There is a “You” in Humor by Paula Baines, CC. VP Membership and Public Relations

There is a “You” in Humor

Creating an engaging presentation takes heart, openness, and humor; Bob Thaw, author and presenter had all three. Thaw kicked off Saturday, May 16 morning session at the District 45 Toastmasters Spring 2015 Conference at the Radisson hotel in downtown Manchester, New Hampshire.

As Bob Thaw came out on the stage platform, he said he was going to get “naked”, he proceeded to remove his suit jacket. Gasps and chuckles rippled through the crowd.  He did not really strip off his clothes, yet he stated he gets that reaction regularly. A statement such as his, surprises people and wakes them up; they become alert and pay attention. He also said he often goes “naked” technology wise. He often does not use a slide presentation as it can detract from what he is saying.

How do you engage others asked Bob Thaw, presenter. Think about it. In what way can you as a speaker engage others? Smile. Smiling puts people at ease stated Thaw. Sharing something about yourself, sharing your story. He shared his story that he was abused a child. So now he donates his services to shelters. Find ways for others to relate to you.

People can get nervous with anticipation. Some more nervous than others, they want to know what to expect from a speaker. Individuals seek calmness in the unknown, anxiety can show up. Thaw pointed out the importance of calming the “caveman.” Bob tossed little action figures out into the audience, as individuals answered his questions. Thaw was funny. Funny is subjective. Many in the audience were pulled in by his quips.

Using humor is a way to reach out and engage an audience. Humor is subjective, stated Bob Thaw, a positive change consultant and presenter. Adding, being humorous is about exploring your sense of wonder, playing, and fun. It is key to observe the world. Tell your stories, mine your life for subject for speeches and presentations. Surprise yourself.

There is a “you” in humor stated Thaw. Humor has power. Exercise your funny muscle.  Observe life, draw from life. Take an improve comedy class. Take part in the table topics portion of the Toastmasters meeting. Compete in contests. Competing is challenging, fun, and educational.

I had the opportunity later in the day to purchase Bob Thaw’s book, Energize: Ignite Passion and Performance with User Friendly Brain Tools and get his autograph.

I love this quote that Bob used at the front of his book-

“The problem, often not discovered late in life, is that when you look for things like love, meaning, motivation, it implies they are sitting behind a tree or under a rock. The most successful people in life recognize, that in life they create their own love, they manufacture their own meaning, they generate their own motivation.” –Neil deGrasse Tyson, host of Nova.

According to Bob Thaw, positive change is more than a feel good concept. It is a process of transformation that uses decades of research to increase a person’s confidence, calm fears, energize a person, and motivate yourself and others.

Thaw works with organizations and businesses around the world to create a foundation for positive change. He is a teacher. He is a motivator.

“I’m incredibly passionate about positive change and its power to energize people,” As noted in Thaw’s book introduction.  Adding, “the tools and ideas taught in each chapter have helped me transform my life, and they’ve helped many others as well. “ (p. 16, introduction, Energize: Ignite Passion and Performance with User Friendly Brain Tools)

I have learned from life that positive energy and enthusiasm is needed to create habits. Through new habits, change is created.


Thaw, Bob. Energize: Ignite Passion and Performance with User Friendly Brain Tools. Aloha Second printing Copyright ©2013.



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