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Humour, not jokes: How to be funny at work and why it matters

By Robyn Tongol | |3 minute read

Using humour at work isn’t about showing off your “tight five”; it’s about making the effort.


David Crisante, founder of Sydney Comedy School, sits down on the latest episode of The HR Leader to share what he has learnt about workplace communication from a career spanning diplomacy, journalism, and, of course, comedy.

David stresses the importance of so-called “water cooler talk”. He explains what an employer is really saying when they engage in small talk, why it matters, and how it can contribute to a happier, more productive workplace. The topics might be “small”, but their ramifications are anything but.

The podcast also covers the “vital” importance of public speaking as a boss. Often, it is the things we overlook that really make a great speech. “When we’re good at public speaking … what we’re saying verbally and what we’re saying physically is in alignment,” David said.

Throughout, the case was made for humour in workplace communication. Increasingly, it is seen as a risk to be avoided, but this kind of thinking overlooks the fact workplace relationships are relationships nonetheless. “You can’t make somebody laugh if you’re not a clear communicator,” he said.