This is such a critical element of my delivery, and to be honest, the trick to opening up my group.
Observe the crazy, menial little things people do, and serve it back to them in a manner that says “have you ever noticed this?” Of course, they have, they just don’t want to admit it.
For example, the insistence some people have for tagging their opponent after you have stopped the game, or the understated crawling on knees when a simple pivot in place was called for.
Or, at a more serious level, the subtle glance over the shoulder to check that your spotters really are there behind you to catch your fall, even though the command “ready, fall away” was given.
What about the way we (notice, I’m using the royal “we” here, so as to not draw attention to myself) divert our eyes and attention away from someone we have met, learned their name, but now that they are coming our way, can not for all the rice in China remember it?
I could go on and on….
Suffice to say, people LOVE this stuff – it was the essence of the TV show ‘Seinfeld.’ Our classrooms and training programs are made up of so much normalness, perhaps nothingness, it can be hilarious to sit back and look at it for what it really is at times.
Of course, how you deliver these moments is key – what could appear to some as a diamond in the rough, may just be a rock to others. Focus your humour so that you encourage your group to laugh with rather than at others.
Oh, and inject tons of FUNN too – it will act as a magnet for many more moments of people simply celebrating being human.