Open Dialogue Cafe – A brief introduction to how funny you are

On the 20th of April, the international family of Open Dialogue Cafe met online with a hilarious facilitator, Carmine Rodi. Carmine is a trainer, facilitator, lecturer, storyteller, author, blogger, stand-up comedian, psychotherapist-in-training. Active since 2001, he operates as a freelance professional in the field of communication and training for individuals, public entities, NGOs and businesses. He uses the power of stories and world-building, activities based on experience, and educational games to create fun and effective tailor-made learning opportunities with a very personal touch.  Some of his specialities are communication skills, public speaking, personal and organizational development, story crafting and storytelling, intercultural communication and understanding.

However, during the ODC meeting, he has focused on humour techniques, while sharing his experiences as a stand-up comedian. He explained to the participants that there are many ways to make the audience laugh, however, each one of us can have a unique style to be funny, which is sharing our own lives. As a matter of fact, by telling our stories, the listeners can on one hand feel represented, as everyone shares the same struggles at work, in family, etc. On the other hand, they will hear something new, as everybody is a different person, with a different story. Among many tips, this is what Carmine suggested:

“At first glance, people who are “funny” seem to have some sort of superpower. And while it’s true that some individuals are gifted with a natural sense of timing, exceptional insights, or are simply exceptionally likeable, most of the work of a professional comedian or humorist is craft and practice, practice, practice. This means that literally everybody can upscale their writing or public speaking skills by understanding how jokes work – or don’t. ”

During the workshop, he also described some theories behind “humour”, starting from Aristotle to our days and made the participants practice a few joke-writing  exercises to see how it’s possible to unleash creativity, get rid of self-doubt, and try our hand at being relaxed and well, funnier. In Carmine’s words:

“The biggest part of the work is getting rid of judgment and self-judgment. Then the fun can start!”

As always, the ODC community learnt by having fun, which is the main objective of this constructive project!