Where does humor fit into your business writing?

If you are like me, humor often strikes at inopportune times. Sitting in a serious business meeting when something tickles my funny bone can quickly become embarrassing. 

I try to keep things light, enjoy the moment…and not embarrass myself in serious business meetings.

As a copywriter, I do enjoy writing copy that provides a little chuckle here and there. Humor sprinkled judiciously throughout your writing can make it more enjoyable and memorable for the reader.

What are some benefits of using humor in your writing?

  • Dopamine Release: 

When we laugh, we release the “feel good” neurotransmitter dopamine. This chemical not only makes us feel great, but it enhances our attention and information retention.

  • Enhances Memory Recall:

Humor anchors information in our memories, making recall easier. The funnier the context, the likelier we are to remember the content.

  • Trust Accelerator:

By breaking down barriers and humanizing interactions, humor fosters a sense of trust and openness. This emotional safety net makes it easier to process information without the nagging doubts that often hinder decision-making.

  • Universal Relaxant:

We are more open to new ideas and information when our defenses are lowered. So, giggling can make the experience more conducive and less intimidating.

  • Facilitates Decision-Making:

It provides a mental break, allowing your cognitive functions to recharge. After a good laugh, tackling complex decisions feels less like a bitter cup of day-old coffee and more like a freshly brewed delight.

Use humor sparingly for effectiveness. The right amount of humor can illuminate options without trivializing them, aiding in more balanced and well-considered choices.

Use these tips to help you add humor to your business writing:

  • Know Your Audience:

The first rule of humor? Know your audience. What tickles a millennial might baffle a baby boomer. Tailor your wit to resonate with your target demographic.

  • Start Small:

You don’t have to be the next Carol Burnette of comedy. Begin with light-hearted anecdotes, puns, or playful metaphors. Don’t dive into the deep end without testing the waters first.

  • Keep it Relevant:

Humor is fantastic, but not when it feels forced. Ensure your humorous content aligns with your message. An off-topic joke can divert attention rather than enhance understanding.

  • Use Humor to Illuminate:

Complex ideas can be made simpler with a touch of humor. A funny analogy or a witty example can clarify intricate concepts, making them easier for your audience to grasp.

  • Avoid Sensitive Topics:

Stay away from humor that touches on sensitive issues. The last thing you want is a joke that offends rather than entertains.

  • Be Authentic:

Don’t try too hard. If slapstick isn’t your brand’s style, don’t force it. Find a type of humor that aligns with your brand’s voice—whether it’s sarcasm, irony, or playful banter.

  • Review and Refine:

Not every joke will be a hit, and that’s okay! Get feedback, review your humorous content, and refine it. Sometimes, the punchline might need a little tweak.

  • Use Sparingly:

Remember, you’re still in the business domain. While humor can enhance your content, it shouldn’t overshadow your main message. Sprinkle it; don’t drown your content in it.

  • When in Doubt, Leave it Out:

If you’re uncertain about a joke or a humorous line, it’s better to err on the side of caution. The aim is to leave your reader smiling, not scratching their head.

Humor can be a potent tool in business writing. It can break down walls, forge connections, and make your content memorable. It’s all about balance. Use it judiciously, and your business writing can stand out in a sea of monotony.

Think of humor in business writing as the frothy latte art on your morning coffee. It might not be necessary, but it sure makes the experience appealing. After all, a daily dose of humor might be the caffeine kick your content needs.

Schedule a coffee chat today to spice up your business writing.