Process to “Scrape Your Brian” to Find Your Funny Stories!
I cannot emphasize enough the importance of using funny stories in keynote speeches, workplace meetings, town-hall meetings, presentations, seminars and training. They make your points come alive, captivate your audience and make your information memorable. There is no better feeling than having someone come up to you and say, “I remember you! You were the one who told the story about … “
In this blog I’ll share with you a process for compiling hundreds of your own stories. Once you begin, you’ll never again look at a blank sheet of paper or computer screen and think, “What funny story can I tell here?” or “How can I make this point more interesting?”
One of the most common complaints I hear from speakers is, “But Dave, I don’t have any funny stories. Nothing funny ever happens to me!”
Everyone feels that way, but it’s simply not true. Take a look at this quick video where I help my audience connect to a few of their own stories!
Are you convinced yet? Before you get a chance to do the activity featured in the video, let’s start with one of the most important parts of storytelling…finding a way to remember your story ideas!
Stories are like that crazy carnival game, “Whack-a-Mole.” One second, they’re there, and they next second, they’re gone! You must have a way to capture your ideas in the moment. Here’s my advice!
Purchase some small Post-it Notes and keep them in your car, wallet and kitchen. Anytime you see, hear or recall something amusing or interesting, write down a few words that will jog your memory later. The key is to write down the words immediately. My rule is to write down the thought within one minute. I typically use five to seven words to remind me of the story at a glance. There is nothing more frustrating than standing with a pen in hand, looking at a Post-it Note, and finding that the thought you had a few moments ago evaporated.
I’m a big fan of Post-it Notes, but you may prefer an electronic way to capture your memories. These include:
- Cell Phone Note Application: The same principles apply. Take out your phone immediately and record five to seven words that will jog your memory later.
- Digital Recorders: Keep a small one with you and use it to record a few words that will remind you of the story later. You can also incorporate a voice-to-text software program such as Dragon.
- Cell Phone Voice Recorder: Most smartphones can record your message and convert it to text and/or email it to you for filing.
The key is finding a method you will use. Set a goal to capture a certain number of “story starters” each week, and your brain will cooperate! It’s like switching on a scanner that prompts you to be more observant and capture funny memories that come to mind. Watch or listen for “triggers,” such as someone telling you a story that reminds you of something. You’ll be amazed by how many ideas you capture in your first week if you commit to the process!
Here is a screenshot of the simple story organizer I use:
This is a series of blog articles and brief videos on “Finding the Funny – Learn the Step-By-Step-Process to Develop and Deliver Humor & Funny Stories & Incorporate into Serious Content.” The blogs are excerpts from my e-learning course (see link on right) which includes:
- Over 16 lessons
- Over 8 hours of video instruction
- Activities and quizzes to complement each lesson
- Downloadable worksheets and templates
- 12 month access to course updates and additions
Please feel free to share with professional speakers, public speakers, trainers…anyone who stands in front of audiences who wants to make them laugh or bring some lightheartedness into serious content. Help me out by “liking,” “subscribing.” and “sharing” on the various social media platforms. To help me out, please make sure you “subscribe” (right-hand column) so you do not miss any of these weekly blog articles. Please feel free to comment on this blog-site and on social-media sites, and share with those who will benefit from them.
Copyright © MMXX by David R. Hill