Be Funny By Not Trying So Hard – The harder you try to be funny, the less funny you will be.
Trying too hard to be funny works against you. It sets up a confrontational feel to your delivery. You feel as though you are challenging the audience to laugh. The attitude is that it is important to “make them laugh!” That if you do not succeed that you are not in control and you fail. It sets up an expectation that the laughs MUST come. And you feel a disappointment when your expectations are not met. You tell a joke. You get no laughs. You give the audience the “look of expectation.” When delivering humor, do not beg.
It is a clear lesson that we learn on the improv stage. The harder you try to be funny, the less funny you will be. Better to relax and be in the moment. Connect with the others in the room. Let the humor flow from your character, your stories, what you do with your body, how you pause. And the audience will like you more when you are less “in their face” with the humor.
So when you deliver a funny line (one that YOU thought was funny) and the audience did not laugh, just realize that they are gently correcting your assumption. They are making you a better presenter the next time you step on the platform. They are doing you a favor. They are coaching you to eliminate the joke or change it. When you are greeted by silence, pretend you were serious. After all, a well delivered humor line should come as a surprise. So if they donât laugh, itâs your secret. And maybe use a stock line like, “the reason I told you that story was…” And make a learning point. Pretend that you never did expect them to laugh in the first place, and keep moving. They will never know!
Remember one of the key secrets of the good humorist. Less is more. Do not try so hard and your humor will usually flow with a more natural and impactful style.
Copyright 2005 by John Kinde
By John Kinde, Motivational Humorist from Las Vegas, NV.
(702) 263-4363 www.humorpower.com