Sunday, November 1, 2009

How to Be Funny - Part 1 - Using Your Voice, Body Language, and Facial Expressions

By Sterling Barnes

Remember Chris Farley? You can learn how to be funny from him.

He was funny partly because he was loud, VERY LOUD at times. When he got amped up and on a roll not only was his voice booming but his entire body was in action. Farley was a master at physical humor.

While you may not wish to imitate his style or be nearly as animated in your own efforts to be funny it would help to pay attention to the fact that the volume of your voice and your body language, especially your facial expressions are indeed important.

Now I'm not saying that the louder you are the funnier you become, not even close. But I am saying that humor can be enhanced when you have a rapid or unexpected change in the tone of your voice. Same thing applies with speed.

Switching from a normal tone of voice to either a whisper or to a loud boom can help what you say be that much more funny. Also, speeding up or slowing down has a similar effect. A lot of it really depends on the topic you are talking about.

These are very basic points on the delivery of your message. A good delivery can save you if your material is on the bland side. It can also work wonders, put you over the top and give you rock star status when your buddies are laughing so hard they can hardly breathe. Of course this can only happen if you have both something funny to say and can actually say it in a funny way. It is possible.

Let's move on to facial expressions. Anyone who has ever told a funny story that was actually worth remembering probably did not tell it entirely with a straight face. Most of our facial expressions come naturally. Here are a few that you can try:

  1. Open your eyes wide really wide - like you are shocked
  2. Raise your eyebrows
  3. Roll your eyes - the "whatever-I-don't-believe-you" look
  4. Look out of the side of one eye
  5. Shake your head - if you do this slowly and close your eyes at the same time it comes across as if you think something is sad, pitiful, or you are looking down on someone. It can be funny under the right context. (i.e. maybe you're telling a story about a bum).
  6. Blow up your cheeks
  7. Purse your lips - like a duck
  8. Flare your nostrils
  9. Cock (tilt) your head to one side - good if you are imitating someone and using a funny voice

Are you interested in learning how to be funny?

Yes, No, Maybe?

Well what if I asked if you want to be more social, more charming and meet more of the opposite sex?

There is no better (or fun) way to do this than honing your sense of humor. Come visit us at Hungry For Humor to get pointers on how you can learn how to be funny (it really is possible) and really understand what makes people laugh.

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