I love a good story and a good story-teller pulls you into their sphere by making you feel that they have chosen to tell you, and you alone, a special secret. When you leave the encounter feeling as if you know hold a special grain of knowledge that no one else does you feel somehow more important. And who doesn’t like to feel important?
Jokes that aren’t simple “ba-da-boom” one liners are also good for this, because if the punchline is delivered correctly – and the joke is appropriate to the audience – the laughter has an extra edge because not only are you sharing the fact that it is funny but that you “get it”. Not everyone will “get it” so you are now in that special club of people that the joke teller thinks will be able to “get it”, and we are back to feeling important.