Can you tell a joke? I can’t. I can’t even remember them. It’s bad! Ask my family and they’ll all totally agree.
A few years ago I was involved in Toastmasters. An incredible organization if you are interested in strengthening your communication and leadership skills. I had been an diligent member for years and had gained my Competent Communicator certificate and was working through specific Advanced Communication skills.
One of the manuals I had to work through was Humorously Speaking. That in itself was humorous to me. I can come across as humorous when I’m telling a story just because crazy things always seem to happen to me, but to be humorous on purpose – YIKES!!
I had worked my way through the manual and keep putting off one of the projects, which was to incorporate a joke into my speech. I balked. I squirmed. I procrastinated. I DID NOT WANT TO DO THIS!
I’m not a joke teller. I can’t remember jokes.
Well, the time came. It was the only project I had left to do. I fretted over this speech only because I had to tell this ONE joke. I memorized and memorized. I practiced and practiced and practiced. Then the day came . . .
I was so sick to my stomach when I took the platform. I was more than prepared, but it just didn’t seem like me. I’M NOT A JOKE TELLER!
I was booking it through my speech and got the joke. I plowed right through it. Remember I had practiced and practiced!!! I got to the punch line and BAM the punch line was GONE!!! I wanted to crawl under the stage, find the backdoor and RUN!
Now by the grace of God, I had decided to speak on being yourself and not trying to be a copy of something or someone you are not. As I bumbled around, there was no hiding the fact that I had totally forgotten the punch line — so I didn’t skip a beat and just said “I’m not a joke teller so therefore it would make no sense for me to try to communicate in jokes because it doesn’t fit who I am — I, Alene, forget punch lines all the time!”
It was a save, but I was still embarrassed! I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt today, I’m not a joke-teller. That’s not who I am — I’m just simple me with a little humor thrown in on the side!