The First Lady of Humor

Posted By on July 17, 2014

Speaking for impact is a skill and each of us has, at our disposal, one or more natural Speaking Strengths we can hone to improve our impact. One of these is Humor. Watch this video for a charming example of the Speaking Strength® of humor. Note: you will need to be patient. This speaker – who is giving a prayer at a senior care network convention – starts a bit slowly (lulls you with her deadpan delivery) but just over a minute into her speech, she’ll have you smiling.

Speaking Strength™ Humor

Isn’t Mary charming? Mary Maxwell is a retired vice president of a financial company who has become known as Omaha, Nebraska’s first lady of humor. That particular speech has been viewed over 10 million times on YouTube. In a web interview regarding her frequent speaking engagements and her jokes about growing older, Maxwell says she’s lucky enough to have family, friends and coworkers who are “a lot funnier and brighter than I am and don’t mind me using their wonderful stories when I am speaking.”

Maxwell’s deadpan delivery and comedic timing are her particular gifts. But anyone can add a bit of humor to their speaking, if they keep it authentic. Connections with the audience are deepened through stories. As you tell a story, if there is something humorous involved, give it wing.

Speaking for impact is not an accident. It’s a skill. We would love to hear how you have used the speaking strength of humor to make an impact.  If you’d like help to cultivate humor as one of your Speaking Strengths, contact me at


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