Trying to explain complicated concepts to your employees can be hard. Trying to keep their interest during the explanation can be even harder. So, what’s one way you can keep their attention while helping them to better understand? By incorporating humor into your presentations.
Using humor can have quite a few positive side effects, including getting your employees engaged in the topic as well as helping them to remember the information for longer. How exactly do you go about adding humor to a not-so-humorous topic? David Daskal, a Benefits Communication Expert for ALEX/Jellyvision, gives 7 tips for using humor to make open enrollment more effective:
- Size Up Your Audience
How do they feel about the topic? What do they already know? You’ll also want to consider using different channels for different generations – for example, consider a mailer/post card for older generations and Facebook/Twitter for younger ones.
- Understand Why You’re Using Humor
You want your employees to be in a good mood because research shows that when they’re in a good mood, they tend to make better decisions. Although you are being entertaining, you must remember that your goal is to educate your employees.
- Avoid Straight-up Silliness
To avoid being silly with no purpose, focus on your communication goals instead of the humor itself. Use humor to get people’s attention initially, but then continue on with the more important aspects of the conversation (whether in an e-mail or a presentation).
- Know the Place for Funny
You can start with humor or use it in the end to transition to a conclusion, but don’t let it get in the way of your message. In order to keep your information clear and concise, talk and write like a normal human being – avoid jargon, acronyms, and insurance-talk to lessen confusion.
- Don’t Make Fun of People
While this may seem like a common sense tip, it often happens more times than it should. You also should avoid using sarcasm as it tends to be lost on most people.
- Play Apologies Straight
If for some reason you come across a problem or misunderstanding, always be sincere, not funny. Resist the urge to crack a joke to lighten the mood, and instead, stick with apologizing and expressing sincere concern about the issue.
- Humor is Subjective
Everybody sees things through their own perspective, and you may not be able to make everyone laugh. At Jellyvision, though, their rule of thumb is to make sure the humor is always in service of the explanation.
Using humor in any form takes a bit of courage to be willing to try and shake things up. If you’re unsure about how a large-scale audience might take your jokes, test them out on a small group of employees first and then make changes according to how they respond to the communication.
Hopefully these 7 tips will help you in creating your own productive and engaging enrollment communication with a twist of humor.