The business skill you can learn at a comedy workshop

A few steps to reach the microphone, a split-second spin to face the audience, and the adrenaline jolts the brain into rapid speech. Whether it’s on stage, at a conference or in an office meeting, some people love that initial chemical surge. Most, however, find it daunting. Research has shown that three quarters of people suffer from glossophobia, or the fear of public speaking.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health it affects 74% of Americans ‒ far more than those who are afraid of death, spiders, darkness, heights or flying. Nor is it gender specific: National Institute data reveals that 73% of men and 75% of women are affected. That sudden dryness of the mouth, a shortness of breath, even a slight sweat ‒ all brought on by the need to talk in front of an audience ‒ is something most of us can relate to.

Of course there are several training and relaxation techniques you could try. But there’s also a fun way: stand-up comedy.

Telling a joke has serious benefits

It may seem odd to learn to tell jokes so that you sound good when presenting the annual results, but what was once considered a lowbrow art or an act of rebellion has become an increasingly popular tool for companies looking to improve Libertine March 2014 covertheir managers’ presentation skills…

Continue reading on Libertine. Published on Libertine magazine, March 2014.

Photo: “Charles Dickens as he appears when reading.” Wood engraving from a sketch by Charles A. Barry (1830-1892). Illustration in Harper’s Weekly, v. 11, no. 571, 7 December 1867, p. 777. Image available from the United States Library of Congress‘s Prints and Photographs division via Wikimedia Commons.