Does Adding Humor to a Meeting Increase Attentiveness?

Meetings happen all the time in the business world. Some are more productive and enjoyable, while others keep you on the edge of your seat—so you can be the first one out the door when it’s over. With attention spans decreasing to only last a few minutes, it’s important that you take the necessary steps to keep your audience engaged throughout your meeting.

A good meeting is made up of several components; an agenda, a skilled facilitator and a little bit of humor—yes, humor. Humor is often overlooked as an acceptable tactic to use in the workplace. Having a sense of humor is one of the top qualities a leader should possess, according to a Forbes article. A leader that can encourage his or her team to laugh at mistakes, crack jokes and find positive energy in their struggles will keep productivity and moral levels high.

If humor is such a strong leadership quality, why not integrate it into you meetings? Even if you have created a great presentation with interesting content, the short attention spans of your audience is bound to force some minds to begin wandering. Humor has a few advantages that can be helpful in a meeting setting:

  • Humor makes people feel more comfortable. Sometimes people are intimidated when faced with an important customer or a high ranking leader  from their company. Humor helps lighten the mood and eliminate the intimidation that some may feel. This allows them to open up and sometimes even create a great bond with their company’s leaders or prospective clients.
  • It helps individuals better retain information. People remember information when presented in a story telling fashion—especially comical stories. Storytelling is mentioned in our recent eBook that provides tricks and techniques to better your presentations.

  • It relieves tension. Depending on your position and the company you work for, you may have to deal with stressful situations regularly. When facing a tough situation, humor can help everyone relax, which will let them think more clearly. In the long run, all involved parties will be able to make better decisions and keep their blood pressure down.
  • Humor also helps with team building. When teams can laugh together, it creates a greater sense of community and adds to a fun corporate culture. Next time you’re stressing over hanging deadlines and a to-do list that keeps growing, take a break and laugh it off with your colleagues.

In your next meeting, try and let go, laugh a lot and don’t take yourself too seriously. Remember, you can still have fun at work. After your audience has had a little bit of fun, they’ll feel refreshed and ready to focus on the rest of your presentation.

When humor is combined with other meeting best practices, you can guarantee your meetings will be memorable, and successful. To learn more ways you can add fun to your presentations, download our free eBook, The Little Black Book of Presentation Ideas.

Photo courtesy: Puck90

About Lorna L.

Originally from Florida, Lorna moved to Atlanta to join the PGi team. In between trying to get used to Atlanta traffic and the crazy weather, she spends her free time playing with her dog, Mylo. Lorna enjoys writing about online collaboration tools and meeting tips.

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