Laughter Thought Leader: Elaine Williams
I’d like to ask you a personal question. Have you laughed yet today?
“I must confess that falling into comedy literally saved my life..”
Have You Laughed At Yourself Today?
Hopefully, you said yes. If my question perturbed you, then you probably need a good laugh. Let me explain. I am a 54-year-old aunt, coach, speaker, author, owner of two businesses, and learner of many, many painful lessons…and a comedian.
I must confess that falling into comedy literally saved my life, This is why I’m so passionate about talking about laughter, humor, and educating people about why laughter is good for your soul, your heart, and even your business. I know for me and many of my friends and clients, laughter is a gage. And I invite you to take this on for yourself as well.
Have you laughed at yourself today at least a few times? Have you laughed at the insanity of being human in this modern, crazy world we live in right now? Can you have compassion for the other humans on this planet that we share and even maybe a little for yourself?
A Simple Opener:
When I’m speaking, one of the great ways to “test the water”, to see what kind of energy my audience has, is to do a simple opener and see how they respond. An opener is something like:
“How many of you have kids? How many of you have been a kid?” If they just look at you, you know they’re pretty tense. If you get chuckles, then they’re on the way to warming up. Or, if they really laugh, you can tell they’re ready for some fun. It’s a great way to “read the room”.
“You can repeat a great joke as long as you give credit and it’s not offensive.”
Using humor can be a brilliant secret sauce to wake people up, help lower people’s walls, create rapport, warmth and even community. Eisenhower, one of the most serious Presidents we’ve ever had said: “A sense of humor is part of the art of leadership, of getting along with people, of getting things done.” Yet the very thought of humor for some people sends chills down their spines.
Big Creative Expression Block:
It’s true that many people are easily offended these days. And worrying about social media trends and trolls can be a big creative expression block. Here’s the good news. You don’t have to become a stand up comedian in order to make your audience, team, or colleagues laugh. You can be a Shepard of Humor. (Teenagers are a whole different story. If you have teens-good luck making them laugh. You’re on your own!)
You can share funny IG dog videos or America’s Funniest Home Videos. You can repeat a great joke as long as you give credit and it’s not offensive. And you can poke fun of yourself, or tell a funny story. There are a million ways to surprise and delight your audience, colleagues, or friends who are not expecting you to make them laugh.
The bar for laughter is high in a comedy club. Many times the audiences have their arms crossed literally and figuratively: “Go ahead. Make me laugh.” Luckily, it’s very different in speaking and work environments.
Add More Humor And Laughter Into Your Life:
If you’d like to add more humor and laughter into your life, here are a few suggestions. Comedy and humor are muscles. Muscles that can be trained.
“What appeals to someone may not appeal to you.”
Commit to watching or listening to five minutes of comedy a day. It’s a great way to start or end your day. Even if you find someone on YouTube who you’re not digging, think about why. Comedy is very subjective. What appeals to someone may not appeal to you. Look for the Rule of Three. Our brains love three, especially these days where our attention span has turned into that of a goldfish. Start to notice in writing where there are three adjectives.
I love NYC in the summer. The sun on my face, wind on my back, the smell of pee everywhere. One of my favorite quotes that lives on my desk is: “The crisis of today is the comedy of tomorrow.” Not that I want to attract drama, but if stuff happens that I’m not digging, I can lift myself up by saying: “This is going to be hilarious in a few weeks, or months.”
The brilliant and prolific NY Times best selling author many times over David Sedaris says: “Everything’s funny, eventually.”
So I invite you to give yourself permission to laugh today. You will burn calories, release toxins, boost the feel good chemicals-serotonin and oxytocin-in your brain and elevate your energy! Who doesn’t want more of that??!!
This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something Kuel Life may earn a commission. Thank you for your support.
About the Author:
Elaine Williams is an award winning Video & Visibility Coach, Speaker, Best Selling Author and Comedian. Some of her credits: Saturday Night Live, America’s Got Talent, The New York Times, Hay House Radio & the Huffington Post.
Elaine’s clients have gone from never doing video/speaking live to having their own You Tube Channels, doing International Book Tours, and speaking for NASA.