Creativity Magazine

Humor Succeeds When It’s Relevant To Your Target Audience

By Mrstrongest @mrstrongarm

I read a Forbes post about a mom who launched a startup to make it easier for kids to learn vocabulary. The key to the program’s success: humorous illustration.Humor Succeeds When It’s Relevant To Your Target Audience

Robyn D. Shulman writes that teachers today are working with students who have much shorter attention spans. She notes that during her own years in the classroom, “I always found students to be most responsive and comfortable when I was able to connect their work to something personal in their world or simply make them laugh.”Humor Succeeds When It’s Relevant To Your Target Audience

Enter Sofia Fenichell, whose startup, Mrs. Wordsmith, produces The Storyteller’s Illustrated Dictionary, along with vocabulary cards and workbooks. They all use wacky illustrations to help kids learn new words. The humor keeps them engaged and makes learning fun.Humor Succeeds When It’s Relevant To Your Target Audience

I was inspired to make my own illustrated word. You have to feel sorry for the poor kid who’s stuck with plain text.Humor Succeeds When It’s Relevant To Your Target AudienceHumor Succeeds When It’s Relevant To Your Target Audience

It’s important to note that the goal here is learning, not being funny or getting laughs.

The humor has to facilitate learning; humor fails if it’s a distracting influence.

Humor succeeds when it’s relevant to your target audience; then it can hold their attention, lighten the mood, and improve retention.Humor Succeeds When It’s Relevant To Your Target AudienceHumor Succeeds When It’s Relevant To Your Target Audience

College professor Ron Berk, who uses all kinds of zany humor to teach biostatistics to college students, puts it this way:Humor Succeeds When It’s Relevant To Your Target Audience

“What I do and how I teach is all about the students. It has nothing to do with me. I’m tapping into their multiple intelligence needs and their culture so that they can understand the material in their terms.”

Humor Succeeds When It’s Relevant To Your Target AudienceHumor Succeeds When It’s Relevant To Your Target AudienceHumor Succeeds When It’s Relevant To Your Target AudienceCarol Schlef, RNC, MSW, a women’s health educator, takes the same approach.Humor Succeeds When It’s Relevant To Your Target AudienceHumor Succeeds When It’s Relevant To Your Target Audience

While teaching pregnant teenagers about proper nutrition, she noticed they seemed bored and disinterested. So she created a special “food pyramid for teens” that identified the
4 major food groups as “refined sugar, fat, caffeine, and salt.” The teens laughed at the absurdity, and were more receptive when she introduced them to healthier ways of eating.


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