J.D. Meier's Blog

Software Engineering, Project Management, and Effectiveness

A Little Laughter Goes a Long Way

A Little Laughter Goes a Long Way

  • Comments 2

I learned that in life, one of the best ways to roll with the punches is to look at the funny side of things.  Many thanks to Dilbert, The Far Side, and Calvin and Hobbes for adding fuel to that fire and giving me lots to work with.  Work also goes a whole lot smoother when you can find a way for it to amuse you (and you always can, if you decide to.)  Humor is a key way to stay curious, light-hearted, and avoid falling into the bitterness trap.

I’ve baked comedy into my life in various ways.  For example, I regularly go to comedy clubs.  You can learn a lot from comedians about timing, how to work a room, and how to be comfortable in your own skin.  You can also learn how to shift your perspective from a serious tone, to the lighter side of life, or at least the zany side.

One of my favorite comedians is Craig Shoemaker.  He’s a real pro and he’s funny in multiple ways, from his skits to his impressions.  I’m honored to have a guest post from Craig on 10 Lessons Learned in Comedy.

Enjoy.

  • As the author of How To Work a Room® and a fan of comedy clubs,comedians and humor, I find that most comedians are adept at "working" an audience from the stage. "WORKING" a room of people, without a stage, is a different story.

    Both skills serve to make us approachable, engaging and connected, whether to audiences or friends/colleagues/family.

    My secret comedy crush...watching Futurama on Comedy Central and laughing out loud...a lot!

  • @ Susan -- I think that's an effective distinction.

    I think the key patterns I see are:

    •  great opening lines ... and often a story, with a surprise or hook
    • adding the personal touch, such as using names
    • metaphors that convey a lot with so little
    • connecting at the values
    • knowing the pains and the gains ... being "with it"
    • focusing on rapport before influence
    • confidence and a smile ... or faking it, till they make it ;)
    • reading the room ... and having empathy with the audience

    Your secret comedy crush is out now, but I won't tell anyone.  Mine is Two and a Half Men.

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