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Chapter 18. Ever Hear the One About…?: U... > Jokes That Never Work - Pg. 151

Ever Hear the One About...?: Using Humor · May all your teeth fall out--but one that shall ache. 151 Making Humor Work for You An effective storyteller has many ways of reinforcing humor, such as facial expressions, exagger- ated lines and gestures, and pauses. But even if you're not a natural comedian, you can tell a joke successfully. Follow my tricks of the trade: 1. 2. 3. Don't apologize for your inexperience.Never use lines like "I'm not much of a comedian" or "I don't tell jokes too well, but I'll do my best." This destroys your joke before you start. Stick to the basics.If you clutter up your joke with unnecessary details, your audience will lose interest. Include only the elements you need to make your joke work. Don't overplay your hand.If you promise the audience the moon, they are going to expect the moon. Avoid lines like "This is the best joke you ever heard" or "Wait until you hear this one." Don't promise; just deliver. Enjoy yourself.Smile and look happy. Your mood will be contagious, making it that much easier to get a laugh. As you tell the joke, look the audience members in the eye.Shift your gaze around the room, pausing to focus on specific individuals. Keep your jokes short.Dragging out a joke can often spoil the humor of it. Leave the audience enough time to enjoy the joke.If you rush the laughter, you'll undercut the effect you worked so hard to achieve. Speak slowly and clearly.Make sure the audience can understand every word of your joke-- 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.