1) Be bold. There’s nothing that kills humor more than being shy. If you are using discretion, there’s room for humor almost anywhere, including your Bible study group or corporate boardroom.
2) Humor is, in part, about telling people what they want hear but would never actually say. For example, very few people would talk about light-hearted public bathroom embarrassments. It is amazing how far you can go, even at a church function, and remain “Family Rated.”
3) Learn from others. Know someone who’s really funny? Watch them carefully. Also, check out the sitcoms on TV. There, you will find both well scripted and improvised humor, including exaggerated facial expressions and body movements that reinforce the words or theme being used.
Sitcoms are great at turning life into something surreal and funny. They take minute details of life and blow them up until you can see how funny they are. Ever watched Mr. Bean?
4) Use a mirror. If you’re going to emcee an event, or do anything in public, don’t be afraid to use a mirror to practice with. Many humorous movie stars use this technique. Even if you’re a school bus driver just making faces for the little kids in the bus parked in front of you, you’ll be amazed at how a mirror at home can help you get some laughs and some big cheesy grins from the kids.
5) Use discretion. Use appropriate humor for the appropriate crowd. Although you can stretch the border at a church function, like talking about boys turning their underwear inside out at camp to get another couple of days use out of them, you can’t use off-color language etc.
6) Take a fresh look at life situations. For example, what would a man do if his pants got wet in a “bad” spot after leaning on a sink counter in a public washroom? How would he get over the embarrassment? Hmm… How about using the hot air dryer meant for drying your hands? What would he do if someone walked in while he was drying them?
7) Stare at an object for ten minutes and see how many things you can use it for, or what misfit situations you can get into with it. What can you do with a pair of rubber gloves other than keep your hands dry while you wash dishes with them? Or how about the retractable cup holder that you that you tried to use on your computer? You know, the one that you press the button and it comes out. It’s marked “CD” for “Cup Dispenser”.
8) Things that don’t fit together. A male pastor was asked to say grace at an all-women’s award banquet. After being introduced to say grace, he got up to the microphone and said, “I am totally honored to be here and to accept this award.” The ladies burst into laughter. He continued, “When I got the call yesterday, I thought it was just to say grace or something.” During the laughter, he pretended to listen to someone in his ear piece tell him that he was just called to say grace. Relaying this conversation out loud to the audience he became an instant “hit” in a very short period of time.
That is an example of something that doesn’t fit. A male would never receive an award at a woman’s award banquet, and yes he was just called to say grace and the audience obviously knew that.
9) Learn to imitate other personalities and language accents. Learn how to act like a nerd or speak like an East Indian or Scottish person. Even using an accent for a one-sentence answer to someone’s question can get a laugh.
10) Place yourself in situations that make you come out of your shell. Take chances and experiment.
It takes fewer muscles to smile than it does to frown and if you deliver honest and sincere humor to people, you’ll be placing smiles not only on faces but also in hearts.
You can be funny.