On a calm and seemingly monotonous Friday at echoVME, Mr. Chendil Kumar showed up looking polished; we hadn’t the slightest clue what he had in store for us, and for good reason!
After a rather impressive introduction, he disclosed to us the topic for our session
“Stand Up. Speak Up. Shut Up. The art of using humor in business communication.”
And thus began– as the title suggests, a discussion on the essence of humor and how to go about incorporating humor into our lifestyles.
He differentiated to us the types of humor:
- Wit – Clever/Hurtful
- Humor – Positive
- Unintended – Accidental humor/ Semantics
- Morbid – Dark humor
What followed were consecutive responses to the question why humor matters; some of which were
- It’s an icebreaker
- Gains attention
- Makes a message memorable
- Reduces stress
So, why then, if integrating humor– as prolific as it appears, not as widely accepted in a formal business environment?
Well, it boils down to:
Fear – Seeming unprofessional/ Taken for granted
Content – Uncertain of your content
Delivery – Even a hilarious joke may seem bland if you don’t deliver it right
Impact – Will people relate to it or remember it?
Post the how’s and why’s, Mr. Kumar told us about an American author named Christine Clifford who he happened to meet, and how she incorporated humor into her life and work after being diagnosed with cancer. He explained to us how necessary and uplifting, even, it was to take self-deprecating humor in stride.
At this point, all of us were awestruck by his entertaining analogies and stories involving quick-witted humor. The end of the session was gradual, covering tips on how to work with humor and use it to your advantage. Some of the key points were:
Write it down
A few things that he recommends are : restating a friend’s story when you run out of your own, or even a personal adaptation of a joke that may be trending. Another key pointer is to be accurate and make jokes that are relevant to the scenario which will naturally help you in producing an impact.
It also helps to include metaphors, puns, and analogies, whereas adding an element of surprise gives you more brownie points!
The most important key point however, is to BE YOURSELF. To discover the innate element of your personality, and experiment with it to find your own style of humor.
With that, Mr. CK came to a close on his engaging session filled with expertise and a ton of spur.