The Soul of Wit

According to a series of psychological studies discussed on Psychology Today, research participants are able to successfully communicate sarcasm and humor in a mere 56 percent of emails—and most of the senders had no idea their attemps were so ineffective.

How do you avoid this? The article gives some tips:

  • Read your emails aloud and listen for parts that could be confusing.
  • For important emails, walk away from the computer and come back with a fresh perspective.
  • Eudora apparently has a “Mood Watch” function, which highlights volatile phrases—one, two or three red chili peppers, depending on the burn.

This is a great reminder, especially when writing pitches or cover letters. Wit can be a great tool—as long as most readers get it. Clearly, subtlety is not the soul of wit.

By | 2016-10-24T14:13:39+00:00 September 19th, 2008|Categories: Pitching and Presenting|Tags: |0 Comments

About the Author:

Guy Kawasaki is the chief evangelist of Canva, an online graphic design tool. Formerly, he was an advisor to the Motorola business unit of Google and chief evangelist of Apple. He is also the author of The Art of Social Media, The Art of the Start, APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur, Enchantment, and nine other books. Kawasaki has a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA as well as an honorary doctorate from Babson College.

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