Funny stuff gets shared on social media and email – a study of the 10,000 most-shared articles in 2014 found that about a third were humorous. So creating funny stuff for a business website or social media should be a winning strategy. But it’s tricky—not everyone has the knack to be funny or even figure out what’s funny to a wide audience and still be appropriate for business use.
But Sarah Cooper, former Google manager, current comedian, has not only figured it out but can explain business-grade humor in four steps you can follow. (Get a laugh right now on her website, The Cooper Review, with her 12 Tricks to Appear Smart in Email or 9 Head Nodding Strategies for Your Next Meeting. Or see her new book: 100 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings.)
Cooper explains her basic strategy this way: “A lot of people think to be funny you have got to be zany, you have got to be really clever but my favorite comedians, like Louis C. K., [are] just making observations. Don’t try to be funny, try to be honest.”
In this short video, Cooper breaks down her 4 rules (plus bonus tips) for funny content, such as:
- Teach Something Silly. For instance, “over-explain the very simple.”
- Compare & Contrast. “Use unexpected comparisons.” See her infographic explaining why a CEO is like a toddler.
- Stay Positive. Do be sassy and playful, don’t be mean and cynical.