When I coach others about how to be funny, I teach saver lines. Basically, these are jokes that you tell after a joke goes bad to “save” the situation.

Johnny Carson was the king of savers. I just found this video….check out the master.

If you are a comedian or speaker and are looking for presentation and humor tips, this is a guy to learn from. Looking for more tips? Try BradMart.

I admit it, I laughed at the first one, but hated the second one.

What do you think? Am I crazy?


What do YOU think makes a prank office safe / corporate safe?

Would YOU ever do this at your office? Think this would count as a “safe office practical joke?” Comment! I dare ya!

How far can YOU go with practical jokes at your office?

Ok, not exactly. While doing a motivational seminar on humor in the workplace at a school in the Farmington Unified School District, (New Mexico) I met a ton of principals and other administrators who really liked the idea of “play” at work. We looked at ways humor and levity can make any environment a little lighter — resulting in better productivity, morale, and retention. As leaders, it was there job to lead the way to humor for their staffs (and eventually their students).

Fun is NOT just for the kids. Really.

I posted one of their cool ideas here.

Here’s another great idea that came out of the break out session:

A principal made “fake announcements” over the PA system. He announced the winners of the “Catch a Raccoon” Contest (naming students who don’t exist winning a contest that didn’t exist), talked about the lunch menu for the next day (Which of course he made up with gross foods), ….you get the idea.

The results? First, the kids and teachers actually listened to the announcements. Can you say the same thing about your lousy announcements? But even better, this principal enjoyed his job, had fun at his job, and helped pass that passion to his team and his students by having fun in a public way.

Give it a go: maybe your staff will listen closely to the announcement before they sing happy birthday FOR THE THIRD TIME IN A WEEK to one of the teachers! (Yes, that DOES happen all the time.

What’s my point?  Have fun at work. Not because you’ll get others to laugh or smile. Not because you want them to listen closer — though both of these reasons are good enough for me.

Have fun at work because it will make you better at your job. These educators were better administrators because they actively made their work more fun for them.  Simple, yet genius.

How you YOU actively have fun at work today?

Hey Teachers, Administrators and Educators! What stunts have YOU done in your schools? COMMENT!

…and he learned how to be funny.

If you think humor is just for kids, shame on you.

Where most corporate types go wrong is in assuming that humor = jokes.  Or clown noses.  Or punchlines.  Fun can come in many different shapes, forms and places.

I recently returned from a motivational seminar on humor in the workplace for the Farmington Unified School District in New Mexico. (Actually, we met in Colorado…. just a few miles from their district across the border.)  I met principals and administrators who really liked the idea of “play” at work. I was able to help them find ways to transform their corporate humor culture and their funny bones in the process. However, as usual, the best humor at work ideas came from the audience.   

During the seminar, we looked at ways humor and levity could make any environment a little lighter — resulting in better productivity, morale, and retention. And, in a academic environment where things have to be very precise and “above the line”, it means that the administrators and leaders have to be more clever and more creative in finding the balance to make work and humor mesh.

Let’s face it, “starchy” leaders lead us to a lousy work environment. It is a leader’s job to set the “humor-meter” for their staffs and for the office. In the case of this New Mexico school district, they had NO trouble finding things to make them all smile.

* One of the principals did crossing guard duty (boring, right?) and decided to make up a game to goof off with his students. As you know, it doesn’t take much to get kids started anyway. So when a kid asked to cross the street, the crossing-guard-principal-man asked for their favorite color. The student replied, “Pink.” He tells them, “Ok, you can cross when the next pink car goes by.” Well, this creates much laughter and giggling because that’s only going to happen when the Mary Kay caravan comes through. Finally though, a pink car does come by and the kids do all they can to contain their squeals and giggles.

The next day, the same kid was asked the same question. What was their favorite color. Well the kids are smarter and have caught on AND they’re not willing to endure another flamingo parade, so he says his favorite color is…white. What does the principal do? He tells the kid “You can cross when 7 white cars go by.” The kids…crack…up.

The result? The kids had fun and bonded with their principal, plus it’s cool to see your principal dressed up in a orange safety vest, directing traffic.

But more importantly, the principal created levity that he enjoyed.  He turned the crossing guard duty to something he enjoyed:  it was a way for him to feel connected with his kids / end users / clients, it helped remind him why he chose education as an industry in the first place, and the smiles he earned in that safety vest helped him survive some of the icky parts of his job. 

My point?  Have fun at work. Not because you’ll get others to laugh or smile, or because you want them to listen closer – though these reasons ought to be good enough for anybody.    Have fun at work because it makes you better at your job.  These educators were better administrators because they actively made their work more lighthearted. That makes them better leaders, better managers and better educators. And in the end… isn’t that better for their students?

If you are educator, a school administrator or even a student, how do YOU make your fun at work? What was the most creative thing that you’ve ever done for a laugh. Care to share?

P.S. Thanks Farmington! I had a blast working with you in New Mexico!

Got a good knock-knock joke? What about a few “Take my wife…please” one-liners? lenoYou can never have too many, “This man walked into a bar…”. Ok, I lied.

Ok, so maybe you won’t tell those jokes at work. (Most of you SHOULDN’T tell them period.) But lightening up at work not only feels good…. it pays off.

Don’t believe me? This article by MSNBC agrees with me … I guess I’m a genius.

In my keynotes and seminars, I speak to overworked 9-to-5’ers the importance of simply enjoying life — especially our lives at work. I also talk about humor in the workplace.

When I talk about finding the humor in most situations, I don’t mean knee-slapping one-liners (although if they work for you— go for it). I just mean that we all can take ourselves less seriously while still taking what we do seriously.

For example: It’s not necessary to do a spreadsheet just to get everybody’s lunch order! For crying out loud, your not launching a space shuttle; you’re buying some chow!

Your homework is to find something at work today that makes you smile. Maybe it’s the fact that one of your clients said something funny. Or that your work mate has that crazy laugh. Or that the accounting geek sent the lunch order in using Excel.

Don’t worry; you won’t be graded. But find something that makes you smile.

Really. It’s OK to laugh.

Do YOU need a speaker (and can’t afford Leno?) I’d love to be your guy. Go to the contact page now.

Brad Montgomery

Fan Of Leno, Humor in the Workplace Pro, Joke Teller

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I collect Office Pranks that Won’t Get You Fired. Do you think this peanuts-in-cubical gag would get you fired?

I’ve written a little on practical jokes that work well in the office.  All depends on your boss and her sense of humor, and your intentions.  My magic rule is:  If this practical joke will hurt somebody’s feelings, it’s likely to get you a trip to HR.  Pass on it and keep your job.  And your friends.

When people tease you, (and play safe practical jokes on you) it can make you feel special…a part of the team…one of the “cool” kids, you know. Teasing is harmless, in perspective, and can work wonders for office morale. If people don’t tease you, it may be that they don’t trust you enough to let their guard down. Office pranks can (oddly enough) can make others feel good – “Hey, if they did this to me, they must think I’m one of the popular kids!”

Intentions count.  If, when you tease or joke on people, if you come from a place of friendship and joy — then you’re probably good to go.  If you’re ticked off at the victim — or hate their slimy guts — you’re officially advised abstain in order to prevent that “little talk” with your boss.

What is the BEST office prank that you’ve ever pulled or one you’ve ever witnessed? Were you the mastermind or the accomplice? Send me your best office prank comment and the most innovative prankster will win one of my books. If a photo accompanies your comment, I’ll post it on the blog and send you an audio. How cool is that?

Come on, tell me, what’s the slyest thing you’ve ever pulled at the office?

What can I say? I think this video is is hilarious.   Spend two minutes and see if you agree

The front fell off!? I wish I would have thought of this sketch.

There. Now you’ve wasted 2 minutes. But hey, if you laughed, perhaps it was a killer investment. :)

Procrastination Station

 

What do you think?   Was this video worth two minutes away from your work?   (Comment and let me know what you think.)

Don’t have one? Don’t even know what it is?

Humor Quotient is the amount of humor that you have in your business, personal life and all other areas that is directly related to your ability to find humor in most all things. In other words, it is a factor of how much “funny” there is in your day and how that funny helps you work, live and cope effectively. Like I said, Humor Quotient.

To assess your Humor Quotient, you must first decide what make you laugh. For instance, the lame joke from the internet or your boss’s toupee?  Also, the cafeteria’s “Mystery Meat” may make you chuckle inside but the office jokester makes you want to poke a pencil in your thigh.

Everyone is different and different things make people laugh. A lot of times, when I do seminars, there will be maybe one or two people who at first don’t “get it” and those are the ones that make me try extra hard to get their lips to curl. I realize that their HQ may be high or need adjusting, but usually I’m able to find it and make knee-slappers out of them. Yeah buddy, I aim to please.

GUIDO

If you are a person or you work with a person who is hard to get to smile or laugh, learn them first. In office settings, we’re told to be serious, somber and focused on the task at hand. Yes, those things are important, but it’s also important to have a work environment where you can enjoy and have fun, if only a little. It helps productivity immensely and does wonders for the work environment. And usually, the person who is hard to crack ends up actually enjoying themselves.

And in extreme cases, they may just need a little extra adjusting. In that case, I usually have my assistant, Guido, take them out back and give them a *little* adjustment just so they don’t interfere too much with my presentation. Like I said, I aim to please. You WILL be happy when I’m done, got it?

Are you easy or difficult to loosen up? What would you say your Humor Quotient is? High? Low? In Between?

Scared of Guido, are you? Don’t worry. He won’t bother you unless you give him a reason…

 

 

Cheers!

 

Brad Montgomery

 

 

Ever get frustrated and feel like saying that sometimes? What about right now?!

 

Do you have one of those bosses? You know, the kind who doesn’t think anything is funny or in the least bit comical at all? There are some working environments where managers take their jobs waaay too seriously and just need to lighten up a **wee** bit. Just a bit, is all. All too often they haven’t realized that not only is it fun to have fun at work, but in some instances it’s actually unavoidable. I mean, when it’s funny, it’s funny, right? Take for instance:

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • The Network Systems Analyst who should know the difference in LAN and CAD, but keeps using them interchangeably (and incorrectly) in his weekly management presentation. Wow. Who hired him?
  • What about the stodgy CFO who walks out of the executive washroom, gives you and the other staffers an obligatory nod and proceeds walking briskly down the hallway…with toilet paper stuck on his shoes. (Well, I’m not going to tell him. YOU tell him!)
  • Having ten super-sized gargantuan pizzas delivered to the weekly management meeting with a “Dear Sally” note attached. “Sally” heard how much the executives all loved pizza, so she’s sending some love their way…COD. Love is expensive! (Make sure your manager is waaaaay laid back before trying this prank or you’ll be taking 10 pizzas and the contents of your desk home at the end of the day!)

 

 

Funny stuff. And you can’t help but admit that it is. But there are some work environments that prohibit you from making light of these situations and having a little fun. And fun is all it is, right? Of course!

 

When managers are just too serious and can’t lighten up, there are often reasons behind it. They could have personal issues that they can’t share with others, prohibiting them from lightening up at the office. Or, maybe they think they’ll lose “boss points” if their subordinates saw them let their hair down a time or two. Could happen you know. You may also work in an office where they just haven’t learned how to have fun. In many of the seminars that I give in corporate environments, I discuss “safe” ways that the office can have fun, be light-hearted, poke fun and be pranksters and work still gets done by days end. As a matter of fact, MORE work gets done and folks are MORE productive because they’re MORE relaxed. It CAN be done. Really.

 

What type of boss do you have at your office? Too hindered let their hair down? A little too reserved to make raucous? Too shy for a little slapstick? (I crack me up!)

 

Tell me what kind of boss you have and I’ll give you my prescription for humor. It will be just what the doctor ordered, I promise.