Want to be a little funnier? Try this technique and make more people laugh.

August 5, 2019

 

 

In my experience, adding a hypothetical statement to normal opinions makes all the difference if you want to talk in a way that's more entertaining/interesting. I can't tell you how many times I've counted where someone offers an opinion and doesn't get a good reaction, but then they add a hypothetical and everyone laughs. It's hard to explain without giving some examples, so here are some I've written down over the years:

 

Check out these normal, everyday observations and opinions:

I love reading. A lot.

It cost $50,000? That’s expensive.

That’s risky. I’m not doing that.

It has 50 grams of sugar? That’s a lot.

You do an amazing goat impersonation.

 

Check out each opinion above after the hypothetical comment (italicized) is added:

I love reading. I’d live in the basement of a bookstore if they’d let me.

It cost $50,000? That’s expensive. That’s a down payment on a house!

That’s risky. I’m not doing that. You’d have to buy me lunch at Panera every single day for three months straight.

It has 50 grams of sugar? You might as well be drinking a glass of corn syrup.

You do an amazing goat impersonation. You’ll be playing in Vegas in two years.

 

Here's another example.

During the last election cycle, I was driving around town and noticed a street corner had more than five signs for the same candidate: Richard Henderson. Big, small, different colors, and yep, all for the same guy. It was a gratuitous amount of signage—completely unnecessary. The literal, boring person may point out, “That’s a lot of signs.” But the funny person might sarcastically exaggerate the situation by adding a hypothetical to push the observation even further: “I don’t know if Richard has enough signs. He may want to talk to his sign guy and see about adding a few more. Maybe tape some small ones on top of big ones and make like a sign pyramid, just in case people don’t notice the other 12 signs next to it.”

 

Try to add more hypothetical comments (italicized) after you make your initial observation or opinion. For example:

Why is he just standing there like that? He probably wants to _____.

She’s creepy. She looks like she’s about to _____ all over the place.

That’s horrible! I’d rather do ______ than that.

What is that guy thinking? Does he think we’re going to just _____?

I love it there. If I was rich I would ______.

 

I hope this technique helps you become a little funnier! If you have your doubts, at least try it out and see how it works for you. I've seen it work 1,000 of times and use it in my personal life every day.

 

*This was an excerpt from my new book, You Can Be Funny and Make People Laugh: No Fluff. No Theories. Just 35 Humor Techniques that Work for Everyday Conversations.

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Gregory Peart, M.Ed.

social scientist / author / father / gamer

greg@socialupgrader.com 

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