For Memorable Meeting Moments, Make ’em Laugh

Want to bring some energy to your meeting? Then try 4 clever ways to use humor to improve your event’s outcome.

Everyone likes to have a good laugh. So it should come as no surprise that studies have shown the effectiveness of humor in meetings.

Humor can enhance creativity, encourage collaboration and even improve long-term job performance, according to new research by Nale Lehmann-Willenbrock and Joseph Allen reported in Scientific American. In their research, the team found that, rather than derailing or distracting a meeting, the use of humor triggers problem-solving behaviors, procedural suggestions and goal orientation.

Humor also promotes supportive behaviors such as praise and encouragement, further nurturing a positive, collegial environment. If you were debating whether or not to have a little fun with your next meeting, the research suggests you should. Here are four ways to do so.

Keep It Casual

Casual Brainstorm

A casual room setup like this one gives a casual, comfortable feel that can inspire attendees to have fun and be creative. Provide colorful supplies, and even a game or two, and let the laughter (and results) roll.

Be Speechless

Mimes

Who doesn’t love a fun game of charades? Mime your way through the meeting—or at least a portion of it—for humor’s sake. Themed approaches like this spark not only smiles but also creativity. So if the point of your meeting is to brainstorm or create, consider this a helpful tool just as much as a fun respite.

Break the Ice

Ideate Cocktail

Though you’ll probably want to limit the cocktail servings to one per person, a refreshing libation can help to loosen up a room and get creativity flowing for your Ideate or Produce meeting.

Break for Games

Video games

Not every meeting allows for alcoholic beverages or games, but that doesn’t mean the breaks can’t be fun. Give attendees 15 to 20 minutes of game time throughout the day, and welcome them back into the boardroom refreshed and ready to work—with smiles on their faces.