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Can You Get Your Students to Laugh?

It was recently pointed out to me that I tend to use humor quite a lot when doing any sort of presentation, including teaching a training class. That’s not an accident. As has often been documented, laughter provides immediate physical responses in the body that can increase the immune system, and various other effects:

In “The Healing Power Of Laughter,” by the HeartMD Institute, Alexander Lowen, the father of bioenergetic therapy, suggests “[laughter is] a way of healing the body through the spontaneous release of energy.” Lowen believes laughter accomplishes this by releasing tension, promoting respiration, and inducing endorphin release.

As it turns out, those are also a really effective way to get people into the proper frame of mind to focus and learn. By getting them laughing, you get them to release whatever energy they came into the room with, and create a new energy, which is very important when they are about to spend 3-4 days in that classroom learning new things. It’s also a good way to get them refocused after a lunch break, or during a lull in the course when the energy is dipping a bit.

So if you’re going into technical training for a living, have a few good stories in your pocket to pull out when the class needs some energy, even if you just get them laughing at something you’ve done. It will help.

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