Incorporating humor in your training sessions can do much more than get a few laughs. Humor can play a huge role in learning, helping your audience focus on and retain the information at hand. Humor is also well-known for reducing anxiety, increasing participation, and boosting motivation. You don’t have to be a comedian to make it work, either.
The most effective humor in training doesn’t come from telling a series of endless jokes. It comes from giving your audience something they can relate to, or a common ground that helps them better grasp the topic, and increases retention rates.
Starting off each session on a positive high note sets the stage for the fun to come. Try weaving a humorous comment about the topic into your intro, mentioning the most important thing is to have fun while learning.
If your projector fails, the internet presentation crashes, or you mess up a definition during the training, diffuse the tension with a witty comeback. For device failure, you could say something like, “Evidently someone or something doesn’t want you to see this.” Fix a presentation faux pas by noting, “Now that I’ve given you the wrong answer, shall I try for the right one?”
You can get the crowd laughing by adding a dash of humor to seemingly ordinary activities, like forming small groups or choosing a group leader. First ask each group for a volunteer, but tell them they won’t know what they’re volunteering for just yet. Then tell them they volunteered to pick the leader for their group.
The humor you use doesn’t have to be 100% original. Keep an eye out for funny quotes, comics, anecdotes, or stories to help you cover your topic or make a point. Emphasize things by referencing humorous movies, TV shows, or advertisements with which your audience would be familiar. Read or watch clips of comedians. Check out daily joke emails or websites.
Training with humor not only brings benefits to the training sessions, but it can create a ripple effect throughout the entire workplace. Workers are apt to leave a training session feeling positive and uplifted, ready to put what they’ve learned into practical use. Not only have you achieved the goal of the training session by teaching employees new concepts or skills, but you’ve infused enthusiasm into the participants.
Uplifted, enthusiastic workers are always going to perform better than those that are dragging their feet. They’ll likewise enjoy higher levels of satisfaction with their jobs as well as with your company.
Humor is a universal and sustainable source of healing, entertainment, and inspiration. It releases negativity, prevents boredom, builds community, lowers our defenses, and alleviates stress. Incorporate it into your training and your workers can enjoy all those perks, along with the added bonus of more easily retaining everything they’ve learned.