Effectively using humor to win or gain influence can make you a more effective leader. In this course, you will identify situations and environments where utilizing humor may help you gain influence, and you will identify situations where you should avoid attempting humor. You will develop skills in constructing jokes that suit specific scenarios or audiences and deciding which medium is most effective for the joke. This course also provides strategies to course-correct when a joke doesn't land well so you can safely defuse any incidental tension a joke might cause if the delivery was inappropriate or ineffective. You will review examples and stories translated from ancient Roman philosophy on using humor for influence, and you will be guided to draw parallels between ancient and modern scenarios where humor can be applied.
You will be required to purchase a copy of "How to Tell a Joke: An Ancient Guide to the Art of Humor" by course author Mike Fontaine.
Key Course Takeaways
Identify when telling a joke would be beneficial
Construct a joke to match/suit a specific scenario
Decide what medium would be appropriate for a joke (Zoom vs. public vs. email, etc.)
Professor of Classics, Cornell College of Arts & Sciences
Mike Fontaine is Professor of Classics at Cornell University. Professor Fontaine has published many books on jokes, humor, and comedy in ancient Greece and Rome. His latest is titled How to Tell a Joke: An Ancient Guide to the Art of Humor. The timeless joke-telling strategies and techniques he’s culled from the ancient world have served him well in his years as Cornell’s acting Dean of Faculty, Associate Dean of Faculty, and Associate Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education.
Professor Fontaine teaches a range of courses about the ancient world, including Greek Mythology, Introduction to Ancient Rome, and Wine Culture. He lives in Ithaca with his wife and children and travels frequently.