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Laugh and Learn: 95 Ways to Use Humor for More Effective Teaching and Training Hardcover – October 11, 2002

13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

An entertaining and practical book chock-full of tips, techniques, anecdotes, and exercises that show anyone how to use humor well. -- Dr. Joel Goodman, Director, The HUMOR Project, Inc., Saratoga Springs, NY

Combining learning and laughing is not easy, but Doni does it brilliantly (and with integrity). Highly recommended! -- Eric Jensen, author, Teaching with the Brain in Mind

I read the book twice! -- Applied Improvisation Network 2004

Should be required reading for anyone involved in teaching or training. (I wish some of my teachers had read it.) -- Malcolm Kushner, AFHC, author, Public Speaking for Dummies

Tamblyn provides necessary references to important cognitive studies, yet her writing style best reflects her background as a former comedian. -- Mills Quarterly Fall 2003

Book Description

"We may not all be born comedians, but most people are naturally humorous, says Doni Tamblyn, a comic-turned-trainer whose humorous techniques bring serious results at clients such as Chevron, Wells Fargo, and other Fortune 500 companies, universities, and government entities.

While Laugh and Learn offers plenty to keep smiles on the faces of trainers and their students, it’s not a collection of one-liners and knock-knock jokes. It’s an enlightening and practical look at how teachers and training professionals can inject elements of entertainment, creativity, humor, and emotion into their existing methods, even when dealing with serious or technical topics. Filled with fun, challenging, and thought-provoking exercises to help readers feel more comfortable being funny, the book also provides dozens of workshop activities and techniques to introduce humor into the learning environment.

Combining the latest brain studies and humor research with the author’s own 23 years of experience in comedy and corporate training, Laugh and Learn is a fascinating look at what makes learners perk up, pay attention -- and remember!"

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: AMACOM; 1 edition (October 11, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814407455
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814407455
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 6.8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,350,005 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 21, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Recently, an old friend suggested that I read Doni Tamblyn's Laugh and Learn, a "how to" book that delineates various exercises, all intended to increase creative thought. At first I was reluctant to read the book--as a high school teacher I am bombarded by teaching methodologies, each one claiming to be the magic key that will unlock student achievement and motivation. So I was surprised when I discovered that Laugh and Learn was 1) witty 2) entertaining 3) well-researched 4) practical and, best of all, actually works!
Through a combination of data compiled from brain-compatible research, and an enormous catalogue of easy to read, easy to implement student activities, Tamblyn makes the compelling case that creative thought flourishes best when learners are first instructed to avoid being clever and original. While the ultimate goal may be to reach heights of innovative thinking, Tamblyn assures us that such heights will more than likely be reached when the learner's mind is relaxed enough to begin making the connections that distinguish the truly interesting thought from the mundane.
In each chapter, Tamblyn discusses the hows and whys of encouraging learners to lose their anxiety and increase their joy as they discover the creative process within themselves. Although the book is a virtual treasure trove of fun activities for students, my favorites have been the "mind map" and the "finish the sentence ball toss." (You have to read the book to find out why these activities are such big fun!) Again, the idea behind each activity is to "sneak up" on the creative drive before it has a chance to realize that it is being scrutinized and therefore shut down like a wall flower at a jr. high school dance.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 6, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I'm a wildlife rehabilitator, and with the exception of a few goofy raccoons, none of my clients finds me in any way amusing. I've tried some of Ms. Tamblyn's tactics on our furred and feathered friends, and I'm sorry to say they just don't work. HOWEVER.....
I also do lots of public speaking in the service of the furred and feathered, and while my human friends call me amusing and humorous.....all of that seems to leave me when faced with a big audience of people who.......are way scarier than those animals who bite and claw me!
This book was VERY helpful....it gave me permission to fail....to bomb! I just love that, since I've often found myself in mid-stride, suddenly losing my place and thinking discreetly, "Why are these people listening to this? Are they listening? Am I making any sense? Oh %#$##....what did I just say?"
Yes, I'm among those who flub punchlines, and laugh so hard at the joke I'm trying to tell that everyone loses interest. Tamblyn's book includes all the advice you'll ever need on using humor without necessarily using jokes, and getting gracefully out of tough situations.
Finally, my work is very high-stress, and often tragic...the book offers insight on dealing humorously with other people while confronting stress and pain. It can be done. I can and do train others to do the same. I found the chapters on engaging emotion, taking the space you need and laughing in the face of fear the most helpful.
While the book was obviously written with corporate training in mind, those of us in the non-profit (read non-paid) end of the working world can certainly take a page from this book.
Thank you, Ms. Tamblyn!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By "jakbeau" on January 13, 2004
Format: Hardcover
After 19 years of school, I now reserve weighty treatises for subjects like international law. What I needed as a trainer of nonprofits in proposal writing and development, was some good technique in leavening what can be awfully dry subjects (after all, they're about getting money) with a whole lot of fun. Ms. Tamblyn's "95 Ways" sparked my creative juices and I use her techniques whenever I teach. Plus, I've been incorporating some of her exercises into my workshops to teach nonprofit folks how to leaven their presentations when they get that much longed for meeting with a potential donor.
This is a "grab it and go" book that fits in your briefcase along with your handouts. If you're a trainer - nonprofit, corporate or otherwise - you know the feeling of "dead air." During the break, turn to almost any page in "Laugh and Learn" for a technique or an exercise that will uncrink your brain and ramp the room up for your returning learners.
You won't become an expert in the science of humor with "Laugh and Learn." But, hey, they give degrees to people for that kind of in-depth knowledge. As a trainer, you will go as far as you like in incorporating humor into the business of teaching - safely, judiciously and successfully.
Thanks, Ms. Tamblyn. You are a funny lady, and you know how to teach what you know!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Reader on January 31, 2005
Format: Hardcover
"Laughter and Learning"

I'm reading this book, and I sense it is what I have been waiting for. I believe Doni Tamblyn has really nailed it. She's given structure to what seems to be the very complex art of effective teaching. I'll start giving her methods a try by using the "smooth" vs "crunchy" approach for initiating group/team work, and by finally using some of those cartoons I've been accumulating for years.

I'm also thinking about how I could apply some of her ideas to my online distance learning courses, where teaching and learning are not in a traditional classroom. This environment lacks the needed spontaneity, but I could see what would happen if I divided my online class into small discussion teams competing for bonus points for "fabulous prizes" to be awarded at our once-per-week lab meetings.

I appreciate that Ms. Tamblyn has combined her comedic experience with Dewey's ideas, theories of motivation, accelerated learning, and optimal/compatible brain learning, the
Koran, the Talmud, famous quotes, tips on psychology and comedic delivery, and has taken the time to share her synthesis of them in a book. Her Laugh and Learn is not only a great how-to book, but also a scholarly piece of work. I don't usually find how-to books with an index, references, endnotes, so many examples, and a case study! (Her "anatomy of a creative learning module" is precious.) Thank you, Ms. Tamblyn!"
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