I’ve talked in a past blog

about kicking off your speech with a quick funny survey, so I think it would be great to go into more detail on this valuable method of connecting
with you group. In my humor keynote, Finding the Funny in Change, I talk about the importance of using surveys in changing the energy if, for example, you’re brought up in an uncomfortable situation. By using a survey, you can “get the big elephant out on the table” and say what is on everyone’s mind. But survey’s are also just a great way to have fun anyway.

Doing a quick survey connects you

immediately to your group and let’s them realize that you’re thinking what they’re thinking and that you’re experiencing what they’re experiencing. I tell the story of the
time I was brought out after the boss did a long-winded analogy between life
and the Super bowl (that had just played). It really brought the energy down in
the room, so I kicked it back up with a survey. . “how many people here hope
that next year during the Super Bowl, Bill (the boss) does like the rest of us
and just drinks a beer?” It got a good laugh, got out on the table what
everyone was thinking (geez that was boring) and changed the energy to fun.

When coming up with a quick survey,

look around you for survey material. . .the food – “hey, how many people are going to the gym tonight after eating that desert?” the slow service “who here thinks they
could’ve cooked the dinner faster?” the room decorations “these room
decorations are interesting. . .how many people here think Mrs. Johnson’s 3rd
grade class has been busy?” OR think outside the room and do a survey about their
industry. . . a lot of times I’m the ending keynote speaker of a multi-day
conference, and for health care groups, I can have some fun with things like
“after sitting here for 3 days how many people now know what a pressure ulcer
feels like?”

Surveys are good not only for

kicking off with humor, but for filler if you’ve got a problem with a powerpoint and need to stall. . .”how many people think powerpoint is the devil?” or have some other interruption.

So use surveys liberally. Come on, how many of you are gonna try a survey?