Exaggerating at work is obviously frowned upon. Luckily, exaggeration is much more acceptable when discussing trivial topics. Take advantage of your freedom to exaggerate inconsequential matters.
Four people offer a comment about their coffee.
JOE: This coffee might keep me up for a while.
PAT: This coffee’s going to keep me up all night.
JUSTIN: This coffee’s going to keep me up until next Tuesday!
RANDAL: This coffee’s going to keep me up until I’m 62.
Of the four people above, who is the least interesting?
Most people say that Joe sounds the least interesting. Can you see why? Could it be because Pat, Justin, and Randal all exaggerated the effects of the coffee? (Although Randal may have taken it too far!)
One of the most alluring aspects of exaggeration is simply making a situation more interesting than it really is. Everyone knows and understands that the coffee won’t keep anyone up for a week. You won’t go to jail if you exaggerate. Our culture allows for such artistic license, and in fact, prefers it.
Describing your dad as “old” is boring. “Ancient” is better. Referencing how he “fought in the Civil War,” is much more interesting!
Next time you eat too much of Aunt Alice’s BBQ pork or that giant bowl of Cincinnati chili, exaggerate the consequences.
“I could barely move afterwards.” Or “I think my stomach is still recovering.”
Overstated figures, hyperbole, and distortions signal to the audience, “Hey, I’m only joking.” Exaggerate more. There’s a reason society as a whole prefers exaggerated dramas over cold documentaries.