Good Places to Be Bad

Find places to practice your humor.

We all need a good place to test new material, to try out new techniques. A place where it is OK if the humor does not work. A place to smooth out your stories and massage your punchlines. A place to stimulate your creativity. A place where you are not presenting to your number one client or a group paying top dollar for a speech. Here are some ideas:

-A Toastmasters club! You have heard it before. There is probably no better place. And once you have joined a club, commit to entering every contest. It is not about winning. It is about growth.

– An improv troupe is a terrific place to jump-start your creativity and sharpen your stage presence.

– Open Mike Night at your local comedy club. If you can make a comedy club audience laugh, you can make anybody laugh!

– Use your friends as a test audience. I do not recommend trying to be a clown all the time, always cracking jokes. That is a sure way not to be funny. Rather, tell your funny stories to different groups of friends to work out the bugs. For some reason, most people find it more effective practicing for friends rather than to family members.

– The work environment is an excellent place to practice humor. Having a retirement party? Team up with a funny co-worker and plan the party. Create a skit. Coordinate a roast. It is a place to test your sense of humor in a friendly atmosphere.

– Every meeting you attend is an opportunity to practice your observational humor. Put your humor hat on. Listen. Look for connections. Test a piece of observational humor at the end of the meeting.

– Free speeches. Look for a chance to give a talk at a local civic club, church, PTA or other function.

– Try a test sandwich. You may have an important talk and want to test out something new which you feel confident is a winner. Sandwich the new material between two proven pieces of material. If the new humor does not work, pretend you were serious and keep moving!

Remember, the world is your classroom. Look for opportunities to test-drive your humor.

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By John Kinde, Humor Specialist speaker from Las Vegas. Copyright 2005 by John Kinde. More humor skills articles and free Ezine at www.HumorPower.com (702) 263-4363.