“Melancholy dripped from him as he walked.” Sadly I identified with that description of Abraham Lincoln when I heard it during a revealing documentary on his life. I don’t want to be low and I’m wondering if I’m wired that way or if I tripped on my wires adding a “d” to my personal evolution.
Last week in Dallas was our “Pre-Sales / Services” conference in preparation of a new release of our flagship product. The week was densely packed with content and socialization, and I had a presentation to deliver. Last. Yeah, I would be last person between my peers and their flights, wives, husbands, partners, children, cats and cute little puppies.
On Tuesday morning prior to my own flight, I was just beginning to think about my content, but moreso how I could entertain a restless bunch who’d been decked with Powerpoints for the better part of 30 hours over a three-day span. As I procrastinated with a Facebook update, it hit me.
Like pine nuts in pesto, I liberally sprinkled “anonymous” Facebook updates from conference attendees throughout my slides. Between bullets and graphs were “_____ is finally clearing out emails from August” and gems like “_____ needs the funk. Gotta have that funk” and “_____ is sitting at the bar with _____ and _____, and yes, we are working!” I ad-libbed commentary.
It worked. I heard many howls of laughter and applause, and I knew I had their full attention for the business content I was presenting.
Still, what I really got off on was making them laugh. I love that and it’s something I’ve been trying to do all my life… mostly successfully. Johnny Carson said, “If you get laughs, you’re a comedian.” I have a laugh.com interview with Woody Allen and one of his segments is titled, “Comedy and pain.” I think my drivers are pain and vain. Maybe if I make people laugh, they’ll like me… and the spotlight will be on me. I do like that white hot spotlight. In fact, given um, the fact “I” has been used 23 times so far in this post, some fair vanity is glaringly evident. That also explains this space. Anyway, back to me.
“How to fight loneliness?
Smile all the time”
Jeff Tweedy – “How to fight loneliness” – found on Wilco’s Summerteeth