Being funny is a tricky business, but it’s the most wonderful quality if you can achieve it. Here’s how I think you can be funny in your communication.

I often get asked about humour in communication. I used to be a stand-up comic, I did it professionally for a few years and I think the first thing that’s really important is that humour is not only jokes.

If you want to have humour in a presentation, or any kind of communication, and let’s face it, the funny bit is often the best and most memorable bit; it doesn’t have to be a joke, and in fact, it’s probably better if it isn’t, because a joke is a very obvious offering, it’s something that will clearly succeed or fail, and if you start off any kind of communication with a gag, and it falls flat for whatever reason, you may have sabotaged your own chances of success.

So, the most important thing, I think, is to realize that humour is simply going with the flow, it’s acknowledging what’s going on around you; a stand-up comic will talk about what’s happening, what’s happening in the world, what’s happening in that very specific moment as events unfold, they will describe it, they’ll talk about how they feel about it, and then they will be creative with it.

That’s the best humour, and that’s in a stand-up comedy setting, so in the setting of your online meeting, or of your phone call, describe the thing that is unexpected that happened, and go with it. Talk about how you feel about it. That’s how you get the laughs, by just showing that these things are happening, you’re okay with it, you’re acknowledging it and moving on. That’s how you get humour, that’s how you get comedy into your communication.

Accept yourself, describe what’s happening and just go with the flow.

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