You crack a polite smile as Chadwick heads into the final stretch of his story. Another Friday night ruled by the chronicles of Chadwick.
“…And the thing was, I still had a restraining order against her!” Chadwick finishes, flashing a toothy smile. The crowd erupts into a second peal of laughter. One guy even falls to the floor and starts rolling around like he’s on fire. (Avoid eye contact with him). Chadwick surveys the group and gets ready to launch into another story. But you won’t just sit by this time. You step forward and draw everyone’s attention. All eyes on you. (Except the guy rolling around the floor. No eye contact, remember?) Now all you need is a funny story to tell…
…And I can help with you that.
So whether you want to shove it in Chadwick’s smug face or be the funniest person in the office, here’s a quick guide to making funny stories.
1. Find Something Interesting
Enough already with the weather and sports. Those are okay conversation topics, but you won’t build a reputation on, “Sure is cold out today, huh?”. To start your process, I need you to dig and find an interesting story. It doesn’t matter if it was a serious or funny story. Find something interesting. Got it? Now…
2. Exaggerate! (a little)
There are some extremely gullible people out there. They’re so guilible that they think gullible is actually in the dictionary. But we have to assume that there’s at least one person at the party that can call you out. For example, I tried to make a witty joke about how lightbulbs work. It wasn’t a bright idea :D! Seriously, there was an electrician there and she found the holes in my story. So when you nail down your interesting tale, be ready to exaggerate to make it even more interesting, but not so much that you’re out of your league.
3. Pick a Punchline/Moral
If your interesting story started out serious, you need a moral at the end of the story in order to bring it full circle. Your moral will serve as your punchline. A go-to example for me? I almost failed my driving test by one point. Though incredibly traumatic at the time, it becomes funny to tell people of the little mistakes I made, like not signaling to pull over to the curb or playing Nickelback while driving. In the end, the moral of the story is: silly DMV, you’ll let anyone drive!
If your interesting story started out funny, just work on the punchline. This is where the story is at its best. You’ve been building up the crowd to get to this point, and now you’re going to deliver the final blow. How do you know you’ve built up enough material for the hilarious climax? Use the rule of threes. As an example:
I’ve just been to Vegas. Sin City doesn’t even cover it!
In fact, a lot of people don’t cover anything around there.
And if you think that’s a good thing, just know: a lot of grandmas go to Vegas.
^See? That was a terrible series of jokes, but it can be effective if delivered correctly. Which reminds me:
It may sound stupid to tell you to practice telling stories from your own life, but…you should practice telling stories from your own life. In time, this will become second nature for you. You’ll be spitting out stories faster than you can say Chadwick! So get your stories together, get a tape recorder, and begin. You’ll be funny and interesting before you know it…
“…And that’s why I always carry a butcher’s knife!” You exclaim. Everyone erupts into laughter. The rolling guy hits a wall and passes out quietly. Even Chadwick lets a sly smile show. You survey the crowd with a pleased smile.
Chadwick has no idea what’s coming to him.