Karen Dietz
July 8, 2014

Get Funny! Using Humor To Boost Shares + ROI

That cartoon cracks me up! We face this all the time — whether we are making a sale, going for a job, or networking.

I also use this quip:

“A personnel manager was interviewing a guy for a job. “How long did you work at your last company?”

“65 years.”

“65 years!!?? But you don’t look a day over 40! How could you work 65 years?”


LOL — that’s me! Working waaaaayyyyy too hard. And it’s a situation we often find ourselves in. I share this joke with clients when making points about how storytelling in business can be a very effective and efficient way to convey complex ideas — without burning the midnight oil. It works like a charm as people smile, laugh, nod their heads in agreement, and get the point.

It’s a fact — humor can help a business a lot by defusing tough issues, and humor drives social shares. Think of the Old Spice aftershave commercials that spoof our stereotypes and gets us laughing. Think of the silly Dumb Ways To Die video about railroad crossing safety that went viral.

Humor works — but how do you make it work for you? Well, I’ve put together some posts for you about how to best use humor, what to stay away from, and cool tools to get you started. So let’s dig in.

Why Use Humor?

This is just a quick post with a powerful message — don’t leave home without your sense of humor!

What I appreciate about this article is the reminder to add humor to the business stories you share in your marketing and branding. Because, as the article says, it attracts customers, establishes rapport, and creates alignment. And it makes us smile! Here’s one that makes me grin:

All Is Fair In Business

A shopkeeper was dismayed when a brand new business much like his own opened up next door and erected a huge sign which read ‘BEST DEALS.’

He was horrified when another competitor opened up on his right, and announced its arrival with an even larger sign, reading ‘LOWEST PRICES.’

The shopkeeper panicked, until he got an idea. He put the biggest sign of all over his own shop. It read: ‘MAIN ENTRANCE’

laughingAre You Funny?

In this article fabulous professional storyteller Linda Gorham lays out the elements of effective humor and how to go about being funny. She’s got a lot of tips, a link to another article on how to be funny without telling jokes (thank heavens!), and ideas for good delivery techniques that will turn you into a funny person with just a little practice.

I very much appreciate Linda’s thoroughness and the advice she shares. This post will definitely get your creative juices flowing.

But Be Careful!

Here is a quick article with great tips on how to use humor in your business stories — and how NOT to. The author, Gabrielle Dolan, shares two do’s and two don’ts. Like “Don’t get caught in the joker style of business storytelling.” That is not the way to win friends and influence people. You can read the full explanation of that here: http://gabrielledolan.com/interview-with/what-is-business-storytelling-intelligence/

Read these insights and then do a reality-check on your stories. Can you add humor? Stop using humor? Or switch your humor to be less offensive?

Only you can figure this out, but this article helps a lot.

mighty mouseTools

Use A Cartoon Subscription Service

Want to easily add cartoons to your content marketing mix? Then let these comics be part of your business narrative!

This post highlights Marc Anderson’s cartoon subscription service that you can add to your website (I have no financial relationship with Anderson or this site). As Anderson says, “Not only are you making your content more enjoyable and memorable, but you get an SEO and image search boost. People love to share cartoons they like.” And you may find other cartoon subscription services to choose from.

Enjoy the article and the ideas shared here. I hope it brings a smile to your face, and smiles within your community!

Create Your Own Cartoons

With this new iPad app, Toon Hero, you can now take your business stories and build them using familiar cartoon characters. Yippee!!

Authors galore keep suggesting that adding humor to business stories is a big win. People love it. And they like comics. Combine the two together with this app!

It was designed for kids — but who cares? Be a kid again, have fun playing with this app, and give a jolt of humor and creativity to your biz stories, and watch the results.

If I wasn’t writing my last chapter on stories and change for Business Storytelling for Dummies, I’d be absorbed with this app and posting some stories to my website. Maybe next weekend I’ll get to play!

So have fun you all!

Comic Book iPad Apps


What fun! Looking for a creative way to share your business stories? Try turning them into a comic book.

Here is a list of 7 apps for the iPad to help you do this.

For folks like me who’s drawing skills are at the level of stick figures, it looks like the first three on the list are the best. Some of the other tools require actual drawing/sketching skills. Choose one or two to play around with and turn your business stories into smile generating coming books.

Wrap Up

I love this storysmiling prompt – and use it to kick-start your brain:

“The past, present and future walk into a bar. It was tense.” 

Use it as the first line of one of your business stories and tell it as a comical story — see where it takes you!  Then use one of the tools above to share your amusing story.

Get your funny bone on and I hope you have enjoy playing with this prompt and the entertaining story tools shared here.


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Karen Dietz has been working in business storytelling with organizations for over 2 decades. She is also the top global curator on business storytelling at www.scoop.it/t/just-story-it. Karen is the co-author of the just published book "Business Storytelling for Dummies" by Wiley. You can find this and more at her website here.
Filed Under: Storytelling Tagged With: Cartoons, Humor, Humour, Karen Dietz, ROI, Storytelling