How Do I Find The Humor?

in Humor
How do you FIND the humor? is the
question Im asked a lot because I think most
people would like to add humor to their
communications written and verbal but they just don't know where to find it. As a comedian and comedy writer for the past 17 years, Ive developed a whole arsenal of
places I focus on when coming up with jokes.
And the cool thing is, its not that hard.
Watch this video to learn the exact system
and writing techniques top comedians use to
create KILLER jokes! - http://bit.ly/bphrQN

I specialize in comedy shows and humor
keynotes for corporations and associations,
and for many of the groups I speak to, Ive
never even heard of them (Alfalfa Seed
Growers comes to mind). But that doesnt stop
me from writing jokes about them and their
industry. Whether youre speaking AT the
event or writing ABOUT the event, theres
humor everywhere! Heres 5 things I focus on
to find the funny wherever I am:

Decorations. Now you dont want to slam the
client who spent hours and big bucks
decorating the room, but sometimes you can
have a little {YUMMY fun. I did a show for a
hospital in which the centerpieces on the
tables were dried flowers. Its a hospital for
crying out loud! So I got em laughing by
pointing out how good can the hospital be if
they cant even keep their plants alive? Even
the CEO loved it! So look at the decorations
and ask why did they choose them? and
what do they remind you of? Make mention
of it, or describe it in a written piece, and
youll come up with some funny stuff.

The Agenda. Just because you arent familiar
with the group or subject, doesnt mean you
cant joke about it. In fact you have an
advantage because you can look at it with a
fresh set of eyes. I like to scan the agenda so
that I can goof around with the sessions and
what theyre learning at the conference. At
some of the more technical (read boring)
conferences, I kick off with, I notice you all
are wearing name tags. Im thinking why. .
.its not like anyone from the outside is going
to try to sneak into these sessions! It gets a
great laugh because they realize just how
weird their subject is to the rest of us! Look at
the brochure and see what doesnt make
sense to you. . and then bring out that
paradox. In addition, I also look for
contradictions between sessions, such as the
group I spoke to who were sitting in 50 Ways
to be Frugal followed by Identity Theft. . .
hey, I think I know how to save a buck.

Awards. Sometimes the awards, or the reason
theyre giving them, is hilarious you just
need to point out the obvious. At a recent
chamber of commerce event, they gave out
the most valuable citizen of the year award
to Sam. Im thinking How does that make the
rest of the audience feel?, which led to a fun
opening line. . . Dont get stuck in a burning
building with Sam, because you know who the
fire department will rescue first! I address
awards humor more in depth in a recent blog
post on my site, but in summary, you can
usually have fun with the WHY and the HOW
of the awards. Make up some funny reasons
why theyre getting it, the weird
qualifications they needed to be considered
for it, or how itll affect their life now that
they have it.

Vendors and Sponsors. I always love having
fun with the vendors and sponsors because
theyve spent tons of money supporting the
event, yet many times theyre just given a
quick thanks by an unenthusiastic emcee,
and maybe a 2 second power point slide
acknowledgement. So walk through the
exhibit hall to check out whos represented
and read the ads in the conference brochure.
Then ask what the products remind you of
and why would you use them. At a nursing
conference, I noticed that many of the
exhibitors were drug companies whose booths
listed how their drugs worked on all sorts of
private body parts. I realized what it
reminded me of, and then had some fun by
pointing out that all 7 of George Carlins
famous 7-words you cant say on TV routine
were listed on their exhibit booths. As long as
youre not slamming the product or the
company, you can joke on them trust me,
the exhibitors and sponsors appreciate it!

Statistics. Are there any fun statistics you
know or can find out about the group? I just
did a show for an insurance agency in the
midwest, and I read that the most stolen car
in Wisconsin is the Dodge Caravan. Really?
What do you conjure up when you think of
owners of this vehicle? Soccer moms! No
wonder these women are always in a hurry I
thought it was because they were late for
picking up their kids; turns out theyre being
chased by the cops! I had all sorts of fun with
that one statistic, so find out some true stats
and then make up funny reasons around
them. If 65% of people like red koolaid, then
what do the other 35% like? Or why do they
like it or how do they like it. Humor on
statistics works 100% of the time!

Using humor in your communications will
instantly connect you with your audience
and keep them engaged with you so they want
to listen/read and come back. And you dont
have to be a comedian to be funny, you just
have to pay ATTENTION. . . .and then youll
keep theirs.

Jan McInnis has been featured in the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post for her clean humor. She is also a professional speaker and a comedy writer.
shes the author of the book Finding the
Funny Fast: How to Create Quick Humor to
Connect with Clients, Coworkers and Crowds.
Learn the writing techniques top comedians use to create Killer Jokes! - http://bit.ly/bphrQN
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This article was published on 2010/11/17