Tips on How You Can Improve Your Humor

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Need to improve your humor? Become a student of humor.

1. Visit comedy clubs. Study delivery and timing. Watch audience reaction. Observe what makes them laugh. What makes you laugh?

2. 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.

3. 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, Scott Adams, and Lewis Grizzard are great.

4. Join Toastmasters. They have advanced programs in humorous speaking.

5. Watch and listen to children very carefully. Kids are naturally funny in both words and actions.

6. Read history. The truth is often stranger and funnier than fiction.

7. Take humor risks where you don’t have much to lose—at home, with friends, in divorce court, in prison, etc.

8. Take a professional comedian or joke writer to lunch. You will learn the make-up of humor by spending time with professionals.

9. Practice making funny faces and gestures in the mirror. If you’re really brave, use the rear view mirror.

10. Get our your high school yearbook. Talk about funny—look up your picture. Or your girlfriend’s.

11. 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.

12. Carry audiotapes of your favorite comedians with you in the car. Pop them in before you make a sales call to get a lift.

13. Start looking for humor in your everyday life. Try to appreciate it as it is happening, instead of always in hindsight.

14. 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.

15. 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.

 

*Excerpted from Jeffrey Gitomer’s Little Red book of Selling

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