May the joke be with you…
Need to improve your humor? Become a student of humor.
1. Visit comedy clubs. Study delivery and timing. Watch audience reaction. Observe what makes them laugh. What makes you laugh?
2. Watch comedy shows on TV/Cable. The older shows tend to be funnier. Make a note of what’s funny. Bugs Bunny is funny. Actions, vocal tones, facial expressions, words, types of stories.
3. Read joke books, or books that are funny. Milton Berle’s joke book is particularly good. Books written by humorists like Dave Barry, Art Buchwald, and Lewis Grizzard are great.
4. Join Toastmasters. They have advanced programs in humorous speaking.
5. Watch and listen to children very carefully. Kids are naturally funny in both words and actions.
6. Read history. The truth is often stranger and funnier than fiction.
7. Take humor risks where you don’t have much to lose — at home, with friends, in divorce court, in prison, etc.
8. Take a professional comedian or joke writer to lunch. By spending time with professionals you will learn the make-up of humor.
9. Practice making funny faces and gestures in the mirror. If you’re really brave use the rear view mirror.
10. Get out your high school yearbook. Talk about funny — look up your picture. Or your girlfriend’s.
11. Take an acting class. This is a good way to come out of your shell. A friend of mine told me that I was acting like a jerk. I told him I wasn’t acting.
12. Carry audio tapes of your favorite comedians with you in the car. Pop them in before you make a sales call to get a lift (or an idea).
13. Start looking for humor in your everyday life. Try to appreciate it as it is happening, instead of always in hindsight.
14. Practice exaggerating your gestures and experimenting with your posture. A lot of humor is body language humor. Learn to be funny without saying a word.
15. Hang around funny people. It’s amazing how your humor will increase when you’re in the company of people who are funny.
15.5 Laugh a lot. If you’re serious about using humor, start smiling and laughing more.
That make you look smart!
Smart lead-in questions
What makes you think…
How do you select…
What’s most important to you about…
Where do you see…
How have you employed…
What has been your experience with…
If you could change one thing about…
How would you improve…
What plans have you made to…
Smart follow-up questions to smart lead-in questions
· How will you do that?
No-means-Yes closing questions…
· Can you see any reason not to —————-?
Smart closing strategy…
· What’s the risk? If the risk is low, what are the possible rewards?
· Fair enough?
· Is there any additional information you need to decide?
· Can you see any reason not to proceed?
· Is there anything else (more) you need to know?
· How will you deal with that?
· What plans have you made to handle that?
· How will you use that to your advantage?
· How will your toughest competitor react to that?
(naming the competitor is infinitely more painful)
· If you ———— how would you use your —– to build your business?
· If you were able to achieve those goals, would ———– be worth it?
· Isn’t that what you really want?
· How are you taking advantage of the ———— opportunity?
· Is anyone you’re doing business with ————?
· Are you looking for new ——————–?
· Are you looking to make more ————?
· How much is one new customer worth?
· How much is one new business friend or relationship worth?
· How often do you ——————- ?