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Does this speech make my butt look big?

by | Jun 21, 2022 | 6 comments

Karen keynotes in Portland, Oregon

Communication and Humor Rules

Loved my outfit I wore last week when I gave my Einstein keynote in Portland… until I saw the side profile pics. You tell me… better yet, don’t tell me.

At another recent communication presentation I was asked, “What’re your tips on using humor?” Read on.

Why using humor is a good thing

  • A lesson taught with humor is a lesson retained.
  • Humor reduces tension and increases retention.
  • Everyone wants/needs to laugh.

Humor Do Not’s

Don’t use jokes. You will alienate someone. Jokes poke fun at a social group, a political party, a gender, a college, a religion… Not good.

Don’t use funny quips or cartoons you find online. First – the copyright issues. Second – NOT original. If you see this online then so did 10,000 others.

🙄 🙄 🙄

Humor Do’s

Your safest bet is to use material about yourself. Keep a log of your own crazy mishaps. Then figure out how to fold your own stories into material that can be relevant to your audience.

Humor Formula

Humor = Tragedy + Time

What are you crying about today… that you will laugh about tomorrow? (Well, maybe not the very next day… but with the buffer of time.)

EX: I cried after I found out that I would need a bunch of chemo due to a breast cancer  diagnosis 10 years ago. … Time went by. … Then I told my husband, “Jimmy – I’d always thought I’d sleep with someone bald, I just didn’t think it would be me.”

😬 😬 😬

 Your Humor Challenge

  • Observe with purpose.
  • Find the funny stuff around you. Write it down. Keep a log.
  • Use these personal stories to support your content.

Ok – the pics from my Portland, Oregon keynote. I don’t think my butt looks big, but do I look fat? Don’t answer that question – it’s a lose – lose proposition.

Author: Karen Cortell Reisman is Founder of Speak For Yourself®, a communication consulting firm, and the author of 2 books on how to communicate. She lives in Dallas, Texas and just discovered that the spell checker on her Word software has been somehow reset for Brazil and it wants to change the spelling of this entire blog. You cannot make this stuff up! And it’s going to get used somewhere in Karen’s workshop tomorrow for a new client. 

PS: Thank you to Linda Cohen, my friend & colleague, for attending my presentation in Portland, OR and taking these photos!

© 2022 Karen Cortell Reisman, All rights reserved


  1. Shawn Peers

    I am going to answer that question. You looked great and your presentation was so compelling. Thanks for joining us in Portland!

    • Karen Cortell Reisman

      Hey Shawn – thanks for your comment!! It was great to hear you speak as well. Congrats on winning the Speaker Spotlight competition. Karen

  2. Kay Hickey

    Hi Karen,
    There is no way you could ever look fat! Loved your presentation in Portland.
    Thank you for the great tips s on using humor in our presentations. I appreciate you adding me to your blog!
    Best wishes,
    Kay Hickey

    • Karen Cortell Reisman

      Thank you Kay!! So glad you enjoyed my blog… it’s true – the safest humor is when we can laugh at ourselves. Karen

  3. Pat Rosenthal


    You do NOT look fat! You look great, as always. Your jacket is swinging open, and the angle of the photo creates a larger profile, but anyone can tell there’s not a fat body in there.

    • Karen Cortell Reisman

      Thank you Pat!! Hope you enjoyed my blog… it’s true – the safest humor is when we can laugh at ourselves. Karen

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