In this episode of 15 Minutes With Charlie, Charlie Mechem sits down with Nick Clooney, an American television personality, brother to singer and actress Rosemary Clooney, and father to actor and philanthropist George Clooney. Together they explore anecdotes from “Total Anecdotal: A Fun Guide to Help You Become a Better Speaker and Writer.”
Humor is the Centerpiece
Dead center of all communication must be our values, says Nick, a sense of humor is the single most important element to communication—it is the centerpiece. Without that centerpiece, you will miss out on a lot of what life has to offer you.
We don’t fear death, Nick jokes, we fear “making a jackass out of ourselves in front of an audience.”
I Can’t Die, I’m Booked
Nick takes on a quote from George Burns when asked how his health is, “I can’t die, I’m booked.” Charlie recalls something his older sister once said to him, “I could do things if I had anything to do.” Ultimately, age should not get in the way of doing things—especially the things you are passionate about.
Public Speaking and Brevity
Back when Nick was just learning to public speak, he attended an event at the Millersburg Military Institute and the speaker did not show up. So, the town doctor decided to take over the commencement address. Apparently he’d been waiting for this moment all of his life, Nick explains, as the man talked for more than forty-five minutes in the sweltering heat about the value of roughage in the diet.
It was a terrible moment for him, but he’ll never forget it and the lesson it taught him: keep it brief!
Fragile Language and Wild Turkeys
Language is so fragile, Nick explains, what means one thing to one generation means a totally different thing to another. He recalls interviewing Neil Armstrong and John Ruthven at Union Terminal, and asking John about transitioning from shooting birds to “shooting” them with photography. John said that getting a shot of a wild turkey was the hardest, to which Neil replied, “I had a shot of Wild Turkey an hour ago and it wasn’t hard at all.” Where John was referring to the wild bird, Neil was referring to the great bourbon. This goes to show just how flexible language truly is.
If you’d like to listen to more episodes of “15 Minutes With Charlie,” please visit the podcast page or search for “15 Minutes With Charlie” in your podcasting app. If you are enjoying the show you should check out “Total Anecdotal: A Fun Guide to Help You Become a Better Speaker and Writer.” Learn more on our book page, or find it available through Amazon or Barnes & Noble, and perhaps your local bookstore.