Humour Intelligence for Business Professionals


Course introduction

Harvard Business Review has nominated humour as the most powerful persuasive tool of all.  Most people don’t use it, however, because they simply don’t know how to confidently use it in a business context. They fear that their humour will fail and they will appear unprofessional. This program will show how appropriate humour can transform communication – even with the most ‘serious’ subject.

Kevin Ryan has written and researched in this area for over 15 years.  He has successfully delivered programs on effective humour in business across different industries, professions, cultures and countries.

Course Benefits

Upon completion of this workshop, participants will be able to;

  • The difference between comedy and humour
  • How to uncover the humour in any situation
  • Understanding the four basic categories of humour
  • How humour use differs in different cultures
  • How to use humour to gain and maintain attention
  • How to use humour to create memorability and repeatability
  • How humour is powerfully effective at challenging incorrect assumptions
  • How humour can be used to confirm agreement
  • How to understand their own style of humour so they can utilise it more confidently

Target Audience

  • Managers and team leaders who want to better engage, inform and motivate their staff
  • Business professionals who need to inform or influence others with more impact
  • Sales and marketing professionals who want to tap into the latest research on the persuasive power of humour
  • Anyone who wants to connect and communicate more effectively by using appropriate humour more confidently

Course Outline

Module 1: Understanding Humour 

  • Types of Humour 
  • Superiority
  • Relief 
  • Play
  • Incongruity
Module 2: Cultural Preference

Module 3: Humour Effects
  • Personal Impressions
  • Attention
  • Engagement
  • Branding
  • Memorability
Module 4: Humour in Business

Module 5: Difference between comedy and humour

Module 6: Workplace Humour
  • Internal
  • External
Module 7: Humour Styles
  • 2 Basic categories
  • 8 Humour styles
Module 8: Finding Humour
  • Identifying and adapting humour in a business environment
Module 9: The Danger of Humour
  • Appropriateness
  • Sensitivity
  • Safety Rules
Module 10: Humour Confidence
  • Self-Awareness
  • Applying your style(s)
Module 11: Use of Humour
  • To confirm agreement
  • As a relief valve
  • To challenge incorrect assumptions
  • To make key concepts memorable and repeatable

Available Course Sessions

Please click here to stay updated on upcoming sessions.

Trainer Profile

Kevin Ryan

Kevin Ryan is an experienced conference speaker, workshop leader, facilitator and MC. He has twenty-five years of experience as a corporate trainer and fifteen years experience as a professional speaker.

He speaks at conferences and seminars across Australia, New Zealand, Asia and in the UK specialising in the areas of sales negotiations, customer service, humour in business and communication skills. His clients include large corporations, government departments, and small to medium size enterprises.

He has co-authored nine books on business communication skills and humour in business that are used extensively throughout Australia, New Zealand, Asia, the UK and South Africa. He writes regular columns on communication skills, sales & customer service and humour in business for a number of industry magazines. He is the creator of the TILT! Selling program.