… something… (Insert sounds of yawning or snoring).

Interested You: “Yes, we had a speaker. He was very entertaining. Here’s what he talked about… (Insert sounds of fireworks and cheering crowds).

As any good speaker or trainer will tell you, keeping an audience’s attention is not much different than doing the same during a one-on-one conversation. The goal is to keep the listener interested in what you are saying. And a good way to do that in today’s high-speed techno society is to include an enhancing dose of personal creativity to make your informative or ice-breaking conversations entertaining and when appropriate (and always politically correct) humorous.

Informative and entertaining conversations are always memorable. It’s a winning technique in customer service, team-building and networking.

My goal as a communications trainer is NOT to change your message, but to enhance the way it is delivered. Even the psychologists agree:

Small talk doesn’t cut it.

Employ these enhancements and your conversations will not only be heard – but also listened to and remembered.

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Comment? Please use the form below. In the meantime, thanks for reading and as always – keep laughing!

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Dave Schwensen is a nationally recognized comedy coach and author of six books including How To Be A Working Comic. He has designed and instructs university courses in communications and presentation skills. Dave is a keynote speaker and training seminar leader (for your next event!) and CILC Pinnacle Award Winner for video conferences on communication skills, comedy and pop culture.

For Dave’s author page on Amazon.com CLICK HERE.

For information about scheduling Dave’s training seminar or interactive keynote for your next event, or for any comments please use the contact form below or send an email to dave@davepresents.com

Copyright 2017 – North Shore Publishing

Positive listening keeps the customer satisfied

Stay positive.

We’ve all been given that advice at one time or another. But I work in the humor industry and when it comes to making comedy audiences laugh, the opposite is often true. Adults and children laugh when a more important person is the victim of a joke. That’s why comedians poke fun at royalty, politicians and famous celebrities – and get away with it. They’re not picking on someone struggling, down on his luck, or without the ability to put up a good defense.

That wouldn’t be funny.

When I work with students, from junior high to college, it’s important for me to emphasize the importance of being positive in productive communication skills. It’s common and trendy today to be sarcastic, insulting or cutting edge. It’s easy to point a finger of blame at the recent generations of stand-up comedians, but this is nothing new. In fact, it’s still the way my college pals and I communicate. I’d be shocked to receive an email or phone call from one of the guys that didn’t open with an insulting comment about my intelligence, age, looks, weight – or whatever is trending on their mind at that moment.

9T4AGEETEIt’s how we communicate on a personal, as close friends level. It’s also very acceptable in the comedy world and why a pie thrown in the face of “the boss” is just as funny in the movies today as it was when Charlie Chaplin was the brightest star on the silent screen.

But what’s considered cutting edge in the comedy industry is not usually funny or productive when it comes to customer service. Using negative humor for laughs outside of a close friendship can send the victim on a defensive course by feeling inferior or unwanted. And as we all know, that’s not a way to build or continue a business relationship.

Keep the customer satisfied.

As a consumer, my business is earned because the product or service is what I’m looking for. I’ll become a repeat customer because I’m a happy customer. In the best scenario, the people I’m dealing with make me feel important; even if I know very little about how they give me good results (in my case, anything to do with cars). I don’t feel inferior or unwanted and that’s good customer service.

Is the customer is always right?

No, of course not. Sometimes they misunderstand what they are buying or being promised. It’s usually a miscommunication. But when dealing with a product or service, even when terms are written out or explained by a sales representative, misunderstandings might occur.

circleThere’s a game we’ve all played at one time or another where your friends or classmates would sit in a circle. One person whispers something in the ear of the person sitting next to him. Then that person whispers it in the next person’s ear, and it continues around the circle until it comes back to the one that started it all. Usually the original statement has been misunderstood, changed and shared in various ways until it’s completely different than what was said originally.

I remember playing this with our teacher when we were in first grade. The teacher started by whispering something very innocent to the first student. By the time it went around the circle and back to the teacher, it had turned – either through a misunderstanding or one player’s attempt at being funny in a negative way – very, very insulting to the teacher. I distinctly remember her turning a bright shade of embarrassing red and the game was over.

In fact, the game was never played again in our classroom.

That’s a good lesson in customer service. A misunderstanding or miscommunication can quickly turn a positive situation into one that is negative, embarrassing, or even to the point of anger. The best we can do to prevent this is to listen and try to understand.

And of course, stay positive.

In my training seminars I play a game with two audience victims… I mean volunteers. They come to the front of the room and the audience assigns each an alternative career. Since I always insist on creativity and imagination (elements of good humor) some fun examples have included an astronaut, pro surfer, television game show host, and… well, use your imagination.

I ask the two volunteers to have a simple conversation as if they were in the profession given to them. Every once in awhile during this conversation I’ll shout, “Stop!” and ask one to reach into a basket and pick a notecard that has a printed random (funny) sentence. They read this as their next line in the conversation. The astronaut, pro surfer, game show host – or whoever they are – has to reply and keep the conversation going.

It’s all about listening.

chinese-whispersOf course it always takes the conversation in a completely different direction and often ends up like the “whispering around the circle game” with the ending nowhere near what they had been talking about at the beginning. The main difference between a group of mischievous first graders and our training audience is that I insist we stay positive. When it comes to customer service, the goal is to have your customers return satisfied and happy, rather than leaving with a bright shade of embarrassing red on their faces.

Listening to what was said and being positive are the first steps in productive communication. This is a solid foundation for good customer service and can lead the way to the ultimate goal of keeping the customer satisfied.

Musical interlude: Keep The Customer Satisfied by Simon & Garfunkel (enjoy for the fun of it!)

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Dave Schwensen has designed and instructs university courses in communications and presentation skills. He is an author, speaker, trainer, consultant, nationally-recognized comedy coach, and two-time CILC Pinnacle Award Winner “For remarkable quality of educational content and exceptional skill at program delivery.” For information about scheduling Dave’s interactive training programs and breakout sessions for your next event, visit www.TalkingForSuccess.com

For Dave’s author page on Amazon.com CLICK HERE.

Have a comment or need more information? Please use the contact form below – I’d love to hear from you.

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Think you know everything?

As you know, I believe in the value of communicating with a healthy dose of humor and creativity. So keeping that in mind, here’s a personal favorite from my newspaper humor column, Something To Laugh About

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I don’t admit to knowing everything, unless I’m talked into a corner and the person who steered me into that awkward position wants facts:

Just because I know,” is a standard answer. Obviously I consider it to be a pretty good one, because I’ve been using it since I was three years old.

This reply doesn’t work too well in our house, especially when I use it in front of my wife Debbie. I still won’t admit to knowing everything, but I’ve occasionally claimed to know a little bit about everything. Our kids might buy it if I use big words and talk convincingly, but Debbie refuses to go along. When I corner her about how she can be so sure that I’m not an undiscovered genius, she has a standard answer to back up her superior intelligence:

“Just because I know.”

For the average guy, that answer would be enough. For Debbie, it’s only a beginning.

Earlier this week I received an email from my wife testing my know-it-all attitude. I won’t discuss how the Internet has changed ways the world and even married couples communicate (she was only in a room down the hall), but her method of communication didn’t allow me to give a verbal response – not to mention my standard answer – without leaving my comfortable office chair or trying to shout through walls.

It’s just as well though, because my standard answer wouldn’t work anyway.

She must have been having a cyberspace discussion with some of her friends about know-it-all husbands since it was forwarded to a few addresses I recognized. Plus the subject line was something I’m sure we’ve all heard before…

“You think you know everything?”

I used to think so, but not anymore…

* Every day more money is printed for Monopoly than the U.S. Treasury

* Men can read smaller print; women can hear better.

* Coca-Cola was originally green.

* It’s impossible to lick your elbow.

* The state with the highest percentage of people who walk to work: Alaska.

* The percentage of Africa that is wilderness: 28 percent.

* The average number of people airborne over the U.S. at any hour: 61,000

* Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.

* The world’s youngest parents were 8 and 9 and lived in China in 1910.

* The youngest Pope was 11 years old.

* The first novel ever written on a typewriter: Tom Sawyer

* San Francisco cable cars are the only mobile national monuments.

* Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history:

  • Spades – King David
  • Hearts – Charlemagne
  • Clubs – Alexander The Great
  • Diamonds – Julius Caesar

* 111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

* If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle. If the horse has one front leg in the air, the person died as a result of wounds received in battle. If the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes.

* Only two people signed The Declaration Of Independence on July 4th – John Hancock and Charles Thompson. Most of the others signed on August 2nd, but the last signature wasn’t added until five years later.

* Hershey’s Kisses were named because the machine that makes them looks like it’s kissing the conveyor belt.

* Half of all Americans live within 50 miles of their birthplace.

* Most boat owners name their boats. The most popular name requested? Obession.

* If you were to spell out numbers, how far would you have to go until finding the letter A? One thousand.

* What do bulletproof vests, fire escapes, windshield wipers and laser printers have in common? They were all invented by women.

* What is the only food that doesn’t spoil? Honey.

* What trivia fact about Mel Blanc (voice of Bugs Bunny) is the most ironic? He was allergic to carrots.

* What is an activity performed by 40 percent of all people at a party? Snoop in your medicine cabinet.

* It was the practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding, the bride’s father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the honey month – known today as the honeymoon.

* In Scotland, a new game was invented. It was entitled Gentlemen Only, Ladies Forbidden – and the word “golf” entered into the English language.

And finally…

* At least 75 percent of people who read this will try to lick their elbow.

Musical interlude: Won’t Get Fooled Again by The Who (at least I hope not!)

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Dave Schwensen has designed and instructs university courses in communications and presentation skills. He is an author, speaker, trainer, consultant, nationally-recognized comedy coach, and CILC Pinnacle Award Winner for video conferences. For information about scheduling Dave’s interactive training programs and breakout sessions for your next event, visit www.TalkingForSuccess.com

For Dave’s author page on Amazon.com CLICK HERE.

Have a comment or need more information? Please use the contact form below – I’d love to hear from you.

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Copyright 2017 – North Shore Publishing

Top 10 Networking Jokes for 2014

This is the time of year when a lot of us become David Letterman impersonators. Instead of running to the refrigerator during television commercials, we sit on the couch and think about the year that’s just ending and come up with Top Ten Lists.

Could be good stuff – or could be bad stuff. In our case, we’ll focus on the funny stuff.

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We’re going to miss Dave in 2015!

To close out another year of yucks and to honor the original during his final months as host of The Late Show with David Letterman, I’ve gone through the Jokes of the Week submitted by readers for 2014 and came up with the Top Ten. Of course I always point out that sending in a joke submission is a networking opportunity because I’ll include links for your sites. A couple of the following yuck-ster’s forgot to do that or were promoting shows that have already ended. Otherwise, when there’s a link I hope you’ll check it out!

So without further delay – in order of the date they appeared – here are…

The Top Ten Networking Jokes for 2014:

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1 – January 14, 2014

“I’m getting stronger! I added 10 pounds to my workout weight, which is good and bad. I only do push ups.” – Risky Betts, riskybetts.com

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2 – February 4, 2014

British Airways Shortly after a British Airways flight had reached its cruising altitude, the captain announced: “Ladies and Gentlemen, this is your captain. Welcome to Flight 293, non-stop from London Heathrow to New York .The weather ahead is good, so we should have a smooth uneventful flight. So, sit back, relax, and………OH… MY GOD!” Silence followed.

Some moments later, the captain came back on the intercom. “Ladies and Gentlemen, I’m sorry if I scared you. While I was talking to you, a flight attendant accidentally spilled coffee in my lap. You should see the front of my pants!” From the back of the plane, an Irish passenger yelled……. “For the luvva Jaysus……you should see the back of mine!” – Brian Luomawww.facebook.com/brian.luoma

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3 – March 11, 2014

A very attractive woman walks into a bar and sees a man giving her an overly attentive stare. She takes the seat next to him and says, “I’ll do anything, absolutely anything you want for me to do for $100 dollars on one condition – you have to tell me in just three words.” The man pulls out 5 twenty dollar bills, looks deeply into her eyes and slowly, meaningfully says, “Paint My House!” – Jerry X. Shea, www.jerryxshea.com

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4 – March 25, 2014

A cowboy rides into town, stops at the local saloon, goes in and orders two “red eyes.” He throws them down and goes outside. His horse is missing. He goes back into the bar and says, “I’m going to have two more red eyes and if my horse isn’t back the same thing is going to happen here as happened in Tombstone.”

There is a shuffling of feet and everyone looks at the floor. He throws down the two red eyes and as he goes outside, the barman joins him and there is his horse. Curious, the barman looked at him and asked, “What happened in Tombstone?” “I had to walk home,” said the cowboy. – Lou Harrison-Smith, www.linkedin.com/in/tourswithoutequal

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5 – April 22, 2014

Two hunters are out in the woods when one of them collapses. He doesn’t seem to be breathing and his eyes are glazed. The other guy whips out his phone and calls the emergency services. He gasps, “My friend is dead! What can I do?” The operator says “Calm down. I can help. First, let’s make sure he’s dead.”

There is a silence; then a shot is heard. Back on the phone, the guy says “OK, now what?” – Dr. Cynthia Shelby Lane (shared as winner of funniest joke U.K.), shelbylanemd.com

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6 – June 3, 2014

There was a blonde in the audience watching a show by a ventriloquist. The ventriloquist proceeded to do quite a few blonde jokes. The blonde became very upset, stood up and said, “Those are offensive and I don’t appreciate you using them in your act!”

The ventriloquist stepped forward, apologized and said, “I’m sorry, I won’t do anymore blonde jokes.” The blonde, completely exasperated stomped her foot, pointed her finger at the dummy and shouted, “NO, I’m talking to YOU!!” – Debbie

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7 – August 25, 2014

Monk joins a monastery and takes a vow of silence. Every ten years he’s allowed to go to the Head Monk and say two words, which he does after ten years and says, “Food cold!” The Head Monk says, “OK, we’ll see what we can do about that.” The monk goes back to his worship for ten years in silence and his time comes again to go before the Head. When the Head asks for his two words, the monk says, “Bed hard!” The Head says, “OK, we’ll see what we can do” and the monk goes back to his devotion in silence.

Ten more years pass and it’s the monk’s opportunity for two words again. He goes to the Head and says, “I quit!” The Head Honk replies, “Well, I’m not surprised. You’ve been complaining ever since you got here.” – Marc Jaffe, Shaking With Laughter

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8 – September 17, 2014

“Where do Zombies go to buy their home accessories? Of course… Dead, Bath and Beyond.” – Dave Weiser, https://www.facebook.com/dweiser

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9 – October 14, 2014

“I’m adopted. And there are certain advantages to being adopted. Like, you can date relatives.” – Don Cooper, doncooper.wix.com/dccomedy

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10 – November 11, 2014

A man and his wife are at a restaurant, and the husband keeps staring at a drunken woman downing drinks at a nearby table. His wife asks, “Do you know her?” “Yeah,” sighs the husband. “She’s my ex-wife. She started drinking right after our divorce ten years ago and hasn’t been sober since.

“My God!” says his wife. “Who would think a person could go on celebrating that long?!” – Barbi B.

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Dave Schwensen has designed and instructs university courses in communications and presentation skills. He is an author, keynote speaker, trainer, consultant, nationally-recognized comedy coach, and CILC Pinnacle Award Winner for video conferences. For information about scheduling Dave’s interactive keynote and training seminars for your next event, visit www.TalkingForSuccess.com

For Dave’s author page on Amazon.com CLICK HERE.

Have a comment? Please use the link below – I’d love to hear from you.

Copyright 2015 – North Shore Publishing

Top Ten Networking Jokes for 2013

Thank you once again for allowing me to stay in touch with these newsletters. As you know my focus is on using communication skills enhanced with humor and creativity. But today I’ve decided to forgo the “enhanced” version and go right for the laughs.

It’s a good way to communicate.

I’ve gone through the Jokes of the Week submitted by newsletter readers in 2013 and came up with the funniest ten. Of course I always point out that sending in a joke submission is a networking opportunity because I’ll include a link for your business or event website. Some of the following yuck-ster’s forgot to do that or were promoting events that have already ended. Otherwise, when there’s a link please take a look to see what these funny people are up to.

Keep Laughing!! – Dave Schwensen

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You’re Talking – But Is Anyone Really Listening?

Top Ten Networking Jokes

1. The owner of a golf course in the south was confused about paying an invoice. So he decided to ask his secretary for some mathematical help. He called her into his office and said, “Y’all went to college and I need some help. If I was to give you $20,000 minus 14%, how much would you take off?”

The secretary thought for a moment and then replied, “Every-thang but my earrings.” – Terry Jones

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2. A woman is teaching her dog some basic tricks. She said, “Sit” and the dog sat.  She said, “Beg” and the dog put his paws up.  She said, ‘lie” and the dog said, “My!  You’re looking lovely today.” – Bob Simpson, LINK 

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3. A cowboy rides into town, stops at the local saloon, goes in and orders two “red eyes” goes outside and his horse has had its tail painted blue. The cowboy comes back into the saloon and says I’ll have two red eyes and I want to know who painted my horse blue. A fellow about six foot six , three axe handles across the shoulders in white overalls with blue pain on stands up and says “and who wants to know”.

The cowboy says, “I just wanted to let you know the first coat is dry. – Lou Harrison-Smith, LINK

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4. A long line at the bank. Three tellers working. Guy goes up to the middle teller, pulls out a gun and says, “This is a robbery. Put all the money in the bag and don’t say or do anything or I’ll shoot you.”

The teller complies and he looks to the right and there’s a woman standing there staring at him. “Did you see anything here?” he asks. “Yes, I…” BANG he shoots her.

He looks to his left and another woman is staring at him. “Did you just see anything here?” “Well, umm, yes, I…” BANG he shoots her.

He turns around and there is a man next in line and he asks him if he saw anything. He says, “No sir, I didn’t see anything… but my wife here…” – Marc Jaffe (founder of Shaking With Laughter fundraiser to fight Parkinson’s) LINK

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5. Coming into town I saw the flag at the Fire Station was at half mast.  I said to the lady ‘Somebody die?’   She said ‘Yeah, the guy pulling it all the way to the top.’ – Charlie Adams

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To schedule Dave as the speaker / trainer for your next event visit

www.TalkingForSuccess.com

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6. Hospital regulations require a wheel chair for patients being discharged. However, while working as a student nurse, I found one elderly gentleman already dressed and sitting on the bed with a suitcase at his feet, who insisted he didn’t need my help to leave the hospital.

After a chat about rules being rules, he reluctantly let me wheel him to the elevator. On the way down I asked him if his wife was meeting him.

‘I don’t know,’ he said. ‘She’s still upstairs in the bathroom changing out of her hospital gown.’ – Joanie

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7. “Why did the Little Mermaid wear seashells? Because D-shells were too big.” – Debbie the Flight Attendant

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8. Morris Schwartz is on his deathbed, knows the end is near, is with his nurse, his wife, his daughter and 2 sons. “So”, he says to them:

 ”Bernie, I want you to take the Beverly Hills houses.”

 ”Sybil, take the apartments over in Los Angeles Plaza.”

 ”Hymie, I want you to take the offices over in City Center.”

 ”Sarah, my dear wife, please take all the residential buildings downtown.”

The nurse is just blown away by all this, and as Morris slips away, she says , “Mrs. Schwartz, your husband must have been such a hard working man to have accumulated all this property”.

Sarah replies, “Property? … the schmuck has a paper route!” – Joel Schwartz, LINK

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9. A lady hires a plumber to come to her house and fix her sink. On the phone, she tells him that she won’t be home but she’ll leave a check for his services on the counter. Then she adds, “I have a pit bull and a parrot. Don’t worry – the pit bull is a good dog and will not bother you but whatever you do, don’t talk to the parrot!”

The plumber goes to the house and sure enough, he is able to get in and passes the pit bull without a problem. He begins his work only to hear the parrot begin to scream and screech, “Hey there, stupid! What are you doing, you big goof?! Who’s stupid and goofy, stupid and goofy, stupid and goofy!”

Finally the plumber can’t take it anymore and he turns around and faces the parrot and shouts, “That’s it Parrot! You’re doomed! Now I’m coming after you!”

The parrot looks a the dog and says, “Sick’em Angela.” – Sally Edwards, Author of Comedy MomLINK

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10. Two brothers are terrible trouble makers. They are always breaking things, stealing things, lying and making all kinds of general trouble. The parents have tried everything to get the boys to change, to no avail. Finally out of options, they ask their pastor if he can help. He says he will talk to the boys, but only one at a time.

The parents drop off the youngest and go home, promising to return to get him soon. The boy sits in a chair across from the pastor’s desk and they just look at each other. Finally the pastor says, “Where is God?”

The boy just sits there and doesn’t answer. The pastor begins to look stern and loudly says, “Where is God?”

The little boy shifts in his seat, but still doesn’t answer. The pastor is starting to get angry at the boy’s refusal to converse and practically shouts, “Where is God?!” To the pastor’s surprise, the little boy jumps out of his chair and runs out of the office.

The boy runs all the way home, up the stairs and into his brother’s room. He shuts the door and pants, “We’re in BIG TROUBLE. God’s missing and they think we did it!” – Rob Telecky (Comics For Kids Fundraiser – University Hospital, Cleveland)

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Dave Schwensen has designed and instructs university courses in communications and presentation skills. He is an author, keynote speaker, trainer, consultant, and nationally-recognized comedy coach. He is a CILC Pinnacle Award Winner for conferences on communication skills. For information about scheduling Dave’s interactive keynote or training seminars for your next event, visit www.TalkingForSuccess.com

For Dave’s author page on Amazon.com CLICK HERE.

Have a comment? Please use the link below or send an email to dave@davepresents.com – I’d love to hear from you.

Copyright 2014 – North Shore Publishing