Shtick to Business: How the masters of comedy can help you succeed in a serious world

schedule May 29th 03:30 - 04:30 PM place Centennial B people 16 Interested

What can you learn about professional success from Chris Rock, Joan Rivers, and Charlie Chaplin? Just ask a behavioral scientist who teaches MBAs by day and decodes comedy by night.

Dr. Peter McGraw—a business school professor, co-author of The Humor Code, and founder of the Humor Research Lab (aka HuRL)—translates the perspectives and practices of the world’s funniest people into powerful prescriptions for professional success.

Drawing on real-world case studies from his global travels to crack the humor code, cutting-edge behavioral economics research, and his own comedy successes (and failures), McGraw reveals how the perspectives and practices of stand-ups, improvisers, writers, directors, clowns, and other comedy misfits can help you live a more successful professional life.

And you will never have to tell a joke.

McGraw pulls back the curtain on the craft of comedy to give you a glimpse into a mysterious world that will surprise you. Lessons include:

  • How a simple “101” comedy trick can help you overcome biases, improve your brand, and identify new business opportunities.
  • Why Nike and other innovative brands are behaving like Sarah Silverman, Andy Kaufman, and Joan Rivers in order to stand apart from the competition.
  • How the habits of Jerry Seinfeld, Larry David, and other great comedy writers can be used to improve productivity—and well-being.
  • What Bill Murray’s 1-800 number illustrates about how saying “no” can be more important than saying “yes.”
  • And why $50 is not too much to pay for a notebook…if you actually write in it.
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Outline/Structure of the Talk

Standard three part keynote (intro, body, conclusion). The body will feature three lessons.

Learning Outcome

Improved creativity

Understanding the value of clear targeting and strong product differentiation and branding

Dispel mythology about how to create a schedule that leads to novel insights, productivity, and enjoyment.

Learn to be a little funnier along the way.

Target Audience


Prerequisites for Attendees


schedule Submitted 5 months ago

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