Opening your presentation with a bit of humor is always a good way to connect with your audience. It’s also a great way to introduce your key message and make it memorable. One speaker, who wanted to inspire his audience to think creatively about solving problems, opened his speech with this humorous story his father told him.
His father had grown up in Minnesota and was used to hearing stories about farmers who had found some creative ways to stay in business during the depression. One of his favorite stories was about Albert Brake who ran a large farm and was picked up by Federal agents and jailed for making moonshine. The agents suspected he still had a lot of moonshine on his property so they kept a close watch on the mail he sent and received at the jail.
Sure enough, in Albert Brake’s first letter to his son he scribbled a cryptic note at the bottom of the page, “The you-know-what is buried in the field behind the barn.” Soon afterwards the federal agents were out at the farm turning up the whole west field and found nothing.
Then a month later, Albert Brake sent his son another letter saying, “I must be getting old and forgetful. The you-know-what isn’t behind the barn it’s next to the creek.” Within hours the federal agents were out at the farm and turned up the whole south field and again found nothing.
The lead agent grumbled about all the work with no results until he read Albert Brake’s third letter. “Son, it seems I just can’t remember where I put the you-know-what, but now that the feds have done our spring plowing for us, why don’t you go ahead and plant the field.
Now that’s a creative solution to a problem – and how this speaker made his point with humor.