Studies have shown that getting ahead at work requires a sense of humor. While some people are naturally funny, others have to work at it, and that can be harder than it sounds. What’s the most proven way to develop a sense of humor? While there is no absolute way to get funnier overnight, there are some little tips you can practice to improve your sense of humor. Here are the 19 most effective ways to develop a good sense of humor and impress others in work and life.
1. Exaggerate characters or specific elements
To attract people to you, you need to learn how to make people laugh. The best tool to use is some exaggeration. Exaggerate one of your features, an object around you, or something someone is wearing. Use an adjective that’s a little too strong to exaggerate the situation. Also, use your tone of voice to enhance the joke.
2. Change your vocal tone
Being able to speak in an amusing way is an important social skill that can make people laugh and bring joy to the listener. Yet, most people tend to have a neutral tone of voice when speaking, which can make it hard to notice a humorous intent behind their words. By practicing with your vocal tone, you can make your voice funnier and more entertaining to others.
Here is people’s reaction when you joke with a neural tone:
Related Article: Sound More Professional Using Voice Improvement Software
3. Test out jokes on others if you can
Is it hard for you to find funny things to say? Are you nervous about what others think of your jokes? The good news is everyone has an inner comedian, they need to learn how to let it out. The solution is to practice your jokes in front of others. For some, the idea of trying out jokes on others seems scary, but if you can do it in a safe environment, it can be a great way to learn how to crack people up.
4. Make it simple
Not everyone will understand complex jokes. If they don’t understand, they will not laugh. What makes a joke funny is not its complexity or depth, but its simplicity.
A result of this is that the more you try to force a joke to be funny, the more it will fall flat on its face.
5. Maintain positive attitude
A positive attitude can help you keep your cool and deal with life’s stressors. It can help you maintain your balance and focus on the positive rather than the negative, and can offer a better outlook on the tough times you encounter at work. A positive attitude can also help by making you look more successful to your colleagues, and can help you feel better about yourself as a result.
6. Participate in Standup Comedy lessons
Standup comedy is often considered an art form, but it can also be a great way to improve your social skills. A few weeks of lessons can make a big difference for anyone who has ever felt self-conscious about cracking jokes in public.
7. Put Punchline at the end
By putting the joke at the end of your story, you can make sure that your punchline is the last thing the listener hears. And even if your joke isn’t funny, a well-timed punchline can still save the story.
8. Rule of three
The Rule of Three is a popular writing technique that involves writing three consecutive items, three lines or three paragraphs that are linked together in some way. In comedy, Rule of Three is often used by comedian to create laughters by making the third one unexpected. For example, when you introduce yourself, you can say “I am a nerd, I only watch Star Wars, Star-trek and, Starbucks haha”.
Most popular speakers use three items because three is easier to remember and keep the audience engaged.
9. Avoid humor at someone’s expense
There is a theory that using humor at someone’s expense—or making fun of them—is a great way to get a laugh. In reality, it’s usually a great way to get someone angry—and not in a fun way. It’s important to note that jokes can hurt feelings. Making fun of someone publicly instead of privately can humiliate them and make them feel attacked. When you’re working with a team, you need to be extremely careful about how you use humor. This is because humor can cause people to develop a bias against someone who is the brunt of a joke. This can affect their career, depending on the seriousness of the joke.
10. Don’t tell jokes, tell stories
A really good joke, or a funny story, can be a great way to start a conversation, but it’s not likely to be the most effective way to make sure that your point comes across.
Instead, start with a story, and make sure that your story is one that your audience can relate to. You will be surprised at how effective a simple story can be.
Unlike a joke, a story can’t be misconstrued or misunderstood—all your listener has to do to “get it” is to listen.
11. Start your funny files
There are plenty of resources available online to start building your funny files. Familiarize yourself with the different types of resources available and collect the ones that you find funny. Some of the most common forms of humor files include jokes, puns, one-liners, and humorous stories, so start by looking them up.
12. Let the laughter rest
No matter how funny you think you are, you can’t keep the audience laughing without giving them a chance to catch their breath in between jokes. A famous comedian once said, “comedy is tragedy plus time,” and studies have shown that a pause of over a second between punch lines makes a joke significantly funnier for the audience. So the next time you’re telling a joke, remember to let your audience finish their laugh before you continue to the next point.
13. Use visual humor
Being funny is a powerful social skill that can be used to gain respect, advance your career, and even make new friends. But humor is subjective, and some people just don’t get it. As a result, showing a little visual humor can make it easier to win over a new crowd.
Visual humor consists of funny images depicting real-life situations. To create visual humor, you need to apply your imagination to find ridiculous or comical images to portray a situation or an idea. Visual representations of a situation can be funny without further enhancement because the images create a funny contrast between the representation and the situation, giving rise to humor.
14. Think fails and firsts
If you don’t know what jokes to tell, think about your fails and firsts. How was your first day at work? How did you meet your boyfriend/husband for the first time? How did you fail a particular subject when you were in university? How did you fail in driving class?
I believe that every one of us has funny and unforgettable fails and firsts. You just need to recall and pull the stories out when situations call for it.
15. Use the act of misdirection
One of the best ways to make people laugh is to use something called an act of misdirection. An act of misdirection is when you make someone focus on something that will lead them to believe they are about to see one thing, only to discover that they have seen something else. Most commonly, this is used as a comedy tool, but it also has plenty of practical applications in everyday life.
16. Make it relatable
There’s nothing worse than telling a joke to someone, and having them look at you with a blank stare, or worse, an awkward laugh. You can’t help but feel like a failure when this happens, but it’s easier to cope with than when it happens to you. What’s the best way to avoid this? Make jokes relatable. You’ll never know if your joke will fail unless you try it out, but if you can make it relate to your audience, there’s a better chance you’ll get positive results.
There are many ways to make a joke relatable, but the first step is writing down a list of “relatable” topics that are popular in your industry, such as: • “Working late” • “The company holiday party” • “Acing a presentation” • “The boss” • “Your success”
17. Use humor sparingly
The number one piece of advice you will hear about humor in the workplace is to use it sparingly. The reason for this is because using humor too often will make you seem less professional. People will start to assume you are making jokes instead of being serious about your work, and you will no longer be taken seriously by your coworkers. If you want to use humor in the workplace, it should be used as a tool to help you connect with people, to get people laughing with you and not at you, and to help people get to know you as a person.
18. Don’t try to be funny
In any situation, it’s usually easy to tell when somebody is trying too hard to be funny. You might cringe when a nervous person cracks a joke at an inappropriate time, or roll your eyes when someone tells a long-winded, overly elaborate riddle. People who try too hard to be funny use humor to hide their fear or shyness, or to compensate for insecurity. The best way to use humor is to let it flow naturally from your character, rather than working to create a specific image.
19. Be confident
Everyone loves a good storyteller. And a great storyteller can lift the sales pitch or everyday conversation into a funny, entertaining tale that people want to hear more of. But what gives somebody the talent for telling great stories? What makes a good storyteller great? The answer is confidence, and not the kind that comes from knowing you’ve got the best story. Confidence is the belief that what you’re saying is worth listening to.
Hope you find these 19 tips to develop a good sense of humor helpful. Practice these every day and you will master the art of humor in no time.
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