Communications Insight For More Inspiring Leaders Is Humour a Natural Gift - or a Skill that can be Learned?

Is Humour a Natural Gift - or a Skill that can be Learned?

 6th Jan 2022

Is humour a natural gift - or a skill that can be learned?

Experience over the years helping countless wedding speakers (not to mention execs in the working world) tells me that the answer is emphatically the latter.

A while back, I interviewed stand-up comedian, Laura Lexx, for a book I was writing for brides wanting to give a speech - Laura seriously knows her stuff - she's done "Live At The Apollo" and yes, gave a highly entertaining speech at her own wedding!

Laura's advice is gold:

"Invite some friends over ... crack open some drinks and introduce into conversation some topics you might want to include in your speech (or communications).

You'll find that people naturally introduce humour into that kind of relaxed situation - we like to make each other laugh. The trick is to notice what gets people giggling. You can then use those as start points for developing humour for your speech. The more personal your humour, the better."

There's humour all around us, every day. The question is: do we notice it? Do we then do something with it?

I remember an insight gained from a stand-up comedy course I took 10+ years ago: "The difference between an average comedian and an outstanding comedian is a notebook and a pen."

So, if you want to introduce more humour, get noticing!

 Simon's masterclass on pitching and effective communication attracted over 60 MBA's and other post-graduate students from across Oxford during the exam period ... testament to how valuable people thought it was. I would recommend it to anyone, especially mid-career professionals, looking to enhance their ability to communicate their ideas with conviction.


Soushiant Zangenehpour | Manager, Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, Said Business School, University of Oxford

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