Humor: A Powerful Communication Tool?

By JoJo Tabares

In the olde days of kings who ruled with absolute power, only the court jester could safely tell the King the truth, mediated through humor.  Anyone else who attempted to tell the Emperor he had no clothes was in danger of losing his head!

Humor is a valuable and effective tool for communicating just about anything because humor breaks down barriers.  Carefully disguised as fun, humor can smuggle new ideas into people’s hearts.

Humor has been shown to be an essential component of learning for young and old alike!  In order to teach, you must have your audience’s attention.  If a tree falls in the forest and nobody is around to hear it, did anyone come to understand the beaver’s plight and struggle for logs?

Those of you who do not yet have teenagers, may not have had occasion to notice the strange eye reaction to being lectured.  You are familiar with REM: Rapid Eye Movement?  Those with teens have likely experienced REAM: Rolling Eyes At Me!  However, this phenomenon is often completely eliminated if you preach with humor!

Humor allows us to approach threatening subjects in a non-threatening way.  Research shows that most people find it difficult to receive information from someone who has little or no sense of humor.  Additionally it shows that when people laugh together, they not only enjoy themselves, but they are more receptive to new ideas.

Humor is one language that everyone can understand. It breaks down barriers between people. If you can share a laugh with someone, you’ve connected with that person. The defenses come down, and there’s a desire to continue the dialog.

Humor is also a model of efficiency.  It can generally get your point across with less effort and verbiage!   A picture is worth a thousand words and humor is worth a thousand dollars!  Entertainers make good money.  Is it because they cure cancer?  Solve world hunger?  No it’s because they solve world boredom!  They make you laugh and the really good ones make you think!

As a homeschool mom of two very bright and fidgety children, I use humor in almost everything I do.  I use funny quotes, entertaining games and exciting activities to teach and mold the young minds in my charge!   Humor allows me to hold their attention just long enough to implant some knowledge –sometimes without them even noticing!  Shhhh….


JoJo Tabares holds a degree in Speech Communication, but it is her humorous approach to communication skills which has made her a highly sought-after Christian speaker and writer.  Her articles appear in homeschool publications, such as Homeschool Enrichment Magazine and The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, which also endorses her Say What You Mean curricula.  You can also find JoJo on web sites such as and  For more information on communication FUNdamentals and Christian-based communication skills for the whole family, please visit