Tim Washer. Keynote Speaker + Event Emcee
  • "Meet the Actor" w/ VEEP's Tony Hale

  • James Corden @ IBM Think 2019

Podcast: Using Humor to Connect with Customers

Carlos Hidalgo and I had a fun chat about connecting with B2B customers through empathy and humor. Or at least that’s what we were supposed to be talking about.

We veered off-course a bit in discussing a war story from my IBM days, when I first used a comedy video as a sales enablement tool for the mainframe salesforce, cira 2004. I called the project, “the funniest mainframe video ever produced.” My manager called it “a fireable offense.”

It was one of those moments that I was absolutely certain would get me fired. I had a lot of those at IBM. Thankfully, my bff and director/editor of the video, Scott Teems, talked me off of the ledge. He’s done that so many times. And thanks to Scott’s encouragement and genius talent, the video launched a new career for me.

Career tip: Find a friend who will push you to explore fields outside of your comfort zone, especially the ones that scare the heck out of you.

Del Close, the father of long form improv, preached, “Follow the fear.” He taught improvisers that when ideas for possible responses to their partner would pop into their head during a scene, they had an obligation to choose the one that scared them the most. Close posited that the reason for the fear was because that specific idea was a new frontier to them that they had yet to explore, and therefore, it would bring the richest creativity. It took me several years of performing improv at Upright Citizens Brigade theater before I became mildly comfortable with this principle, but now it’s how I make all major life decisions.

I hope you’ll tune in to this podcast. Carlos and I chat about how to apply some of these improv rules to the wonderful world of B2B marketing, including an example we produced together for a data governance company.

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