Training is serious business. So open with a joke. Or a song.

Research shows that putting learners in a positive mood may improve the success of your training session.

Researchers found that subjects in a positive mood performed better and were more creative on a computer-based test than those in a neutral or negative mood.

The study put participants in different moods using videos and music that evoked an emotional response.

The subjects who watched a funny video or listened to happy music right before the test outperformed both the neutral and negative groups.

Trainers’ take home: Starting off with some humor can improve performance and set a positive tone for the session.

Consider a light-hearted opening to your training, especially if the session includes an activity that requires problem-solving or creativity.

Source: Nadler, R.T., et al. (2010). Better mood and better performance: Learning rule-described categories is enhanced by positive mood. Psychological Science, 21(12), 1770-1776.

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