Mostly True Memoirs
How To Be Funnier
You can learn how to be funnier.
I’ve given this lesson many times.
I’ve taught it to my public speaking classes.
I’ve taught it to my ESL classes.
I’ve even given this presentation to my Toastmasters clubs.
This lesson is always a ton of fun.
A joke has three parts.
The setup, the pause, and the punchline.
Most people think that the punchline is the most important part of the joke.
But it’s not.
The pause is the most important part of the joke.
Without the pause, you sound like a six-year-old who has just discovered riddles.
It’s not funny.
Try it this way:
First deliver the setup.
Next, pause and count to three.
After the pause, deliver the punchline.
The pause makes the punchline that much funnier.
Try practicing this technique with the chicken-crossing-the-road joke.
Pausing is hard because it feels awkward to be silent when people are looking at you.
But if you can master that pause, your jokes will be so much more effective.
You will learn how to be funnier.
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