Be energetic if you can’t be funny

I’ve always thought this is true—funny people are more likeable. They make people around them laugh and they’re just easier to be around. People want to be around them because funny people are carefree, interesting and well, they’re fun.

But what do you do if you’re not naturally funny?

It doesn’t mean you’re unfunny. Or sad, or shy, or any of those less positive things. What can the rest of us do if we’re not naturally the comedian making all the funny quips and jokes in the room?

An interview in the New York Times recently with Terry Gross, the well-known interviewer on NPR, offered some useful tips on this.

According to Terry if you have a tougher time being the funny one, try these things instead:

If you can’t be funny, being mentally organized, reasonably concise and energetic will go a long way in impressing people.

This is such simple and effective advice. The energetic piece resonates especially with me—I’ve used it effectively as a conversational tactic when the conversational stakes are especially high.

In the moment I’ll actively start to slightly over exaggerate my facial expressions. I use my hands more and I gently inject more intonation into my voice than I otherwise would.

It works a treat. It works even better when you couple energetic with another advice piece Terry has on how to be a better conversationalist—be insanely curious about the other person. Next time the conversational stakes are high for you, or you just want to engage more effectively, try the energetic, concise, mentally organized and insanely curious tips, and see what happens.

Sarah JukesComment