Today I’m looking at ways of using experiences from our past in our writing and speaking. A fear that many of us have is that we aren’t funny and can’t entertain our audience. This frequently grows out of experiences from when we were younger.
When I was a kid, I was always quick to see the end of the story ahead of the others. Unfortunately, this tended to get me into trouble at home.
My dad loved to tell stories. He did motivational speaking as one of his avocations. He would be in the middle of sharing a story with friends. I would be sitting quietly on the living room floor, listening with the others.
As soon as I could figure out the outcome, I would jump in with the punchline. (I wish I could remember some of those stories now to add to my speeches.)
However, when I was a kid, what I remembered was my dad’s frown when he lost the opportunity to complete his joke. Wanting to be Daddy’s sweet little girl, after a while I just stopped jumping in with the obvious ending and stayed quiet. Ingrained in my memory was the message that rather than telling jokes, I blow them. I was well into adulthood before I attempted telling jokes on my own.
The humor that comes from my earlier story came on its own – the child who upstages the parent brings laughter from the crowd.
There was no need for me to force a joke into the story.
And humor isn’t always the same as ha-ha funny. Both can lighten your writing and make it easier to connect with your audience.
You can do something similar as you share experiences from your life.
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P.S. Tomorrow is Veteran’s Day in the US. It’s a good day to take a few minutes to thank a veteran or active duty military person for their service.