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Using Humor to Win People over When Nothing Else Will
It's no secret that major spectacles of all kinds captivate us--whether we like it or not. We can use this to our advantage by cultivating a sense of humor as an attention-getting device. In this chapter, we'll examine what makes a scene humorous and effective.
Consider, for instance, some of the spectacular dramas created by the Roman leader Julius Caesar. Caesar initially captured the imagination of his fellow citizens by funding extravagant gladiator contests, theatrical productions, and wild-animal hunts out of his own pocket. In fact, long before he became an emperor, Caesar was notorious not only for his lavish spending, but also for his ability to raise the money it required. His fellow citizens couldn't help falling in love with all the entertainment this great showman had to offer.
Caesar's unprecedented genius for theater lay in his succinct dialogue and dramatic actions. When our humor conjures up such drama, people get caught up in it and are more likely to be motivated to action. Suddenly a tipping point of momentum has occurred. Of course, if we're not careful, such spectacles can also make people so mad, jealous, and fearful that they end up wanting to kill us as they did in Caesar's case.
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September 05, 2011
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