Humor can help you connect with other people and make unpleasant situations a little more bearable. This is part two of a four part blog about how to be funny. Being funny might seem like it takes a lot of work, but it’s actually not that hard once you tap into your inner sense of humor. Even if you don’t think you’re naturally funny, there are things you can do to make yourself and other people laugh.
- Keep it fresh. Staying on one subject can grow tiresome quickly; learn to flip to new topics to keep your humor fresh during an occasion of repartee!
- If you wait too long, even very funny comments will lose their impact. For example, if someone says something to you and you think of a witty comeback two hours later, you’re probably better off just keeping it to yourself. It won’t be funny anymore.
- Hand gestures and facial expressions help and can even make things funnier.
- What is funny has cultural overlays. Something funny in the USA may be perplexing in France, for example. Keep this in mind, and try to find universally shared funny stories.
- If someone from across the room starts looking at you while a test is happening, then throw a funny face while the teacher is not looking. This should make them laugh depending on their personality.
- Don’t laugh at your own jokes until everyone else is laughing. It will not only make it seem you’re trying too hard to be funny, but it can also spoil the funny moment and nobody else will feel inclined to laugh. Avoid “canned laughter” for individuals.
- Practice being funny. Everything improves with practice but it’s important to practice in a low-risk environment first and to build up your funnier self to wider audiences as you improve. Your family and friends will be most forgiving, while a large audience will expect you to be good from the start. Practicing with people you trust and who can give you constructive feedback is a good way to start.
- Practice callbacks. You may have noticed that many comedians will tell a joke and then bring it back in one version or another, usually getting as big a laugh (or bigger) on the second time than on the first. This is called a callback, and you can use this technique, too. If you come up with a joke or observation that gets a big laugh, subtly bring it back a little later. As a general rule, though, don’t try to call something back more than 3 times.
- Remember to include non-verbal funny cues, such as doing a funny dance, or making a funny noise, where these are appropriate.
- Gender matters. Men tend to tell more jokes, tease and disparage (hostile humor), and enjoy slapstick humor, whereas women tend to prefer telling a story, usually in a self-deprecating manner, that elicits a response of group solidarity from other females. Interestingly, the roles reverse when you stick men and women together – men tend to tone down the teasing while women turn it up and target it at men, losing much of their self-deprecation in the process!
- Remember being funny is all about being yourself, so be sure that your jokes are unique to you. Don’t copy anyone else’s style – people are probably less likely to laugh If they’ve heard the joke before. So try to create your own jokes but even if you use jokes you already know of then make sure its actually funny, harmless and is not a cliché.
- Be sure to consider if the environment where you tell the joke is appropriate before you begin. Don’t pick on someone too much. Spread it around.
- Be very careful with being funny about sacred cows, from religion to politics. Everything can be funny but sometimes if you go “too far” in someone else’s eyes, they’ll call you on it.
If you have something to add, please leave a comment below !!!
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