How to Find Humorous Stories to Tell


If you lead a team, coach, or speak to groups, try telling a humorous story.

Why? Because it:

  1. captures interest much better than dry concepts
  2. helps people remember your point
  3. opens people’s minds to your message
  4. builds a bond of trust with your listener

Check out this short 6 minute video below for quick tips on adding humorous stories to your repertoire.

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Here are 5 ways to find or create humorous stories

  1. BEST MISTAKES: Back in the day of pagers a friend went to a realtor’s conference because she wanted to network with them and build a clientele. During the conference she noticed that everyone had pagers. At lunch she went home and put her garage door opener on her belt, just to fit in. When she went back to the conference, a guy walked up to her and said, “Nice garage door opener you’ve got there.”
  2. GREAT TURNAROUNDS: I client of mine was working at a home improvement store in the paint department.  Customers usually discover a problem after they have already spread the paint on their wall.  Often people show up with half empty paint cans wanting their money back. Special colors are not accepted for return. One customer got so upset at my client that he said, “You can take this paint and shove it up your ass!”  My client responded by holding his belly and saying, “I’m sorry sir, you’re the third person to say that today so I’m all full.”  The customer laughed and they were able to move on. (Stevie Ray)
  3. EXAGGERATION: A client of mine kept returning our budget proposal saying it needed to be smaller.  No matter how much trimming we did, the client kept pushing for “Smaller, smaller!”  I finally took the proposal to a copier and had it reduced to two inches in size.  I sent it to the client and said, “This is about as small as I can make it.  Tell me what you think.” He called me saying it got a huge laugh in his office and that he would now accept the proposal as soon as he could find his magnifying glass. (Frank Friedman)
  4. EMBARRASSING MOMENTS: A woman went to a drugstore store. She was in line with her items, but one item didn’t have a price on it. The cashier got on the microphone and announced “Price check needed on aisle 13 for Tampax, super size.” The employee at the back of the store instead heard “thumbtacks,” so he got back on the microphone and said, “Do you want the kind you push in with your thumb or the kind you pound in with the hammer?”
  5. PUBLIC DOMAINGoogle “Funny story + your topic” and find a public domain story. For example, Tips I learned from the Easter Bunny are: don’t put all of your eggs in one basket, walk softly and carry a big carrot, everyone needs a friend who is all ears, a cute little tail attracts a lot of attention,  everyone is entitled to a bad hare day and some body parts should be floppy.

TIPS FOR GETTING STARTED

  1. Write it out
  2. Edit it down to just the most important points
  3. Try it first in a low stakes social environment to see how it goes
  4. Finally, try it in a business or work setting

Let me know if you give it a try.

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The Power of Laughter (ebook and MP3): Get more examples of humorous stories. Laughter increases learning ability, camaraderie and engagement. Check out this entertaining ebook & MP3 program. On special right now.

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Storytelling in Business Online Course: (8 tutorial videos and worksheets) Discover a Step-by-Step Process for Crafting and Delivering Stories in a Business or Work Setting to Increase Engagement and Buy In from Your Listener. Also on special right now.

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