20 years ago, I was a hardcore student in Peking University, surrounded by the smartest from the whole country, and it was dead serious. If you don’t work your ass off you are eliminated and there is no happiness for the rest of your life. 10 years ago, I was doing my serious PhD research on catalysis, and I was sure that scientific presentation should have no joking elements – in another word, deadly serious and boring! Today, I seriously want to climb the career ladder and become a big ego VP. Yes, that’s why I am writing this blog. … Just kidding… But I did find a weapon to stand out from my peers: humor! I finally realize that humor is the key to a better life. I missed it in half of my life.
For those of you who are only interested in relationships: humor is perceived as a powerful personal trail to attract women. For those of you who passed dating stage: it is becoming an increasingly important element in the corporate world. And I am sure that’s the 5th wave of the business world. (What are the previous 4?) Anyhow, those with a sense of humor are regarded as confident and go up the career ladder faster. Everyone appreciates good humor except the guy who invited me to be the host of an event in my company last November. He told me: “No, we don’t want any humor. I want to keep it very professional and business-like.” Seriously? I was like, this is a good start to kill the event! And in the end he loved my jokes – humor won 🙂
The experience from taking part in the final of the Toastmasters European Humorous Speech Contest taught me a lot. People love my jokes and I got some fantastic feedback. Who cares if you win some Toastmasters contest? I want to tell you that as I did not win. Well, I am happy with my performance.
It’s been a long time struggle to really crack the humor in speeches. I finally got in there a bit. The guy born with a sense of humor is funny, the guy who practices and learns humor is funnier. Give it a try! You may not become a comedian but you can stand out in your small office.
If somehow it does not work, you should then try standup comedy! Yes, just start and you will love it. Public speaking is scary, so just skip it and go right into standup. How do you like my sales skill? I already convinced you to join me to change the world with humor.
The key to the success of comedians is the process how they prepare jokes. Here is a simplified version: brainstorm jokes any time –> always write them down –> rewrite them –> test in a Open Mic show –> keep the good, leave out the weak –> retest, refine –> collect the strongest for the big audience –> wait for money to come.
That’s the comedy refinery process. It’s not hard to adapt this process, but it is hard to keep on testing with real audience.
So much for today – oh, if you question my ability to do a comedy, check out my speech in Milan final!