Add A Splash Of Humor To Your Biz

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When I was a kid, the first thing I grabbed out of the Sunday edition of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette was the “funnies”.  I started my morning off on a happy note by reading the comic strips.

Forget about the front page headlines – most of that stuff fell under the categories of boring, tragic, political, or I-really-don’t-give-a-hoot!

One thing I value a lot is a sense of humor and I think it’s because so few people have one!  And I consider it a wonderful asset.

I take humor very seriously.  There’s probably an oxymoron somewhere in that statement. 🙂

Humor will take you a long way in life in all of your relationships, even the relationships you have with your target audience.

But telling jokes isn’t what I’m talking about and it’s not a good idea.  You wouldn’t want to start off a teleseminar, for example, by saying, “Three men went into a bar.  One was a priest, one was a rabbi, …” and you know the rest of that joke.  Trust me, that won’t work, so don’t go there.

So how can you incorporate a splash of humor into your on-stage deliveries, email marketing campaigns, blog posts, teleseminars, podcasts, and internet radio shows?

LAUGH AT YOURSELF.  It works like a charm.

Let me give you an example of how I laugh at myself when I’m introducing myself to a new group of students in my childbirth education classes.  And please keep in mind that I teach a 2-hour class that starts at 7:00 PM.  And when you’re pregnant, 7:30 is bedtime!  So it’s not exactly easy to keep these people awake!

Here’s how my introduction goes …

“Good evening.  My name is Melanie and I’m a single mom with four daughters, including a set of twins.  What that really translates into is four weddings to pay for and a house full of PMS!”

That always gets a laugh and breaks the ice.  However, what I’ve just shared with them is the truth and it’s really not funny.

But it works because I’m laughing at myself.

Can you think of a way you could incorporate humor into your business and marketing strategies?

 

  • Hi Mel
    “There’s probably an oxymoron ”
    Get you! LOL

    “LAUGH AT YOURSELF. It works like a charm.”
    Seld deprecating humour is always a safe choice.
    You should be big enough to poke fun at yourself.

    An opening I’ve used a few times is…

    When I was a young man, I was very indecisive.
    But now… I’m not so sure.

    • “When I was a young man, I was very indecisive.
      But now… I’m not so sure.”

      LOL!!! You’ve definitely got this “humor” thing down pat, Keith. Of course, you’re a public speaking expert who teaches others how to do it right! 🙂

      I’m learning SO much from you over at http://easypublicspeaking.co.uk

      Thanks for swinging by!
      Mel

      • Hi Mel
        When people tell me that they are no good with humour I always say…

        “if you want to be funny, read funny things.”

        Read Rich Hall
        Read Dave Barry
        Read Tom Antion
        Read Woody Allen
        Read PG Wodehouse

        Read funny things and you’ll become funny.

        • Great piece of advice, Keith.

          My comedy hero is Erma Bombeck and I’ve read every one of her books. I only wish she was still around — she left this earth way too soon.

          Whenever the expectant moms and dads in my classes ask for book recommendations, I steer them away from the mundane, boring pregnancy and birth books. I suggest they read something lighthearted.

          For the dads-to-be, I always recommend a book entitled, “My Boys Can Swim”. LOL 🙂

          • Hi Mel
            Erma Bombeck.

            In his book “On writing well” William Zinsser says…

            “A humorist who deals with ordinary life never runs out of material, as Erma Bombeck enjoyably proved over many decades.”

            I’ve read her book “The grass is always greener Over the septic tank”
            Just found it covered in dust.

            In a piece about the joys of dieting she writes:

            “Ethel was on the Vinegar-Kelp diet. (She woried us. She kept drifting towards the ocean.)
            Wilma was enjoying maintenance on her Weight Watchers program.
            Before dinner was served, she ate the centrepiece (a candle and a plastic banana) and mumbled, Bless me Jean Nidetch for I have sinned.”

            Brilliant!

            BTW – I’m beginning to think that I read too much, I need to get out more often. LOL

          • Keep reading, Keith!

            “Getting out” is overrated. 🙂

            On my “Meet Melanie” page here on the blog, I’ve shared my three favorite quotes from Erma …

            “I take a very practical view of raising children. I put a sign in each of their rooms: “Checkout Time is 18 years.”

            “My kids always perceived the bathroom as a place where you wait it out until all the groceries are unloaded from the car.”

            “Onion rings in the car cushions do not improve with time.”

            Zinsser knows how to pick ’em! LOL

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  • Melanie,

    May I thank you for the following – your laughter has stimulated my good health, revived my tried brain cells and reminded me that feeling happy by laughing is more important than anything else.

    • It’s those wonderful endorphins, isn’t it Joyce? 🙂

      And I thank you for your unwavering inspiration, kindness, and much-appreciated support!

      Here’s how I feel about incorporating humor into your business and your life:

      “A keen sense of humor helps us to overlook the unbecoming, understand the unconventional, tolerate the unpleasant, overcome the unexpected, and outlast the unbearable”

      Hxxx,
      Melanie

  • Hey Lauren!

    You bring up an important point about humor. Both smiling and laughter cause or create the release of endorphins in our bodies — which are natural pain relievers and mood-lifters!

    I’m so happy you stopped by today,
    Melanie

  • Jane, you are a gal after my own heart!

    The very first comic I read first every Sunday was called, “The Urge to Kill”. It doesn’t sound funny, but I busted a gut every time I read it. It was about nasty bosses and unbearable neighbors, etc. — you know, the kinds of everyday matters we can all relate to.

    Great to meet another fun-loving lady! 🙂

    Melanie

  • Oh how true. Sometimes life can get way to serious. Or I can take life too seriously. Remember the old saw “Laughter is the best medicine.” I truely believe it is.

    • I sure do remember, Sheila! It was on the cover of “Reader’s Digest”.

      Not only can life get too serious — it can get too short, too! 🙂

      Appreciate the visit today,
      Melanie

  • Being funny is hard work, Martha, but gosh darn it! Somebody’s gotta do it! 🙂

    Not to worry. Your personality, pizazz, and southern wit come shining through your posts, even if you’ve created a list!

    Hugs,
    Melanie

  • I think the reason folks love humor is because it keeps things from becoming “too serious.” We seem to bond when we can connect in a humorous “human” way. A comedian uses “poking fun at ourselves” to connect with the audience and the audience with each other.

    A couple of weeks ago, my sis Sheila and I were in the driveway when a “door to door” sales person came up the walk. He was an African American… who was selling cleaning supplies. I don’t buy things from the door! My strict policy!

    With in seconds this guy had us laughing. He was cracking jokes about “black people” and “white people” that certainly were not politically correct. He had us in stitches the entire time he was demonstrating his product.

    Guess what… both of us purchased his product… with smiles on our faces. We not only purchased a great product… but we got great laughs in the bargain.

    Boy did that guy know how to work us….and I’m still laughing.

    • And that salesman is laughing, too, Kathy — all the way to the bank! 🙂

      What a wonderfully enjoyable true story! I think you should turn this into a blog post. His quick wit and interpersonal skills actually got you to bend and not hold steadfast to your “strict” policy of purchasing from the door!

      And it sounds like you and Sheila got your hands on a great product.

      Looking forward to reading more good stuff on your blog,
      Melanie

  • Melanie:

    You had me in stitches when you introduced yourself to your 7:00PM Childbirth education class. We have something in common the funny pages in the Sunday paper. That was the only item that I went for aside from the Travel section of the NY Times

  • Hi Melanie,

    Thanks for the great post! Humor has important healing qualities also that haven’t been fully explored. Awesome reminder 🙂

  • Melanie, You are one of the funniest ladies on the net! I so enjoy your posts. I wish I had read this before I wrote my last blog. It is one down-home boring list of tips. You just reminded me to add something funny. I’m still thinking. .. . .

  • RT @MelanieKissell: @JeanetteCates The Secret To Adding A Splash Of Humor To Your Biz http://www.melaniekissell.com/2010/06/ad… #blog30

  • You ARE a funny person even without that joke…LOL..you are terrific and funny as well as very engaging. This is terrific advice though. As with Erma Bombeck (did I spell that right) you should be able to find something in your surroundings to laugh at and get your point (post, presentation, speech, whatever) going and get the attention directed toward you. Being from New York, my humor is of a different type and so I often have to temper it based on the audience (we are a bit different there ya know…LOL).

    Thanks for a terrific post!

    Terrie

    • Well, I’m from the East Coast, Terrie, and I LOVE New Yorkers!! They’re a unique bunch and right off the cuff! 🙂 The same holds true of people from ‘Jersey’.

      So glad you mentioned Erma Bombeck — my hero!

      Hugs,
      Melanie

  • Thanks for this article. It’s quite timely as I was just thinking what boring posts I’ve made the last three times. Then I logged in to discover the latest one has been retweeted a ton! I was astonished.

    I like to give my posts a light touch, but a post about installing WordPress doesn’t lend itself to the giggles. Must be okay sometimes.

    Oh, I just thought of how I could have laughed at myself in that post. Ah well, next time! Thank you!

    • I think you have a marvelous sense of humor – one that I certainly appreciate, Karen!

      I enjoy the “light touch” you add to your posts. It shows you’re not fearful of letting some of your personality shine through your writing. I don’t know about you, but I want my readership to see me as I am (not naked, or anything like that) 🙂

      You’ve made a good point about the “giggle-less” posts when it comes to “how-to” instructions and tutorial-type posts. But if you reach down just a little deeper, I bet you can find some humor to add to those posts, too.

      Cry a little … and laugh a lot!
      Melanie