Strigberger's presentations use humour to get point across
By Tony Poland, Associate Editor
Humourist and author Marcel Strigberger has spent years perfecting his public speaking presentations and is looking forward to expanding his appearances in the coming year.
A retired lawyer, Strigberger is a humour writer, speaker and former stand-up comic who has written two books — Birth, Death and Other Trivialities: A Humorous Philosophical Look at the Human Condition and Poutine on the Orient Express: An Irreverent Look at Travel.
His public speaking engagements include audiences with judges and lawyers and his topics include travel, the joys of aging and using humour safely and easily.
“I'm not so much doing it for the money. That's not what this is about,” Strigberger says. “What I want to do with my life is have fun with humour, speaking to people about important subjects and entertaining them at the same time. It’s all from the heart.”
He says he has crafted some go-to presentations over the years that can be tailored to fit the needs of his audience with the emphasis on using a lighter touch to get his point across.
“I have a talk called Fighting your Fires, which is about avoiding trouble and defusing and preventing problems using humour and other strategies, not only in the legal world but the non-legal world as well. Anybody can use these lessons,” says Strigberger. “I've always had a great desire to resolve conflict.”
He says he found when he was working as a lawyer that it wasn’t necessary to “sabre rattle” or resort to confrontation to be effective.
“Don’t take yourself too seriously. I found people are receptive to a smile and some banter," Strigberger says. “You don’t have to come out with daggers in your eyes.”
He says he continually updates his presentations to keep them relevant, calling it work “that’s dear to my heart.”
Strigberger adds that he is fond of taking notable quotations and sprinkling them into his presentations.
“I live by them. For example, the one I really like is from Albert Einstein who said 'Intellectuals solve problems, geniuses prevent them,’” he says.
Then again Strigberger notes that not everything works all the time, so he will reference Al Capone, who said, “A smile goes a long way, but a smile and handgun go a lot further.”
“He’s not one of my heroes, but I like what he said,” he quips.
While Strigberger likes to use humour, he says he doesn't take the job lightly.
"When I do a speaking engagement I take it seriously,” says Strigberger. “I work hard at it and I earn my salt.”
In the coming months, he says he hopes to introduce more people to his brand of information and humour and is looking to branch out into new areas of public speaking.
“Certainly I want to expand this, and spread the messages joyfully,” says Strigberger.