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    Keynote Spotlight on "Humor Engineer", Andrew Tarvin by Katarina Triguba

    Andrew Tarvin juggled humor engineering and project management for 3 years before ultimately leaving P&G in 2012. He now dedicates all of his time to training others on the skill of humor. Andrew will be speaking at the 11th annual PMI Summit18. He hopes to inspire fellow PMs to bring comedy into their daily operations, enabling them to achieve better results and have more fun.

    Andrew Tarvin is a speaker, author, coach, and self-proclaimed “humor engineer.” Andrew will be speaking at the 11th annual PMI Summit18. He hopes to inspire fellow PMs to bring comedy into their daily operations, enabling them to achieve better results and have more fun.

    What, you might ask, is a humor engineer? Andrew defines the role as one that “uses humor to help solve some of the toughest workplace challenges: one that involves humans.” He has delivered over 100 speaking and training engagements on topics including humor in the workplace, inspirational leadership, communicating confidently, team-building, creative problem-solving, enhanced productivity and strategic disengagement.

    Andrew started his comedic career while attending The Ohio State University. He co-founded, co-led, and performed in The 8th Floor Improv Comedy Group, a group of hilarious students that perform sketch comedy, stand-up comedy, and long-form improvisation.

    After graduating from OSU in 2006 with a degree in Engineering, Andrew took a position at Procter & Gamble as a Project Manager and Business Analyst. He quickly found that his sense of humor was pertinent to engaging his team and driving projects.

    “I started to realize that the reason I was being successful was only partially because of my technical skills; the rest of it was from what I learned doing stand-up and improv. And as I added more humor to my work, people started responding to my emails and actually wanted to come to my weekly status meetings. So I started researching and writing about humor in the workplace and discovered there are 30+ benefits to using humor at work, and I felt that no one was really talking about it. So I decided to teach other people how to use humor, mostly so I wouldn't have to sit in terrible meetings anymore,” Andrew said.

    Andrew juggled humor engineering and project management for 3 years before ultimately leaving P&G in 2012. He now dedicates all of his time to training others on the skill of humor.

    “Speaking, coaching, and training were natural ways to teach other people the incredible skills I learned from stand-up and improv. People could learn what I have by doing stand-up and improv for 10 years... or they could come to my programs to see what I've reverse-engineered from the process so that they can get started right away,” Andrew said.

    In addition to speaking, coaching, and training, Andrew created HumorThatWorks.com and is the author of 4 books, including the Amazon Best-Seller Humor that Works: 501 Ways to Use Humor to Beat Stress, Increase Productivity, and Have Fun at Work.

    “Humor is incredibly effective with humans because, when we have fun, we're more engaged in our work and less stressed out. When applied appropriately, humor can improve communication, build relationships, enhance problem-solving, increase productivity, and strengthen leadership, all things that lead to greater effectiveness every single day,” Andrew said.
    According to Andrew, we can all utilize humor to more effectively manage projects.

    “The starting point to using humor is understanding your Humor MAP—your Medium, Audience, and Purpose,” Andrew said. “The Medium is how you are going to execute the message. Is it in an email, a meeting, a conference call, or a one-on-one conversation? The Audience is who is going to receive that message. What do they know, what do they need, and what is your relationship to them? And your Purpose is why you are going to use humor? Is it to get people to pay attention, to remember something longer, to keep people engaged, etc? Once you understand that, you can choose the right humor that will help you get the results you want.”

    “The most important step to using humor is to just start. Humor is a choice you make in how you do you work, so try one thing each day that adds a little fun to your daily activities. Just make sure that you follow your Humor MAP and that the humor is positive and inclusive. If you need ideas, just check out the Humor That Works blog to get started,” Andrew said.

    For more about Andrew, please visit his website at HumorThatWorks.com.

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