Increase the humor content (and laughs) of your professional presentations, informal business talks, and every day conversation.
Mechanically, get a sheet paper. You draw four lines down it. You put the columns in. You write the items down. After you do this twenty times, then you can start taking "short cuts." In reality, professional writers don't always do this written out. But you're doing it in your head. You are running through associations in your head.
But in the beginning, do it this way. If you do this way twenty times and it doesn't work, then call me. This stuff works if you just follow it. You give somebody directions, and - well, I really didn't turn to the right there because I didn't like the way the street went. So I turned to the left and now I can't find the house. FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS!
Okay. My suggestion is to use the list each time you write on a subject. Now you're writing a car essay, or you're writing your car chunk. You get tired and put it aside. Or you have to go someplace. When you come back, pick your list up, go back through it and try to add to it. The first time you do create your list, try to get 10 in each column. Ten people, 10 Places, 10 Things, 10 Miscellaneous. Each time you come back to work on that chunk or that essay, or that speech, try to get 5 more. Come back and 5 more People, 5 more Places, 5 more Things, 5 more Miscellaneous. If you do this ten times, that'll be a total of 50 new items.
It is a great exercise. You'll never run out questions, you'll never run out of items. This is when people say, ‘Gee, I can't think about the subject. I ran out of ideas.' Do this. Use this technique. This technique is good for any type of creative endeavor you go through that calls for writing. The Association List. It is a wonderful tool. I'm just writing humor. If you're writing a speech, if you're writing an essay - same basic principles.
Okay. Humor Through Exaggeration. All Righta!
Boy, Johnny Carson has actually taken this technique and kind of self-parodied it. The reason being this is America's humor. Americans exaggerate. Tall tales, Paul Bunyan, Big State of Texas. This is typical American humor. It is the exact opposite of British humor. In America, if it starts raining an American would say, "Well, I don't know how long this rain is going to last but my neighbor is starting to build an ark." We exaggerate humor. In Britain it rains for a week and the British say, "It's a bit moist today, isn't it." Understatement is the British approach, okay. But exaggeration is the epitome of American humor.
Actually, I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's go back and finish out our car stuff first and then the Exaggeration joke.