Ever notice how Swedes use humor to express important concepts?

by Ken Feltman

Have you noticed how often Swedes use humor to make a point? Twenty-some years ago, at a meeting of executives from Volvo’s North American headquarters with an advertising agency from New York City, one of the ad agency executives became tongue-tied while making a presentation.

He stumbled, clicked to the next slide, stuttered, tried to repeat himself, clicked to another slide, then another. He was confused, completely lost.

Then a Volvo executive who was visiting from Sweden rescued the befuddled American. “You and I share a common language. We speak “broken English.” Everyone laughed, including the ad man, who took a deep breath, found his place and completed his presentation with no further problems.

In the years since that uncomfortable moment, I have learned that many Swedes can inject humor into difficult situations. It’s second nature. They ease difficult moments and take away the stress without embarrassing someone.

If they could bottle this talent, every politician in the world would want a case. Here is another example of the Swedish sense of humor. Please enjoy it!

When I sent this YouTube video to CEO’s and CFO’s of companies across the world, I got so many positive comments that I was, frankly, surprised. Busy corporate officers took time to watch this video. I owe that response to Hans Rosling, whose humor matches his video’s content.

I especially like the part that begins at about 17:01 and goes to about 17:43.

What’s your favorite part?

About Radnor Reports

Ken Feltman is past-president of the International Association of Political Consultants and the American League of Lobbyists. He is retired chairman of Radnor Inc., an international political consulting and government relations firm in Washington, D.C. Know as a coalition builder, he has participated in election campaigns and legislative efforts in the United States and several other countries.
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