Even if you didn’t like Joan Rivers and even if you thought her humor was in bad taste, you felt a loss when she died last week. Some said, “I feel like I lost a good friend.” Why? Joan Rivers was a genius at communicating. How? Keep reading.
1. “Can We Talk?”
River’s trademark question began many of her routines. She insulted all races, genders and creeds. But who did she make the most fun of? HERSELF. While I am not a fan of negating others, I tell my clients the best place to poke fun is yourself. That way you offend no one and you appear approachable. We want to keep talking to you because you are just another normal person trying to navigate life.
PRINCIPLE #1: Self deprecation. What stories can you tell on yourself? What happened to you that was horrible and is now hysterical?
2. “Who Are You Wearing?”
Rivers helped patent the pre-award shows commentary. With her raspy voice she queried the stars and, ok, slammed actors with snarky critiques. As with Principle #1 I do not recommend criticizing your clients and prospects! But step back and look at her career – Joan found her brand and remained consistent with her brand.
PRINCIPLE #2: Brand with consistency. What’s your brand? How do you convey your story, value proposition and ROI?
3. “Is This Gonna Be OK?”
Joan said, “You never relax and say, ‘Well, here I am!’ You always think, ‘is this gonna be OK?’ I have never taken anything for granted.” Underneath her bravado, fake face and bawdy humor reveals a smart, resilient, tenacious hard worker. She never stopped writing, testing and fine-tuning her work. In her documentary, Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work I vividly recall that she was the furthest opposite of a diva. Her desire was to work and to work often – whether that was in a fancy venue or a small hotel in a small town.
PRINCIPLE #3: Resilience. You can’t communicate effectively without the capacity to recover from difficulties. How can you take the challenges in your life and use them as lessons for your employees and family? Joan’s life is a tribute to overcoming adversity with her own brand of finesse.
You will be genius communicators, like Joan, if you learn the art of self deprecation, find your own brand, and face life’s ups and downs with resilience.
Karen Cortell Reisman, M.S., author of 3 books and President of Speak For Yourself®, works with organizations on how to communicate to make more money. It’s all in how you speak for yourself. Read more at www.SpeakForYourself.com/blog/