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It seems the jury is out on this one, with opinion divided on whether or not it is okay to laugh at your own jokes. Maybe it’s just me (although I doubt it given the number of comedians and humorous speakers who also laugh at their own jokes), but I believe the aim of a […]

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Peter Fogel’s “How to Be a More Effective Public Speaker!”

Have you ever really sat down or studied what it takes to become and effective speaker? Well, to begin, you should first determine where you are in the speaking world.

Do you want to be a professional speaker who makes this your livelihood? Are you a weekend warrior who does this part-time to make a few bucks and sell some product?

Or are you a sales person or an executive who was asked to speak at a company meeting?

No matter what type of speaker you want to evolve into — you should determine what your dedication to the arts.

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Peter Fogel’s “How To Break Into The World of Sitcom Writing!”

Ever watch your favorite sitcom on television and think: “I can write that.” Better yet, ever watch a mediocre sitcom and yell back to the screen… “This is so bad… I KNOW I can write better than that.” Well, there’s a chance you might be able to.

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Peter Fogel’s “Ten Sure-Fire Themes to Effectively Use in Your Sitcom Spec Script!”

Want to write a sitcom spec script that’ll catch the eye of a producer or agent who will hopefully catapult your career? Stuck? One way to jump start your creativity is to investigate the different themes used in most sitcoms so you can come up with the most effective and enticing story to tell. Don’t reinvent the wheel…just improve upon it!
Failure to cope is my life (but that’s another story.) Our protagonist (star) has been thrown an unexpected curveball at work or at home, or is thrust into an awkward social situation. Example: He has to take care of somebody else’s children and he’s a bachelor(Frasier), or the character has been fired (Frasier). He’s been dumped by a woman (or has a tense situation at home with a relative. (You know where I’m going with this, don’t you?)

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Peter Fogel’s “Writing Jokes for Stand-Up Comics!”

If you’re self-motivated and have a “funny bone” you can explore a career writing jokes, or “gags” for stand-up comics. Like fuel that runs a car, new and fresh jokes are the sustenance that keeps comics and their careers flourishing. They can never get enough of them. But they have to be great jokes. No filler or “bombs” allowed here.

Not only do Rodney Dangerfield, Joan Rivers, and David Brenner write their own jokes – but they also purchase material from freelancers. They don’t want the public to know this-but they do.

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Peter Fogel’s “How To Make Your Audience and Material Fit Like A Glove So Your Speech is More Powerful & Effective!”

Ever hear the old adage, one size fits all? Well, it might work if you’re buying something off the rack at Macy’s with the hope that “I’ll take in the seam later at the tailors,” but it won’t cut it in the competitive world of public speaking.

If you want your content to enlighten and make a profound difference with your targeted audience, then you have to do your due diligence and make sure your material is focused on what is important to them. It all comes down to their wants, needs, and desires.

Not All Audiences Are Created Equal

And yes, I know you’re an authority in your field. And you know you’re an authority in your field… and even the event planner that hired you knows you’re a respected guru in your field. But YOUR audience doesn’t care.

All they’re worried about is how is your specific skills and background and the information you’re going to present to them is going to effect and improve THEIR personal life, THEIR business performance, or increase THEIR net worth.

Yes, this is indeed “the me” generation. Your audience has invested their time with you. The one thing employees loathe at work (and I am told this time and time again) is having to go to “another” meeting and having to listen to yet “another” speaker.

Your job Mr. Phelps (to quote from the program “Mission Impossible”) is to surprise your audience with your uncanny speaking prowess and content and make the last boring speaker the company brought in to speak to them at 8:30 am… a distant memory.

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Peter Fogel’s “Why It’s Important To Effectively Use Humor in Every Speech You Give!”

Yesterday on CSPAN I was watching retired elder statesman George McGovern giving a speech to college students on how the Bush Administration, (because of the Iraqi War) should make a concerted effort to mend fences with our allies, especially France. The talk was dry and monotonous and contained information we’ve all heard before from other democrats.

Mr. McGovern thought it was counter-productive that we were boycotting French products and that the Senate commissary had renamed French Fries as “Freedom Fries.” George, matter-of-factly looked at his audience and said, “What’s next? Do we ban French kissing? Well, the audience was completely caught off guard by the flippant remark and responded with LAUGHTER and APPLAUSE.

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Peter Fogel’s “Why It’s Not Always Such a Good Idea to Admire the Rich and Famous!”

As you might have read in the papers, or heard on the news, Eric Douglas, son of Kirk Douglas and brother to Michael, died a lone in his apartment last week.

And that’s the way the media always described Eric: Son of Kirk and brother to Michael. That was his legacy. Although having gotten to know Eric in the 90’s… he desperately wanted to be known as ‘his own man.”

Perhaps that was his problem—living in the shadow of two men who achieved unparalleled greatness through grit and hard work… and on their own terms.

You’d think being born into this family that Eric would have it easy. But it wasn’t. His whole life he’d been plagued by mental illness and substance abuse problems. (which is how he probably died)

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Peter Fogel’s “Three Types of Great Stories to Use That’ll Keep Your Audience Spellbound!”

The beleaguered carpenter ran his hand over the wood the way a horse trainer stokes the back of the thoroughbred that he is about to take out for a run. In happier times this artisan was in high demand. Of course, this was before “the accident” that shocked the town.

“No mistakes… not THIS time!” he chided himself. Not when you’ve had loan sharks bust your leg for not paying them on time.

So the carpenter gently picked up the bevel— like a mother lifts her child, and began to measure the straightness of the mahogany that he was about to sculpt. With hands shaking, he drew in a deep breath knowing…

Because of our DNA, audiences will always be transfixed by a “good” story. Powerful pulsating anecdotes transform us from adults into little kids sitting around a campfire where we’re hanging on every word… longing to know what’s coming next.

Like the carpenter and his bevel, a “compelling tale” is one of the tools of the trade that every speaker must use to keep the focus on their message and to deliver real value to their audience.

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Peter Fogel’s “Pssst! Here’s The Secret To Why We Laugh!”

I think we can all agree that humor is subjective. (And if you don’t agree your decision is still subjective, correct?)

What is funny to one person might be boring and insulting to the next. It all has to do with our background and experience.

What a twenty-two year old male college student might find amusing will undoubtedly be different than what a retired seventy five year old gynecologist from Dearborn, Michigan who lives in Florida will laugh at.

A retired gynecologist should guffaw at: medical procedures, cholesterol, coupons at early-bird dinners, prostate problems. (Although prostates can be a “touchy” subject—and I mean that literally and figuratively.)

A college student will relate to: trying to get sex, getting drunk, getting more dunk, passing out from alcohol… and then try getting more sex, again.

Although mention Viagra and the two will both probably laugh.

Naturally, you think,” But the doc was a twenty-five college student once, right? Yes, but that was during the Truman administration and when gas was a nickel a gallon.
People and their sensibilities change over time. I know mine has.

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