Figuring out how to be funny can seem like trying to solve a Rubik’s cube puzzle while on fire. It can seem like no matter what we say in a conversation it never seems to get that laugh out loud moment, and in some cases, it can kill the conversation leaving an embarrassing silence.
Being funny doesn’t have to be hard or particularly witty you just have to have an understanding of different types of sense of humour and timing.
Why Is Being Funny Important?
Being funny is a key element to becoming more charismatic and likeable. People are drawn to others who can make them laugh, if you can make someone laugh then chances are, they will enjoy spending time with you. If they enjoy spending time with you, then they are more likely to see you as a potential contact, relationship prospect or someone they would like to do business with. Humour also defuses a situation and can relax your audience and ultimately make you the go to person, creating a memorable presence.
Types of Sense of Humour
Have you ever noticed that some jokes work on some folk and fall flat with others? The reason is because the humour wasn’t tailored to the person you were speaking to or the situation. Understanding the types of sense of humour is key to delivery.
- Physical Humour
- Observational Humour
- Dry Humour
- Highbrow Humour
- Dirty Humour
Not everyone will fit into only one of the above categories, most will fall in two or three (Sometimes all of them) but once you can figure out which one your audience is your jokes will be landing a lot better.
Situations to be Funny in
There might have been times where you have said something funny, that’s possibly got a laugh before and would normally of been a winner, yet its fallen on its face. This is because you haven’t picked the correct situation to be funny in.
You can be funny in obvious situations such as social gatherings, dates, office chit chat, coffee mornings etc. You can also apply humour in some more serious situations such as at the end of job interviews, in meeting presentations, conferences etc.
It’s imperative to tailor the humour to the person and situation. The last thing you want is to put your foot in it and look like the bad guy who tells offensive jokes or the office idiot who just does not get it.
Signs to Look Out For
When in a conversation and you are looking to be funny, manage your expectations. Just because you might not get the large laugh immediately it doesn’t mean you’re not funny.
Look out for small signs such as head nodding, body patting in agreement, chuckles, slight grin these are all signs your joke has been acknowledged and understood.
How to be Funny with Delivery
A key component to being funny is the delivery of the joke.
In some instances, there are jokes that aren’t actually that funny, yet when delivered in the correct way, it makes them funny. When it comes to joke delivery, you want to:
- Say joke with confidence & conviction
- Talk in a clear voice
- Make sure there is relative quietness for the joke to be heard & hit
- Use hand/body gestures/timing
How to be Funny in Conversations
1. Find a Brilliantly funny story
Everyone has that one good story and it can be about anything, the time a mishap happened on holiday or a time when something goofy/unexpected happened at work or making fun of yourself. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a side-splitting hilarious story it just has to be interesting and show your sense of humour.
If you’re unsure if your story is any good, then try it out on friends first to gage their reaction, you will also be more relaxed and less nervous. Don’t be afraid to embellish it by adding in a few bits or removing bits so it packs a punch!
2. Adopt a Character
When you are telling a story or a joke try and adopt the characters. Change your voice or imitate the main character, body, mannerisms, recreate and exaggerate the characters reaction in the story.
This will enhance the comedy in your story as people will find the ‘caricature’ funny and the best part is that you could apply this to relatively boring story like “Going for coffee” and perhaps adopting the character of the Starbucks barista will bring it to life!
3. The Rule of Three
The rule of three is a specific comedy technique used in stand-up comedy & comedy movies. It may sound technical, however, I bet you’ve been doing it without even noticing. The rule of three is when you are telling someone something and you list 3 things.
The first 2 are normal however the 3rd thing is so exaggerated it’s funny!
“There are only three things women need in life: food, water, and compliments.”
– Chris Rock
This is funny because the third option is unexpected and the surprise makes us laugh.
Use Metaphors and Similes
Metaphors are when you’re describing something ‘is’ something and similes are when you are describing something ‘is like’ something. You can fill in the blanks with anything you deem to be funny for example:
Metaphor – “Busier than aone-armed clown making balloon animals at a kids party”
Simile – “She grew on him, like mould on toast”
Regardless if you are an introvert or extrovert anyone can learn to be funny. You don’t have to get bellowing laughs; you can still be considered witty and funny in your own unique way. Many people ask how to be funny, but anyone can be funny as long as they follow the stops of:
- Understanding the different types of humour
- Tailoring the humour to the person
- Have a kick ass story, even if it’s about yourself
Anyone can apply the comedy principles to become a very likeable person and the benefits of being a likeable person will mean doors will get opened for you. If you would like some additional one on one support have a look at our coaching.