Importance of Humour in Business Communication

Humour plays an important role in human life and, therefore, can play a significant role in communication. Humour used effectively can provide a winning edge in both personal and organizational communication. In everyday life, there are abundant opportunities to use humour with positive results.

It is possible to make humour relevant to a business situation. Malcolm Kushner, America’s prominent humour consultant, who is considered to be a pioneer in the field of corporate humour consulting, believes that humour is a powerful management tool.

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It can gain attention, create rapport and make a message more memorable. It can also relieve tension, enhance relationships and motivate people if it is used with proper understanding.

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It can be used to influence corporate culture. Dr Robert Baron, an eminent psychologist, has concluded from his research studies that confrontations at work often depend on how you say things rather than what you say. A good laugh, it is rightly observed, cuts across organizational boundaries.

Important as it is in strengthening personal and organizational relationships, humour is also a skill that has to be cultivated. Effective speakers are also known for their wit and wisdom. It calls for presence of mind.

It calls for recalling related events in a pleasant and appealing manner. Humour should not be confused with comedy, jest or even sarcasm. Using humour does not suggest that one should become a joker. A joke has a time and a place, whereas humour makes even business sense.


The wrong kind of humour can cause damage rather than earn goodwill and understanding. Properly cultivated, humour can find expression in oral communication, non-verbal communication and also in written communication. When to use humour and what type of humour works in which context are areas that need careful consideration for humour to become effective.


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