Keep Your Sense of Humor in Training…You’ll Need It!


Not too long ago, I was asked to be a part of a very large health care conference as the closing speaker. They wanted something fun and inspirational and those who were planning this national event thought I was the right fit. It was truly an honor for me, especially when I saw the credentials of the other presenters on the slate. Wow! There were some pretty amazing people there. I wondered how I made the cut. I have to admit, I was feeling a bit intimidated. I’ve never seen so many letters after people’s names. A virtual alphabet soup! I didn’t even know what half of them stood for! I became concerned about “landing the plane” as the conference “closer.”  Maybe I should have made up some credentials just to fit in? You know…more letters! AZXR? R2D2? Something…Anything! But I figured that wouldn’t be ethical, so I abandoned my irrational thought and scrolled down the slick, impressive looking program, excited to see my name in lights either way… and there it was: John Furnell, BS

BS? What? Was this someone’s idea of a practical joke?  I have a Bachelor of Arts Degree and we “Artsy People” are very different from “Science People.” Doesn’t everybody know that?

That error has allowed me the opportunity to tell a funny story when I am now introduced to a crowd. Remember, telling a humorous tale is a highly effective way to connect with your audience. People need to laugh in our training events. Studies show that humor helps learners retain information better, particularly adult learners.

So don’t ever get so hung up on your credentials that you can’t find the humor in it all… even when it looks like BS!

John Furnell is the Founder and CEO of KeyPoint Training and Development. His professional experiences include employee recruiting, hiring and leadership development — training employees on topics ranging from customer service and communication skills to stress management and workplace culture.

KeyPoint Training and Development

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