Another year begins. And with it comes New Year’s Resolutions. As a public speaker, here are a few you may consider adding to your list to help you tune your humor radar and exercise your sense of humor.
1. One of the challenges of a New Year’s Resolution is that sometimes the goal is so massive that you don’t know where to start. As a result, you don’t start! You can solve that problem by breaking the resolution down in to smaller parts. What is the First Step toward achieving the desired goal?
2. Enter our January humor contests. Develop the habit of challenging yourself each month to create and submit your best humor lines for the caption contest and the joke contest. First Step: Take just five minutes to look over a contest and write just ONE line. If you think it’s funny, submit it.
3. Load a funny message on your telephone answering device. First Step: Read related article on humorous phone machine outgoing messages.
4. Every time you’re in a shopping mall, take a quick walk through a toy store. It’s a good place to stimulate your funny bone. First Step: Ask the clerk, “What’s the most fun, new toy in the store?”
5. Hang around people that make you laugh. First Step: Select one toxic person in your life and resolve to spend less time with that person.
6. Start a humor journal. Log the funny and nice things that happen to you. You’ll start to see more fun in your life. First Step: Buy a notebook. Label it Humor Journal. Place it on the nightstand by your bed.
7. Smile at the first person you see in the morning and say something nice. It gets you in the right frame of mind to enjoy the day. First Step: Before you leave your home, look in the mirror and smile at yourself. Related article.
8. Get your hands on a new humor book or CD. Spend a little time each day with it. Do it as a morning exercise or meditation. Play it while you are dressing for the day or driving to work. First Step: Spend ten minutes on Amazon with a search for Humor Books and Recordings.
9. Look for humor greeting cards, bumper stickers and T-Shirts. Or make your own. At National Speakers Association conventions they feature an event called Meet the Experts. It’s held in a room filled with over 100 tables. With two or three rotations you sit at a table with an intimate presentation on a topic of interest. I’ve often worn a T-Shirt designed just for that event: “So Many Tables — So Little Time.” First Step: The next time you’re in a grocery or drug store, visit the humorous greeting card rack and spend three minutes browsing.
10. Join an improv troupe or start your own. First Step: Spend ten minutes in the phone book or on the internet to see where the nearest improv troupe or comedy club is located. Related article.
11. Join a Toastmasters Club. First Step: Visit the Toastmasters web site and find the clubs in your area. If you already know where a club is, find an officer for that club and call that person and commit to attend a meeting.
12. If you are already a Toastmaster, commit to competing in the Humorous Speech Contest next fall. First Step: Find a humor seed and start to think about ideas for your speech.
13. Develop your skills in observational humor and learn from every professional performer you watch. First Step: At every meeting and program you attend, sit with pad and pen waiting to jot down humorous and learning connections you note. Eventually you’ll have a chance to start using the skills in your own presentations. Related articles.
14. First Step: Pick at least ONE of the ideas listed above and
do it in the next 24 hours!