How to be funny in any conversation
Being funny is a real superpower. It improves friendships, eases the tension in difficult situations, increases long-term memory retention, brings people closer together,…
Some even seem to be born funny. But being funny can be trained and learned. Every comedian spends hours writing on their new program and practicing it for months before going on stage.
Just like them, you can train to be more funny too.
Here is how to do that:
1. Be confident
“What has being confident to do with being funny?“, you might ask. Well, a lot, since confidence is the basis of every joke. Being funny means risking that you fail and nobody or just a few people laugh. And that is absolutely fine. Not everyone has the same humor. Some laugh about the silliest jokes while others only begin to smile when someone tells them a „high-level“ joke.
What is important is that you yourself consider your jokes as being funny. This way, you automatically feel more confident too.
Similar to that, laughing is funny just on its own. If you laugh, because you think your jokes are funny, other people are more likely to laugh along with you. Laughing at your own jokes will infect other people.
You can even profit from someone else cracking a joke. Laughing at the other person’s joke makes them feel more confident and lets you appear more funny at the same time. A win-win-situation!
3. Topic of jokes
You can either make fun of yourself or of others. If you make fun of yourself, be careful. Self-deprecating jokes need to be used in moderation. They work best if you are already in a position of power. Cracking jokes about yourself all the time will only make you appear insecure.
The other way around, you can make fun of others too. Just pay attention not to hurt anyones feelings. Do not joke about permanent or uncommon attributes or about their identity. Instead, joke about things the other person is already feeling confident about.
4. Prepare to be funny – strategies
In order to be funny even in spontaneous situations, some preparation can give you a huge benefit. Think of a few funny personal stories and test them once in a while in front of people. Over time, your repertoire will get bigger and better.
There are a couple of strategies for being funny, too. One is called the 1-2-punch. Basically, you list two unfunny things, followed by a funny punchline. Here is an example of the 1-2-punch used in an email: (as used here)
I’ve tried to reach you a few times to go over suggestions on improving […], but haven’t heard back which tells me one of three things:
1) You’re all set with […] and I should stop bothering you.
2) You’re still interested but haven’t had time to get back to me yet.
3) You’ve fallen and can’t get up (and in that case let me know and I’ll call someone to help you…)
Please let me know which one as I’m starting to worry!
Apply those strategies in your daily communication with others. Over time, they will become routine.