Jul 9, 2008

Top 10 ways to boost your humor skills.

Anyone Can Learn to be Funny.

Probably the single greatest asset which anyone can ever have in conversations is the ability to make other people laugh.

Whether you are talking with your friends, to someone who you like, or just trying to be the popular person who everyone wants to be around, you will get light years ahead if only you can make them laugh.

An interesting, but little known fact is that laughter is a response which is a subconscious way of saying to someone else "I want to bond with you". Is it any wonder that countless surveys have shown that the number one desired characteristic in the opposite sex, for both sexes, is a sense of humor.

But can someone actually learn to be funny? Do you have to be born with a particular natural talent for humor, which if you don't have, there's no chance for you? Are some people permanently condemned to a lifetime of boredom and unpopularity, never able to hold their own in a conversation, while the "natural funny guys" effortlessly take the approval of everyone present? Is there a secret to being funny?

Many naturally funny people, even most stand-up comedians, will tell you that humor "just comes" and that is the only way it can be ever be produced. If you don't possess a natural sense of humor, you will never be funny.

But is this true?

Imagine for a moment, being able to make anyone laugh at will. No matter what the situation, just being able to turn anything into a well-crafted, make-everyone-laugh joke. Always be able to insert that killer funny line into any conversation.

What could you achieve with this ability which outshines even the "naturals"? How easy would conversations be from now on? How much would your confidence improve knowing you will always carry around with you the effortless secret of powerful humor?

But is this possible? Can humor actually "be learned"?

I want you for a moment to think back to your school days when you had to learn that subject which everyone loved called - mathematics. Now, some people found mathematics quite easy and picked it up quite fast, while others didn't take to it as good and plodded along kinda slowly. There are "naturals" at mathematics too.

But in the end, everyone actually learned to do mathematics. Everyone actually learned to be able to do addition and subtraction quite easily. The heavier stuff maybe not everyone got, but it soon became obvious that even those who at first had trouble, with a bit of study and a bit of work, it was possible for anyone to be able to develop the ability to "do mathematics".

So what exactly is going on here? Well, mathematics is primarily a left-brain activity. Now some people are naturally "left-brained" people and so have an advantage at left-brained things like mathematics. However, even those who aren't "left-brained" people can still exercise that part of their brain and develop it to any level they choose. It just takes a little bit more work. The same is true for humor. Humor is primarily a right-brain activity. Some people may not be naturally "right-brained" people, but they can still develop this part of their brain. So who then can learn humor?

Yes it is & Anyone who has ever laughed at a joke can learn to be funny!

That's just about everyone right? OK, sounds great, but how do I learn to be funny? Well, how did you learn to do mathematics? First you were given a formula, then you practiced using it over and over again. It was hard at first - you really had to think. But after doing heaps of problems, it was easy. You could do it in your sleep. It is the same with humor.

So what is the formula to being funny?

Make yourself comfortable here because I am about to share with you the secret to all humor.

The human brain operates by continuously looking for patterns. It does this so that it can constantly predict the outcome of a situation. When a story is began, the brain immediately finds a familiar pattern to associate it to, so that it can predict where it is going. But when this pattern is disrupted and a connection is suddenly made to an entirely new and unexpected pattern, laughter occurs as this new connection is made.

OK, that's a bit heavy. How does it actually work?

Well lets take an example.

"Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do, you will be a mile away and have their shoes."

A bit of an old classic, but it clearly demonstrates what we are talking about. The first part of this line - the setup - creates a mental pattern which makes you think a certain way. If we just left it here, you would be thinking I am trying to tell you to be slow to criticize someone and first try to understand them. Now I haven't actually said this, but the mental pattern predicts this outcome.

However, when I drop the second part - the punch line - all of a sudden this first pattern is interrupted and a connection is made to an entirely new, unexpected pattern. Now I am telling you to make sure you can get away with it and have the advantage. The important thing is though, that there is still a connection between the first part and the second part - it still makes sense. It is just not what you first expected. The first pattern has been disrupted. This is how all humor is created.

So how can I use that to be funny?

First create a setup. You say something which has an implied outcome. "I would love to tell you just what a great job you are doing"

The implied outcome is that I like the job this person is doing and I am complimenting them. But then I slam "em with the punch line. "But I don"t want to ruin my honest reputation."

OK, not quite the outcome expected, but it still makes sense. This is humor.

All this might seem like a complicated process, but this is the formula for making people laugh. Remember the first time you were given a mathematics formula to play around with? It was long and complicated at first, but with a bit of practice it soon became easy. If you use this formula to create lots of jokes, very soon it will be automatic. You will have trained your mind to instantly create humor on command. You will have learned to be funny.

What I have just shared with you is the basic formula to be funny on command. The number one resource which I recommend to supercharge your humor to incredible heights in as little as seven days is an e-book called "How to be FUNNY!" written by Stanley Lyndon. This not only takes you step by step how to create humor but also gives a wealth of techniques you can instantly use to maximize your humor to gut-tearing proportions!


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