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No laughing matter

Normally in the aftermath of disasters it is not long before jokes start doing the rounds.

Graham Davies

Before September 11, only the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, had been off-limits, with even the most hardened cynics struggling to find humour in that story, although even then the lull was short-lived. Gags about the terrorist attacks on the US have also proved to be out of bounds.

This has not prevented one Graham Davies from promoting his own expertise on this touchy subject. Davies, who calls himself Britain's top corporate speaker, warns against managers telling off-colour jokes at conferences. "It's definitely not the time for amateurs to take centre stage," he says. "That would be presentational suicide."

Davies prides himself on making audiences "sit up, laugh and think". He says jokes now have to be chosen with the utmost care.

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