The people in our health care industry are WONDERFUL! Last week I presented yet another humor keynote for a health care group, and they were fantastic! Not just because they laughed at my jokes, but because they do a job that I would NEVER have the patience to do; and so many of them do it with humor. A lot of attendees came up to me later to tell me how they use humor in their jobs and in their personal lives. I’m glad these are the people in charge of our future health needs (yes, some of these people were home health people), because I don’t know if I would be so bright and chipper if I had to deal with the mountains of paperwork and constantly changing rules and deadlines.

And it also goes to show that just about any topic can be ripe for humor. If people who work in nursing homes and assisted living and home health can find the funny, then you can find humor on whatever subject you’re trying to find humor on.

I connected with these people by learning something about them. Many of them came up after me and said how they were thrilled because I took some time to know their industry. Two woman said that they recently heard a speaker who kept calling them “nurses” and these people are not nurses!

So how did I use humor to connect with these health care people even though I’m not in their industry? No, I didn’t joke about the people they are taking care of. The obvious things that are funny, when we talk about the elderly (dementia, bodily functions, etc), can be kind of cruel, so I stayed away. Instead I did my homework. Here’s 3 ways you can research a group quickly to find things to connect on:
1. I asked them what were their headaches and challenges. Those of us on the outside may think that changing bedpans in a nursing home is the worst headache, but after speaking with these people, it turns out rules and regulations trump bedpans! So ask them what frustrates them the most and you may find something quite different.

2. I spoke their language – ICD-10, and RAC resonated with this group, and so I was able to have fun with those topics. They have their own health care language that you can find out and then plug in and have some fun with. Learn the hot buzzwords and what they mean.

3. I made the funny examples pertinent to them. It takes a little extra effort, but it hits big when I changed the examples out to things that they related to. Sure I had to spend some time coming up with funny things, but I can now use those examples the next time I speak to a similar health care group.

Aside from hitting a home run with the group I’m speaking to because I tailored my material to them, I also got the added bonus of making my keynote more interesting to ME! Jumping onstage saying the same thing over and over and over gets old if you don’t add in some new material. . .and customizing the keynote is a great way to keep it fresh to myself.