Another Easy Formula For Creating Lots of Jokes

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Motivational Speaker Kelly Swanson is an award-winning storyteller, author, and comedian who teaches you how to harness the power of your story to connect, engage, and get results. In this blog, Kelly focuses on the business of professional speaking. Kelly’s post day is Friday. If you aren't sure how to comment on this story, click here.

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Writing Jokes To Use As A Funny Keynote Speaker

Last week for all of you dreamers who want to be famous public speakers, I wrote, One Easy Formula for Hundreds of Jokes, where I shared with you an easy formula for writing jokes: the rule of threes. This week I’m sharing another one.

I call it The Element of Surprise. For obvious reasons.

All you do when writing this kind of joke is to make some sort of statement, and then think about what the audience assumes by that statement. The funny comes when you say what they didn’t assume or expect.

It’s why the cartoon above works. Take  a look at the opening statement – my husband and I have a date night once a week. What do we assume? That you have a husband. That you are married. That you go on the date together.

Bingo. There’s your surprise.

I guess the hard part is coming up with the opening statement. You might have to try a few.  But let’s just take normal statements without trying to be funny and think about assumptions we make.

• My husband and I just had our tenth wedding anniversary. We both agreed we would do it all over again.

We assume that you would want to do it all over again with each other.  We assume you are married.  We assume you are married to each other. We assume by “it” you mean marriage.

Sometimes you can go see where the funny would be, but you need to tweak that statement a bit to make it work. That’s okay too.

Whatever gets to the funny. . .

• My husband and I just celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary. We got each other what we always wanted. A divorce.

• My husband and I just celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary. We both agreed we would do it all over again. But this time with other people.

• My husband and I just took a cruise for our tenth wedding anniversary. He went to Jamaica, I went to Alaska.

• My husband and I just renewed our vows. The vow never to get married again.

Okay, you’re off! Happy joke writing! Share your funnies!

Kelly Swanson
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