UB MBA Students Learn to Lead with Laughter

National humor consultant cites examples from U.S. presidents

Release Date: January 15, 2002

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- MBA students in the University at Buffalo School of Management recently received tips on how to "lead with laughter" from Malcolm Kushner, a national humor consultant and author of "The Light Touch: How to Use Humor for Business Success."

Kushner's presentation, "How U.S. Presidents Use Humor to Relate, Motivate and Communicate and How You Can Too," was part of the UB MBA program's semiannual MBA Advantage program -- a series of career-development seminars and workshops held in August and during the winter break.

Held Jan. 16 in the Center for Tomorrow on UB's North (Amherst) Campus, Kushner's talk illustrated how U.S. presidents Bush, Clinton, Reagan, Nixon and others used humor as a communication tool to defuse tough situations and create rapport.

A UB alumnus, Kushner has presented at corporations and leadership institutions nationwide and at the Ronald Reagan Library.

As part of the MBA Advantage program, the UB MBA students also attend seminars on how to gain a competitive edge during business meals, advanced problem solving, and effective public speaking and business presentations. And they participate in a job-search competition -- sponsored by IBM -- in which they simulate a job search from market research, to resume writing to interviewing.

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