Humor is important in communication. Knowing how to use humor opens doors that no other skill can get through, BUT humor badly done is also worse than any other communication skill when it’s botched, so it’s awfully important to your ethos as a speaker to manage your humor well and mine all of its potential.
During our Regional Championship tournament, I had a conversation with a student who said the most honest thing I’ve heard in a long while. I initiated the conversation because I work Communications at the tournaments and I could see the student was tense, frustrated, distressed even. When I asked about it, I got the usual response, “My speeches have gone so badly. I really wanted to do well so I could get to Nationals.” There is not a good response for this. I know all the correct things to say: Nationals isn’t the goal. You’ve grown so much. The trophies will fade. None of that matters in the moment of disappointment, so I said nothing and gave the student a hug. That was when it got real. Coming off that hug, the student said this:
“I want to be part of the friend group that goes to Nationals, and I’m not going to be… again.”Continue reading “A Challenge for those who attended Nationals…”