May the joke be with you…
Need to improve your humor? Become a student of humor.
- Visit comedy clubs. Study delivery and timing. Watch audience reaction. Observe what makes them laugh. What makes you laugh?
- Watch comedy shows on TV/Cable. The older shows tend to be funnier. Make a note of what’s funny. Bugs Bunny is funny. Actions, vocal tones, facial expressions, words, types of stories.
- Read joke books, or books that are funny. Milton Berle’s joke book is particularly good. Books written by humorists like Dave Barry, Art Buchwald, and Lewis Grizzard are great.
- Join Toastmasters. They have advanced programs in humorous speaking.
- Watch and listen to children very carefully. Kids are naturally funny in both words and actions.
- Read history. The truth is often stranger and funnier than fiction.
- Take humor risks where you don’t have much to lose — at home, with friends, in divorce court, in prison, etc.
- Take a professional comedian or joke writer to lunch. By spending time with professionals you will learn the make-up of humor.
- Practice making funny faces and gestures in the mirror. If you’re really brave use the rear view mirror.
- Get out your high school yearbook. Talk about funny — look up your picture. Or your girlfriend’s.
- Take an acting class. This is a good way to come out of your shell. A friend of mine told me that I was acting like a jerk. I told him I wasn’t acting.
- Carry audio tapes of your favorite comedians with you in the car. Pop them in before you make a sales call to get a lift (or an idea).
- Start looking for humor in your everyday life. Try to appreciate it as it is happening, instead of always in hindsight.
- Practice exaggerating your gestures and experimenting with your posture. A lot of humor is body language humor. Learn to be funny without saying a word.
- Hang around funny people. It’s amazing how your humor will increase when you’re in the company of people who are funny.
15.5 Laugh a lot. If you’re serious about using humor, start smiling and laughing more.