What Makes You Laugh?Apr 05, 2023
A participant in one of our recent “Engage with Purpose” presentation workshops asked me for some suggested tools and techniques to help them make the audience laugh. My suggestion was to not focus on trying to make the audience laugh. As a leader, teacher, coach, presenter, that’s way too much pressure to put on yourself or others, and that’s no joke.
Instead, what I suggested, and what I try to do personally, is to make an intentional effort, on the daily, to remember what makes me laugh. I seek out those moments, I take stock in them, I cherish them, and then I use those experiences to bring that levity, that clarity, and that joy into every presentation. This puts me in a much better position to engage the audience with confidence, creativity, and clarity, so we can all authentically enjoy the moment, enjoy the experience, and hopefully, enjoy laughter…together.
Therefore, the question shouldn’t be “how do I make an audience laugh?” The question should be “what makes me laugh?” Funny you should ask! Below are a few of my answers. I hope this inspires you to explore, discover, and acknowledge what makes you laugh, so you can bring that in all that you do.
1. A good pun makes me laugh.
2. Any type of line-dancing makes me laugh.
3. Overzealous little league umpires make me laugh.
4. Dog owners who look like their dog make me laugh.
5. Reminiscing with my college buddies makes me laugh.
6. Facetiming with my 91-year-old mom makes me laugh.
7. Watching the movie “Sandlot” with my wife makes me laugh.
8. Trash talk at a Sunday Church softball game makes me laugh.
9. Autocorrect changing “definitely” to “defiantly” makes me laugh.
10. Watching my 8-year-old daughter Bailey play soccer makes me laugh.
11. Spontaneous dance parties with my wife and daughters makes me laugh.
12. That t-shirt that says “I can’t believe I’m the same age as these old people” makes me laugh.
13. Watching my 11-year-old daughter Blake make up a gymnastics routine on the fly makes me laugh.
14. Watching our dog Finley try to shake off the water while she’s still submerged in the pool makes me laugh.
15. Going back to West Covina and playing catch with my brother Dave on our childhood little league field makes me laugh.
16. Listening to my daughters’ conversations about their plans for the day as we drive to school in the morning makes me laugh.
17. That urgent email from that royal prince in a far-off country promising me riches if I provide my credit card information makes me laugh.
18. Starting a meeting with the Game On team by talking about what movie genre we think best matches our personalities makes me laugh.
19. Editing these blogs with my amazing teammate/colleague Jason Martinez while chopping up sentences, moving paragraphs, and not taking ourselves too seriously makes me laugh.
20. Leading improv exercises in Spanish (with an interpreter) while sharing the Game On Nation message in the Dominican Republic with these amazing young men in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization makes me laugh. (I’m the guy in the grey shirt)
What makes you laugh? It’s an import question worth exploring to bring that clarity, levity, and joy into all you do, so we can all engage with purpose and lead well, learn well, and laugh well, together. So, instead of focusing on trying to make an audience laugh, just remember…what makes you laugh!
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