HUMOR MAKES YOUR POINTS EFFECTIVELY AND MEMORABLY.
IT CREATES ENERGY.
PEOPLE FEEL GOOD ABOUT THEMSELVES AND YOU.
circumstances and your ability
to think. You simply cannot have
a sense of humor and a rigid,
by-the-rulebook, this-is-the-way-things-are mentality at the same
time. People learn to trust your
judgment. They know that when
you suggest things outside their
comfort zone, it’s likely to be a
• Genuineness. With your sense of
humor on display, you’re demonstrating that you’re the real
deal—everything your marketing materials say you are: fresh,
original, creative, inspiring,
entertaining and memorable.
It’s not just about the client.
Wearing humor glasses interrupts
your own predictable patterns
that might be keeping you from
breaking new ground and making
Wear Your Humor
Make lives easier simply by being
a joy to be around. Your phone
calls will be returned and your
e-mails will be opened and read.
Yes, clients expect you to be pro-
fessional. Effective and capable?
Definitely. The takeaway is discov-
ering it can all be achieved with a
sense of fun. And on bad days, you
can lighten their load even if you
can’t fix their problem. Your sense
of humor makes life more manage-
able and conveys, “I get it.”
• Blogs and social media sites.
Write your posts with a sense
of humor. People will like you
without really even knowing
why. They’ll return to your
site because it’s a bright spot in
their day. They’ll start to feel
like they know you. And people
love to do business with friends.
• E-mails. Instead of the standard
“It was a pleasure meeting you,”
personalize your message. Focus
on something very specific about
your encounter. Did your client
just dash in from a sudden rainstorm, wearing a Hefty bag as
makeshift rain gear? Title your
e-mail, “Loved the meeting,
loved your hat.”
(Be careful with those just-for-grins, bulk e-mails. A little goes
a long way. If your subject lines
say Re: FW: FW: FW: ROFL!!
more than once every two years,
you might not be grasping the
• Marketing materials. Jazz up
your materials with some fun
and unexpected twists. Loosen
your tie. Use friendly, accessible language and find surprising
ways to say the same old thing.
Swap out the standard FAQ page
on your Web site for a tongue-in-cheek Q&A a la “Dear Abby”
or “Ask Miss Manners.” Choose
videos that show you and your
audiences enjoying each other.
Update and mix up your photos
with casual, candid shots along
with your formal headshot.
• Gifts. Step up the sincerity
and effectiveness of customer
appreciation gifts by giving
them a light-hearted, personal
touch. Notice a pet phrase or
favorite song or guilty indulgence. Is your client a chocolate
junkie? Send him a chocolate bar the size of a Buick.
Customize a standard bouquet
with trinkets that reference an
• Etcetera. Infuse humor into all of
your communications, including
your conversations, proposals,
snail mail and phone calls. If you
can find the funny, people will
What new opportunities might
you see through your humor power
glasses? Who knows what grand and
unexpected treasures you’ll discover
while wearing them? (Personally,
I’m holding out for Nicholas Cage.)
Let me know what you find.
Kathryn Hammer is an author, speech writer, ghost writer and executive communications consul- tant. She’s also a trusted
adviser to nationally known speakers,
writers and leaders in business and
government. And she knows her way
around power tools. Visit her at www.