For real. It's not as hard as you think.
I can teach you how to be funny.
Don't be an Energy Vampire.
The difference between funny and not funny, engaging and unengaging, often comes down to the nonverbal delivery of the words and not the words themselves.
First, read the words from one of Aziz Ansari’s skits when he performed live at Madison Square Garden:
“Has anyone tried to make plans with anyone? It’s the most frustrating experience. ‘Cause what happens anytime you ask someone to do something nowadays? It’s like, “Hey, you wanna do this fun thing?” “Maybe. Maybe, I could try.”
Can you guess what part made the audience laugh?
I’ll tell you. They laughed when he said the words “Maybe, Maybe”. Why is that? It’s not an incredibly funny joke is it? I wouldn’t call it “witty” either. It’s because his delivery is almost second-to-none. Aziz could talk about eating macaroni and cheese for ten minutes and some people would still find him entertaining.
Please watch the actual clip below to see what I mean. Try to focus on his delivery. Study how he talks. Notice his enthusiasm, energy, volume, and vocal ups and downs. Then mute the video and observe how he communicates with his body language. Notice how he’s interesting to watch even when you can’t hear him. Watch the quick hand gestures, the interesting facial expressions, and the consistent range of motion.
Be more like Aziz with everything you say and do. Even if you don't change a single word, you'll be instantly funnier and more interesting by simply adjusting your body language and nonverbal communication.
The following humor techniques are based on my book:
You Can Be Funny and Make People Laugh
No Theories. No Fluff. 35 Humor Techniques that Work for Everyday Conversations
" The bible of conversational humor…unless you're a struggling comedian, this is the only book you'll ever need! "
-Rick H. North Carolina, USA
The Humor's in the Details
(Just Not Too Many Okay?)
If you want to be funny, you need to upgrade the way you describe things, like your surroundings, yourself, and your annoying little brother.
Examine the following two comparisons. The first comments rely on plain wording. The second comments include a few more descriptive words.
1. “His breath smelled so bad!”
“His breath smelled like beef stroganoff!”
2. “There were a lot of people there.”
“It was like Woodstock all over again, but with less mud and naked people.”
Why It Works
Some words are inherently more interesting than others. Saying “His breath smelled bad” isn’t nearly as funny as saying “His breath smelled like beef stroganoff.” Regardless of the meaning, the name “beef stroganoff” just sounds funny by itself. You could substitute “beef stroganoff” with “gorgonzola cheese” or “moldy elderberries” and it would probably still work. Pay attention to what your circle of friends thinks is funny and sprinkle those words into your vernacular.
Have you ever wondered why someone else can say the same basic thing you did earlier but receive a much better reaction? The difference may exist because of a different energy level or the delivery. But sometimes, it comes down to just one or two words. A single word can often make or break a phrase, joke, or story. You may think that is obvious, but subpar conversationalists often underestimate the power of words and choose boring and easy instead of fun and interesting.
Advertisers and good writers know that incorporating visual imagery, analogies, and emotive words are among the fastest ways to your heart (and wallet!) That’s also why most sports broadcasts have “color commentators.” Fans don’t just want the facts. They want the emotions that go along with the game. They connect with the colorful descriptions! If I described an old man as “grumpy,” it would be sufficient. You’d get it. But what if I painted a picture with something even more descriptive and relatable? “He had this grumpy, just-drank-apple-cider-vinegar look.” Can you visualize him a little better now?
Even something as mundane and unpleasant as changing a dirty diaper contains moments of levity and fun if you play with your descriptions. There is an entire range of experiences, from the easy-clean-up to the total nuclear disaster; the more extreme the mess, the more options are available for colorful descriptions. You could say little Rowan let loose a torrential flood of toxic waste. 100% liquid. Flammable liquid. Napalm. Talk about how you might need a hazmat suit just to survive, and that you may suffocate soon from the poisonous fumes.
Have fun. Play. Be descriptive.
" I never thought I could be funny until I read this book. I've already ready it twice! "
-Sam H. Michigan, USA