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How Humor Helps

Groucho Marx dry groused, “People say I don’t take criticism very well, but I say what the hell do they know?”

Steve Martin observed, when sharing this photo, “When comedians get together, there are thoughtful moments, too.

When they’re laughing, they’re listening,” said Adrian Gostick, co-author of The Levity Effect. And laughter that unifies us bring the biggest payoff.

Over at Forbes I suggested 15 ways and reasons you can accomplish more and savor your life with others by evoking unifying humor.

For example, “A tourist is backpacking through the highlands of Scotland and he stops at a pub…” says Toy Story filmmaker Andrew Stanton in a thick Scottish accent, thus beginning his TED talk on storytelling without any preamble – but with a story, one that ends in a laughter-evoking evoking punch line.

Not only did he grab the audience’s attention from the first sentence, he got them to care about what he would say next. He’d also crafted that funny story to foreshadow all the clues to storytelling that he subsequently describes in his talk.  See how he alternates humor and other emotions, from awe to surprise, throughout the talk, to keep us involved.

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