Cover image for Laugh and learn : 95 ways to use humor for more effective teaching and training
Laugh and learn : 95 ways to use humor for more effective teaching and training
Tamblyn, Doni.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : AMACOM, [2003]

Physical Description:
xv, 256 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HF5549.5.T7 T256 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Homour can be a valuable resource in the learning environment. It is easy to bring creativity, entertainment, emotion and even some laughs to almost any educational setting. This text aims to help trainers loosen up and create memorable training programmes.

Author Notes

Doni Tamblyn is president of HumorRules, a Philadelphia-based consulting firm that helps organizations create more positive work environments

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. xi
List of the 95 Waysp. xiii
Introductionp. 1
Part I The What and Why
Chapter 1 You've Got to Start Here: What Is Humor, Anyway?p. 7
The Case Against Teaching Through Stand-Up Comedyp. 9
The Case for Using Humor in Teaching (and Life in General)p. 10
Chapter 2 Come to Think of It, What Is Brain-Compatible Learning?p. 17
Uniquenessp. 21
Cycles, Rhythms, and Making Meaningp. 22
Intrinsic Motivationp. 22
The Von Restorff Effectp. 23
Statesp. 24
Nonconscious Learningp. 26
Multipath Learningp. 27
Rhyme, Rhythm, and Musicp. 29
Chapter 3 Okay, So Why Use Humor to Deliver Brain-Compatible Learning?p. 33
The First and Best Reason: It's Easy and Everyone's Naturally Good at Itp. 35
The Second Reason: It Substantially Reduces Stress and Threatp. 36
The Third Reason: It Draws People Togetherp. 37
The Fourth Reason: It Enlists Two of the Communicator's Best Friends--Relevancy and Visual Memoryp. 37
The Fifth Reason: It Engages Emotionp. 38
The Sixth Reason: It Allows the Brain to Take Regular "Breathers" for Meaning-Making, Heightened Attention, and Reviewp. 39
Part II The How
Chapter 4 It's Easy--And You Can Make It Easier! Five Rules for Using Humor Naturally, Successfully, and Without Fearp. 47
Rule #1 Cut Yourself--and Others--Some Gosh-Darned Slack!p. 49
Rule #2 Don't Be Originalp. 57
Rule #3 Make Positive Choicesp. 59
Rule #4 Focus Out, Not Inp. 66
Rule #5 Always Acknowledge the "Bomb"!p. 74
Some Next Stepsp. 79
Chapter 5 Deposing the Brain's Great Oppressors: Threat and High Stressp. 81
Stress-Buster #1 Give Your Learners a Sense of Choicep. 87
Stress-Buster #2 Keep It Positivep. 93
Stress-Buster #3 Keep Assessment Nonthreateningp. 95
Making Sure Exams Measure Mastery, Not Fearp. 99
Some Next Stepsp. 104
Chapter 6 Drawing People Together to Enlist "the Social Brain"p. 105
Safety Item #1 Your Credibilityp. 106
Safety Item #2 Your Approachabilityp. 112
Safety Item #3 Rapport Among Your Learnersp. 116
Some Next Stepsp. 124
Chapter 7 Relevancy and Visual Memory--Two Powerful Mnemonicsp. 127
Personal Relevancyp. 128
Visual Memoryp. 142
Some Next Stepsp. 149
Chapter 8 Engaging Emotionp. 151
Step 1 "Reading" Ourselves Accuratelyp. 154
Step 2 Accepting the Emotions of Othersp. 156
Step 3 Emotional Managementp. 156
Some Next Stepsp. 166
Chapter 9 "I Need My Space!"--Giving the Brain Regular Breathers for Enhanced Learningp. 167
Axe-Sharpener #1 Making Meaningp. 169
Axe-Sharpener #2 Heightening Attentionp. 173
Axe-Sharpener #3 Reviewing Informationp. 179
Some Next Stepsp. 188
Part III The "Who, Me?"
Chapter 10 Laugh in the Face of Fear!p. 193
Fear #1 "My Audience/Subject Is Too Serious"p. 195
Fear #2 "I'm Not Funny!"p. 196
Fear #3 (and the Only Well-Founded Fear): "Will I Offend Someone?"p. 197
Fear #4 "How Do I Control These People?"p. 200
Chapter 11 I Can't Believe I'm Writing This Chapterp. 211
Step 1 Keep It Shortp. 212
Step 2 Make It Specificp. 214
Step 3 Put the Punch Line at the End!p. 214
Step 4 ...Pausep. 215
Chapter 12 The Best Chapter in the Bookp. 217
Day One on the One-a-Day Planp. 219
Month One on the One-a-Day Planp. 220
Month Six on the One-a-Day Planp. 221
Month Twelve on the One-a-Day Planp. 223
Endnotesp. 227
Bibliographyp. 231
Appendixp. 235
Indexp. 249
About the Authorp. 255