Are you born with a funny gene? Can you learn to make people laugh? Check out this post from Rory Vaden, a 23 year old Motivational Keynote Speaker from Colorado.

The Dynamics of Discipline by Rory Vaden
Discipline of Humor

True or false: “You are either born funny or you’re not.” – FALSE! This is one of the most disempowering misconceptions among speakers today. As I have started teaching my humor course “No Laughs to Know Laughs – The science and system of adding humor” I have found that the disempowerment extends far beyond speakers into the daily lives of most un-funny people. I am amazed at how badly people want to be funny but how impossible the notion seems to them. Teaching myself to be funny was a very powerful journey, one that will continue everyday for the rest of my life, but what is even more rewarding is how I am watching my students start to feel empowered in their daily lives.

When I actually made the decision that I was going to be a professional speaker for the rest of my life back in December of 2004 I knew that I was going to have to find some way to become funny. I thought to myself “I know I will never be really funny but maybe if I start watching other comedians I will pick up a thing or two.” As I began to watch I quickly realized that while all comedians/speakers have different jokes they nearly all use the same formulas. I became obsessed with comedy, reading every book that was recommended, talking to every funny person I knew, relentlessly watching comedians/speakers, and even taking courses in how to be funnier.

After I tracked about 25 of the most common formulas, I started to understand why people laugh, which is way more important than being able to tell jokes. It finally hit me, humor is a skill! Not a trait! While I certainly believe some people are more predisposed to being funny then others (just like any other skill) it is something that can be learned, improved upon, and even mastered. Humor is a Discipline; and like most Disciplines, it requires Discipline to practice, practice, practice in order to get better. While I am certainly not Jerry Seinfeld, people who come to watch me perform who haven’t seen me in a few years are literally dumbfounded that I am the same person who was completely un-funny just a short time ago.

Good Job Rory!

Brad Montgomery
Humorist, Motivational Keynote Speaker, Teacher of Humor