The workshops have also enabled Cody to identify star presenters among his staff. Those who demonstrate exceptional poise onstage are often tapped for key client meetings. Peppercom’s employees are often surprised by who the stars turn out to be. Indeed, in the latest workshop, Cortney Cleveland, an account manager, stands out from her peers, thanks to a routine about the trials of growing up as the stepdaughter of a Secret Service agent. She’s so polished that Fletcher struggles to give her a critique. “You have such an economy of language,” he says. “After five words, there’s a laugh. Six words, there’s a laugh. Three words, there’s a laugh.”
Then Fletcher turns to the rest of the group. “Is she known for being funny?” he asks. “No? Well, now she is.
Why Learning to Tell Jokes Is Good for Business