Programs & Presentations

From my first speech to now

The very first speech I gave in public was for a Public Speaking course my sophomore year in college. The assignment was to introduce ourselves by comparing campus culture with the cultures from our hometown. As with most students on their first speech, I shivered with apprehension. The second the words came out of my mouth, my face flushed red. My eyes glossed over and filled with nervous tears. And then, after presenting only my thesis statement, I farted.

Speaking is a craft that develops over time and I’m proud to say my ole fart-during-a-speech days are behind me. Unbeknownst to me at the time, that first speech would foreshadow my future as an educator, as a speaker, and as a facilitator. In that first speech, I compared and clashed different cultures together to better understand myself. While extremely embarrassing, passing gas in public allowed me to laugh with the audience at my own shortcomings.  It eased all tension in the room and I learned the importance of humor. As the famous communication scholar, Kenneth Burke, claims:

“The progress of human enlightenment can go no further than in picturing people not as vicious, but as mistaken. When you add that people are necessarily mistaken, that all people are exposed to situations in which they must act as fools, that every insight contains its own special kind of blindness, you complete the comic circle, returning again to the lesson of humility that underlies great tragedy.”

(Attitudes Towards History, 41, emphasis mine)

Yes, perhaps passing gas in a presentation is tragically humbling, but laughing at my foolish behavior with my audience showed us something important. That day in class so many years ago, I discussed cultural diversity, and at the same time, through my own folly, educated the class and myself on the importance of humor.

Diversity. Education. Humor. Fast forward to today, and guess what?! My speeches still continue to center on these three important topics.

See below for a list of speech topics and recent presentations.

2018 AATH Conference Presentation

Teaching Funny: How to add Humor in the Classroom

2018 AATH Conference, San Diego, California

“Teaching Funny” Keynote Address (Association of Applied and Therapeutic Humor Conference) April 2019. Chicago, IL

“Humor That Works: The Missing Skill for Better Results and More Fun” (First International Bank) March 2019. Bismark, ND

“The Rhetoric of Humor: The Missing Proof of Humos” (Universidade NOVA de Lisboa) March 2019. Lisbon, Portugal

“Becoming Culturally Competent: Leadership Skills for ATC” (Aggie Howdy Camp) November 2018. College Station, TX

“Giving Confident Speeches: ALPHA Tips for Improving Your Presentations” (Association of Latino Professionals for America) October 2018. College Station, TX

“Becoming Yellow: Inclusion & Diversity with ATC” (Aggie Transition Camp Staff) June 2018. College Station, TX

“Teaching Funny: How to add Humor in the Classroom” 10-Minute Speech Game Show (Association of Applied and Therapeutic Humor Conference) April 2018. San Diego, CA

“Tilting at Windmills: Intercultural Humor and Leadership (Rotoract Club) October 2017. College Station, TX

“Humor That Works: Gorilla GOALS and Professional Communication” (The Gorilla Glue & O’Keeffee’s Company) June, 2017. Cincinnati, OH

“Leading through Cultural Adaptation” (Aggie Recruitment Committee) April 2017. College Station, TX