Lately, I’ve had the opportunity to fly a number of times. During the short flight from London to Toronto, the flight attendant stands in the aisle and completes the demonstration. On larger aircraft the safety video plays on either individual screens or larger ones which descend from the ceiling of the plane. As a frequent flyer, I’ll admit that I watch half-heartedly, anticipating the seatbelt demonstration, the oxygen mask order of application, the lighted aisle way and identification of the nearest exits.
A few weeks ago, I was on a Delta flight to Ft. Lauderdale and as we were about to take off, the obligatory safety video started to play. But this video was different…. The airline, in their infinite wisdom (knowing that most of us tune out instead of tuning in during the demonstration) created and showed a video that was not only informative, but humorous.
According to the YouTube video, “Safety information is information that no one should miss, even if they’ve heard it a dozen times. So to help encourage even the most frequent of frequent fliers to pay attention we’re constantly adding fresh scenes and moments of fun. It’s part of Delta’s commitment to making every part of our passengers’ flight a memorable one.”
I started to reflect on that concept for teaching and learning. How do we take the everyday and ordinary and effectively weave in humour in order to make it more memorable for our students?
For those of us whose audience is educators, do we make a concerted effort to include humour as an effective presentation tool?
As with all presentation tools, one must use caution. Here are a few reminders about including humour:
1) Make it relevant to the topic and tastefully placed within the presentation
2) As with everything, rehearse it
3) Make it personal, so it will come across as authentic and appropriate
4) Don’t let the humour overshadow the message
5) Make it brief and meaningful