Home » The Power of Honesty, Humility & Humor: Steve Shenbaum (Transcript)

The Power of Honesty, Humility & Humor: Steve Shenbaum (Transcript)

Steve Shenbaum at TEDxSarasota

Full text of former actor Steve Shenbaum’s talk: The Power of Honesty, Humility & Humor at TEDxSarasota conference.

Best quote from this talk:

Where there is fear, there is no faith! But where there is faith, there cannot exist fear.

Listen to the MP3 Audio here:


Steve Shenbaum – Former actor

I believe with all of my heart that we are all presenters. Some of us are presenters here at TEDx Sarasota.

Some of us are presenting in a business meeting, where that presentation, your story is going to get you from here to here and that company from here to here.

  • You may be presenting as a high school English teacher and those kids are leaning on every word you say.
  • You may be presenting at your first job interview and you’re going to get from here to here.
  • You may be presenting as a volunteer soccer coach for ten-year-old girls, they don’t know the rules. You do. They lean on your words.
  • You may be presenting on a first date where the stakes are high and the anxiety is high. You may be presenting on bended knee asking that first date to spend the rest of their lives with you. Don’t do that on the first date!

And there are ingredients that make our presentation; all of ours, our story resonate. Honesty, Humility and Humor… in that order.


Honesty is not, ‘Hey man, you lost your wallet. That’s a cool deed, but that’s expected.’ Honesty is about all of us being able to get up with our voice, the voice that was gifted to us and be accessible and vulnerable enough to be here.


Humility is not the astronaut, who says, ‘I do a little travelling.’

‘No dude, you went to the moon man!’ You went to the moon and that’s awesome.

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Humility is about taking that ego and that pride and those endorphins that do come in when you’re presenting and keeping them at bay. Because it’s not about you, it’s about serving.


Humor is about laughing with, not laughing at. No one wakes up in the morning and says, ‘I cannot wait to be made fun of.’

And right now at this moment I want to invite laughter in the room. It’s been here before and I’m going to invite it right back. It’s been here this morning. So is honesty, humility and humor.

When you find something that moves you and you want to laugh with, not at. With honesty, humility and humor, you can serve your story. And I use the word ‘serve’ specifically knowing that it has two meanings:

  •  to serve to support your story, and
  • to serve to deliver your story

You can tell people what to do and you could tell people your story. I’ve heard it. I’ve heard it from coaches when I was a kid, ‘Let me tell you a story. Everyone good in here. You’re doing good? All right!’ No, we’re not good; I don’t dig that. ‘Let me tell you a story.’ I don’t want your story. I’m ten.

You can show people your story. We’re doing it right now on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and Pinterest. And I’m sure we created something out there in the wonder zone that I don’t even know about.

But we are showing our story.

But I challenge every one of us to use our story to move people. That’s what we’re starving for – to move. And we’ve done it this morning, through music and through silence, through laughter and through imagery. But let’s move.

Let’s put honesty and humility to the test.

I’m going to do something; I’m going to say it’s risky. But if you follow these ingredients it will be a really cool experience. I’m going to bring someone up and we’re going to put this to the test.

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Steve Shenbaum: Sir, I’ve never met you. I promise you I will make you look like a hero! I know you didn’t show up, thinking, I can’t wait to be on stage. Can I work with you up here for about four minutes? Is that okay?’ Awesome, dude! Give him a hand. Oh come up here. What’s your name?

Joe: Joe

Steve Shenbaum: Joe, going to walk this way, because you’re going to be on mic. You’re going to come this way. So we’re both at the same volume. So Joe… Give Joe a hand! That’s a big deal. Joe, the mic’s right there.

The first step is buy-in.

So Joe, if you could just clip that to your button there and that you could just put the other one, the other part. Yes, there you go. Awesome, put that in your pocket.

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