Humor is one in every of the most effective tools for connecting with an audience. It builds bonds and refreshes the mind. And though the right words can make folks laugh, humor is a lot of than just words. As speakers, we have a tendency to learn that the impact of humor is heightened by how you say it, what you are doing when you say it, and how you utilize silence...the pause. The pause adds punch to the punchline!
One among the reasons the pause strengthens your laugh lines is that it builds tension. There's a relationship between tension and laughter. It's easier to use comic timing when you perceive that relationship. So let's examine the link.
Many humor texts tell us that laughter could be a natural stress reliever as a result of when we laugh, muscle tension melts away. It's an involuntary reflex...after we laugh our muscles automatically relax.
It's said that even in wartime, laughter is employed to alleviate tension. After a bomb explodes nearby and also the dirt settles, soldiers in a foxhole generally escape laughing. It's one in every of nature's ways that of relieving the stress...a safety valve.
Many years ago I witnessed this safety valve in action. Two girls were driving on a San Diego freeway directly in front of me during rush-hour traffic. Traveling at about fifty miles per hour on the rain-slicked freeway, a automotive to their right swerved into their lane. The driving force in front of me jerked the wheel, inflicting her automobile to spin around, and around and around...3 and a half times! It never left the lane and it never hit another car. The women's automotive and all the other cars on the freeway came to a dead stop. However their automotive was facing the wrong direction...we have a tendency to were hood-to-hood! As I looked both ladies in the eyes, they burst into uncontrollable laughter. It's clear that there's a certain relationship between tension, laughter and unharness of tension.
Let's observe how the pause relates to the tension principle in delivering your humor. To start with, if you're deliberately building tension, which can climax in laughter, a stoppage can heighten the strain and make the laughter a lot of intense. As an example, the late Sid Lorraine, often known as the Dean of Canadian Magicians, employed the strain principle to induce laughs. Once whereas performing at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas, he was presenting a "pitchman act," taking part in the role of a "snake oil" salesman from the Wild West. His voice began to crack. The longer he spoke, the worse his voice became, till he could now not speak. Silence! Most folks within the audience were thinking "Someone please give the poor man a glass of water!" He then took a drink of his "drugs" and immediately began talking full-throttle! He had caught the audience hastily, engineered the strain, extended and strengthened it with a stoppage, and then reaped the comic's reward...laughter.
Years ago, when entertaining a military group in Alabama, I used the "answer man" or "Carnack" technique made famous by Steve Allen and Johnny Carson. This can be where the entertainer holds an envelope to his head, offers the solution, and then opens the envelope and reads the question. I made a decision to create some tension enroute to the laughter.
1st came the set-up. "The solution is Oscar Meyer, Ball Park and a fighter pilot." After opening the envelope, I said, "And also the question is...name three hot dogs!" By itself, this was a fairly funny line for a cluster of Air Force officers, a number of whom were fighter pilots. However I used it primarily for putting in the joke to follow.
Holding the following envelope to my head, I said, "The solution is...Oscar Meyer, Ball Park and General Willis." Pause! The strain built to an audible gasp, individuals thinking "He's going to call the General a hot dog!" This particularly got a robust reaction because their new commander, General Frank Willis, had taken command solely 3 weeks earlier. Opening the envelope, I said, "And therefore the query is (pause) name 3 franks!" Pause. Tremendous laughter (and relief) crammed the room. I built the stress, used the pause to reinforce the tension before the punch line, and then used the pause again to let the punch line sink in.
Of course there are occasions when tension isn't engineered through words or a story line. Even then, the magical pause can strengthen the punch line. When used before the punch line, an interruption sets up the anticipation of "here comes the funny stuff!" Anticipation may be a kind of tension. The impact of the punch line is enhanced by adding a tension relief.
The pause plays another vital role when used simply before the punch line. The most vital half of the joke is that the punch line and more specifically the punch word. The pause focuses attention on this key element. The well-placed and timed pause will help guarantee that the audience hears the punch line.
The pause additionally lets folks laugh. Years ago, an acquaintance commented, "I've discovered why you're therefore funny...you insist that we tend to laugh!" She meant that a confident speaker delivers the punch line and pauses for the laughter as a result of he or she is aware of it will follow. Novices typically deliver the punch line and then nervously race on if the laughter does not immediately follow. Thus dare to be quiet, permit the audience enough time to retort and your humor will hit the mark.
We tend to also use the pause to let our listeners get pleasure from the laughter to its fullest. Do not step on the laughs by interrupting the laughter while it's building. And do not wait till the laughter has totally ended to resume speaking. An audio tape of your presentation can tell you if you are discouraging laughter by resuming your talk too soon.
Additionally, you'll magnify a funny line by using the pause to intensify your physical delivery. For instance, you might raise your eyebrows. Generally the pause can be used to do a "take"--a physical reaction to the situation. Johnny Carson and Jack Benny were masters of a slow take or glance to the correct or left to make a line even funnier. Some stand-up comics pause to extend the laughter by making a slow, sweeping eye contact with the audience, from one side of the area to the other.
Yes, silence adds power to the punch line as a result of it heightens the tension. A temporary pause offers the audience time to recognize the humor and then react to it. And it attracts attention to your physical delivery. So use silence to strengthen your humor and carry laughter to new levels!
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Bob has been writing articles online for nearly 2 years now. Not only does this author specialize in comics humor,you can also check out his latest website about:
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