My husband has this hilarious date story that I’ve heard him tell about a hundred times, and each time I hear it, I laugh ’til I cry. Granted, it is a pretty funny story involving stepping in dog poop, but I don’t believe it would be quite so funny if not for his great delivery. Why are some people able to tell a joke that leaves their listeners roaring with laughter, while other people can’t get a laugh for the life of them? Okay, some people are just funny, but it’s not only that; there’s actually some technique involved in telling a funny joke. Here are some tips that will make your jokes most successful:
- Timing: Make sure the setting is appropriate.
- Audience: Know your audience and know what types of jokes they’ll be open to. You don’t want to offend anyone.
- Know your joke: Stumbling will just ruin everything.
- Be comfortable: Be relaxed while you tell your joke, and don’t make it sound scripted.
- Speak with expression: The worst thing for a joke is to speak in a monotone. You might want to use different voices for different characters, or accents- but only if you can do a good accent.
- Smile: Smile while you tell the joke, but don’t laugh. Laughing will look like you’re trying too hard.
- Be specific: Give details to make the joke more interesting and to make your audience able to picture exactly what you’re saying.
- Set-up: Be realistic so your audience can relate, but exaggerate to make it funny.
- Believe your joke is funny: That’s how you’ll come off as funny.
- Make it personal: Put yourself into the joke somehow.
- Pause before the punchline: Making them wait a few seconds creates suspense and makes the punchline more funny.
- Keep it short: A long story will get boring and that’s not funny.
Humor is such a valuable tool that it’s worthwhile to try to master it. You’ll make yourself and lots of other people really happy!