What to do When you’re not Funny

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My Mother can’t tell a joke, she forgets the punch-line and has to start over again and again. When no one laughs, she explains why it was funnier when Ed told it.

Do you know someone like this? Maybe you?

When you’re speaking do you avoid trying to be funny because you’re afraid you’ll embarrass yourself? Don’t feel bad, you’re not alone. Most people, and I mean like 80% do not consider themselves funny. However, making your audience laugh is one of the best ways to connect, loosen up the crowd, and get them to agree with you.

So you weren’t the class clown, who cares. You don’t have to be born funny. It’s a learned skill. You really can learn the art of humor. Does it take some effort? Of course, anything worth doing does. Is it worth it? OH YEAH! People love to laugh and if you’re the person that can make that happen they will want to see you speak again and again.

The first step in learning to be humorous is committing to it. That’s a big step.

I want to help you get there. So here is what I want you to do. Go to YouTube.com and search for “Stand Up Comedy.” Watch whatever videos interest you, but watch them with a student’s eye. Each time you laugh, rewind and play that section again and notice how the comedian did it. What did they do; gestures, facial expressions, tone-of-voice, and especially timing. Then, go out and practice.

For most people practice will be the toughest part. They worry that they will look like a fool if nobody laughs. This is a valid fear. It’s not comfortable to be the only person in the room laughing. So here’s the trick; never laugh at your own jokes until the audience starts laughing. Then, it’s alright to laugh with them. Also if you tell a joke and no one laughs, just act as if you didn’t mean it to be funny and go on with your speech. No one will be the wiser.

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