How to be funny

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I once thought you were either funny or you were not.

Either you have the personality and natural wit to make people laugh, or you were just one of the crowd laughing at the naturally witty people.

Nothing is more cringe-worthy than someone who's trying to be funny.

They tell a joke that falls flat. They say something inappropriate in hopes of getting a laugh. Their timing is off, or they completely misread the audience.

For those who aren't “naturally” funny, the fear of being this cringe-worthy jokester is enough to keep you in the role of the straight man forever. You can be the appreciative audience, but you're not going to risk looking like a fool.

But the thing is — everyone has a little funny in them. Even the most shy, introverted, and socially awkward have the ability to entertain others with their wit.

If you have a sense of humor (and most of us do), then you have what it takes to be funny — and there are all kinds of funny . . .

The dry wit.

The class clown.

The great story teller.

The eccentric.

The self-deprecator.

The sarcastic observer.

The off-color jokester.

The highbrow humorist.

The absurd appreciator.

The wordplay expert.

The edgy, politically incorrect risk taker.

You don't have to be constantly cracking jokes and making faces to be funny. The Jim Carrey's of the world can be hilarious, but no more so than the more subtle, well-timed humorists like Johnny Carson or Jerry Seinfeld.

There are so many paths to being funny and making others laugh, and whether or not you were born with a natural funny bone, you can develop and refine your ability to use humor to entertain others, become more sociable, and boost your confidence at the same time.

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Step 1: Keep it real, bro

Just be honest. Stop trying to be funny. Why do I laugh obnoxiously loud to Aziz Ansari’s standup shows? Because the guy is real as sh-t. He says what everyone else wants to. To be funny, just be observant and honest.

Idea: You can even increase engagement with your community and be even funnier by asking your social media followers questions. For example, if you want to write a funny blog post that people will share, post on Facebook something like: “Hey, what’s the most annoying thing your co-workers do in meetings? This will make for a killer post fo sho.

Step 2: Mash it up

Cooper suggests taking boring, everyday topics and spicing it up with exciting stuff. Combine different topics together. I feel like this is synonymous with connecting the dots to solve a problem for your customers.

Inspiration: If my Coworkers Were Rappers – Yes, clearly I Pocketed this post.

Conclusion

People love people who make them laugh. Make someone laugh, and you can make them do anything.

All I’m sayin’ is be genuinely funny, and you’ll most likely get more Twitter followers, more blog subscribers and more conversions.

Lauren Holliday

Meet the author

Lauren Holliday is a full-stack marketer, SitePoint's business and marketing editor and the founder of Freelanship, which connects students with project-based internships. Learn more about Lauren on her website.

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