While it is important to communicate with people in a get-together to be in their good books, it is equally important to have a good sense of humor to get the attraction of others. Having a sense of humor is a very admirable trait. Like anything, some people are naturally gifted at telling good jokes, while others struggle to find the right punch line. If you find comedy difficult, understanding what makes a good joke will vastly improve your sense of humor and allow you to be the star of a dinner or party. You can sharpen your sense of humor if you really want to. Just in some time of your efforts of improving your sense of humor, you would find people loving your company.
Here are some ways to improve your sense of humor:
1. Arouse curiosity. Never speak the punch line of the humorous story/joke in the beginning. Your audience should not have any inkling about the end of your joke otherwise the laughter would be missing and your joke may boomerang.
2. Never announce that you are going to tell them a joke. If you want to become famous, first make the ground for the joke and then blur it out to make it look spontaneous. You have to do this cleverly. If you do it, they would look for you, call you, and invite you in their parties and seminars.
3. The punch line or punch word should always be in the last. If you speak anything after the punch line that would only spoil the effect of that joke. There is no exception to this rule.
4. You may fumble while narrating the joke many times but you can’t fumble on the punch line. It must role out smoothly from your lips. That’s why I would suggest you to always mug up the punch line and practice it speaking. But never memorize the story word to word.
5. ‘The Three Pauses Technique’ (TPT). Never speak a joke in one breath. You know your joke well but most people take time to understand. Give them time. Give the first pause before the punch line. So they understand that you have reached to the climax. Second pause before the punch word and third pause after the punch word and then shut up.( The dots on three places in the previous point represent pauses)
6. Maintain appropriate body language, voice modulation, facial expression and eye contact. You may use all of them during the joke. But keep the punch line as simple as possible using none of the above.
7. Live in present. People who think about yesterdays and fearful tomorrows never improve their sense of humor.
8. The most important thing in a sense of humour is being able to look at the funny side of even the most annoying things.
9. Start associating with humorous, fun loving people and avoid the tongue-tights. With quiet people you remain quiet and funny company makes you just like them. Society moulds a man.
10. It is important to realize that we all make mistakes and when we have a good laugh, that makes the mistake seem trivial. People like you when you laugh out your mistakes.
11. Make note of the jokes that really make people laugh and save them for opportune moments. For instance, someone recalled reading the ‘Situation Vacant” ads one morning and discovered this gem: “The successful applicant should have 203 years experience.” Obviously the advertisement meant to say 2 or 3 years experience.
He immediately cut it out and placed it in my collection for future use.
12. Exaggerate the embarrassing moments of your life and tell others as a humorous story.
13. Find your style. Watch all the great comedians on TV, radio or on big screen. To name a few: Raju Srivastav, Shekher Suman, Surender Sharma, Anupam Kher, Jaspal Bhatti, Johny Lever etc. They all have their own unique style and brand of comedy– slapstick, situational, political, cynical, raunchy, etc. Discover whatever works best for you and make your identity.
Some DO’s & DON’TS:
1. Once you have selected, prepared and practiced your jokes, find an audience. Ask yourself, what type of audience do you enjoy presenting your jokes to? Kids, adults or your peer group?
2. Never take others’ jokes seriously but don’t even hurt someone by just cracking a joke on them.
3. Make sure to avoid racist, sexist, or filthy humor. There is plenty of good, clean and naughty humor to go around without resorting to these. Remember that there is a difference between dirty and naughty humor.
At Anurag Aggarwal Institute of Public Speaking, we provide training on public speaking and personality development. For details, visit https://anuragaggarwalinstituteofpublicspeaking.wordpress.com/publicspeakingcourse/