Friday, October 12, 2012


You can have lots of fun with nicknames for people in the crowd -- as long as you absolutely know they are OK with being teased.

I was recently a guest speaker at Randy Gage's speaker's institute. Randy is well-known for being a snappy dresser and he has no trouble letting you know that his clothes are expensive and custom made in France, Italy, etc. I, on the other hand, dress plainly with nothing too fancy or overly expensive.

We ended up bantering back and forth on various points of professional level speaking and marketing and when one critical point of contention was coming to a head I said, "Now listen Armani boy." This brought down the house and became a running gag throughout the rest of the event.

At another event Lynn Rose the fabulous singer, opened up he convention right before I came on to speak. Late in my program, I played a recording of a parody song with me as the singer. Everyone loved it and I said, "Eat your heart out singer lady."

This doesn't sound very funny as you read it here, but I can assure you it was at the time. Why? Because she was obviously a top professional singer and I was a barely passable parody singer that couldn't hold a candle to her excellence, yet I was acting like I was a hot shot. Also, by using "singer lady" a nickname I gave her, instead of her name I was further portraying my false excellence and pretty much dissing her.

Note: For the above to work, I had to make it abundantly clear that I was teasing and not serious.

You can also tell about your own nicknames you had as a child or that you have now -- especially if they sound funny like "choo choo" or have a funny story about how you got the nickname.

Learn more high level speaking tips!