How to Tell a Joke Successfully & Make People Laugh

There are a lot of reasons to tell jokes. Making people (including ourselves!) laugh is probably the most popular one you can think of.

However, the fact is that not many people can tell a joke successfully. There are many important aspects you should take care of, such as:

  • the atmosphere,
  • delivery,
  • timing,
  • the type of audience, etc.

Only when you truly understand humor and are well-practiced in the art of telling jokes can you make people laugh consistently and successfully. The important thing to note is that it is a skill, and you can easily learn it if you are willing to open your mind and put in a bit of work.

In today’s post, we are going to give you the seven key tips to tell a great joke. Keep reading, and you will be well set on your journey of learning how to be funny.

#1 – Know Your Audience

It is crucial to understand the type of people you are with before you even think about telling a joke.


Because telling even the best joke in the world to the wrong crowd won’t get you any positive reactions despite your delivery and effort. They are simply not the right type of people to tell your joke to, so it is a vital point to keep in mind.

Understand the atmosphere, the type of conversations your social group enjoys, and see which jokes go well and which jokes don’t. There isn’t a quick way to figure this out with certainty – you have to spend some time gauging the room.

Nevertheless, you will thank us for sharing this tip with you!

#2 – Develop a Repertoire

Another great tip to tell better jokes is to have great ones in your repertoire. How can you do this?

Start reading funny forums, websites, listen to jokes on YouTube, watch funny TV shows. All the time you spend doing this, you will carry a notepad (or the notes on your phone) with you. Note your favorite jokes and try to think of real-life scenarios where you will have a chance to implement those jokes easily.

Next time the opportunity presents itself, tell a rehearsed joke from your repertoire and sweep people off their feet!

#3 – Exaggerate Things

One of the oldest and easiest types of humor is an exaggeration joke. All you have to do is take an everyday thing or experience and emphasize its special quality until people find it ridiculous.

For example, you could be hungry. However, saying that you are hungry probably isn’t the best thing to say if you are trying to make people laugh.

Instead, you can say that you are ‘so hungry that you could eat an elephant.’ That slight shift in how you form your sentences can go a long way in making even the most mundane conversations and statements funny.

#4 – Goof Around

Another great way to make people laugh is to play dumb. We all like juvenile humor, and sometimes a little bit of silliness is all we need to have a great day.

You can learn some great anti-jokes and tell them to throw some people off their course at the next social gathering. These jokes are often so ridiculous that you will have a hard time containing your laughter. Trust us; other people will feel and act the same way!

#5 – Add Your Personal Touch

Here is a suggestion – be original and personalize your delivery!

What can you expect as a result?

Tons of laughs! People love nothing more than authenticity, and the same holds when it comes to humor. Originality also comes in the form of the type of humor you prefer. Choose only those jokes that align with your personality.

Once you start telling jokes more regularly, you will feel more comfortable being yourself and letting your special sense of humor shine. This approach is the key to developing that recognizable funny person vibe that your hilarious friends may already have.

Next time you are telling a joke, try to be as true to yourself as possible!

#6 – Practice Delivery

There is nothing that can ruin a joke as quickly as an awful delivery. Practice your jokes at home if they are rehearsed. Once you get the hang of those, you will find it much easier to tell spontaneous jokes the next time you are out with people.

Try to practice proper rhythm, relax while you are talking, and tell what you have to say confidently! Also, telling your joke with a smile instead of while laughing can make its impact even stronger. Although, there are some cases when people laughing at their jokes can be incredibly hilarious!

The truth is – there are no golden rules. Humor is flexible, and you should be, too. Either way, mastering your delivery will only improve your chances of getting a set of laughs around the table.

#7 – Relax

If you feel awkward and think that you could be socially inept, the most important tip we can give you is to relax.

It might sound like it will be easier said than done, but it still remains true. Humor is supposed to be fun, and you should relax while you are telling your jokes. Otherwise, it will soon become obvious that you struggle with it, and people won’t find what you have to say funny.

Try to focus on the conversation instead of on yourself in group social settings. Listening more carefully and trying to take part actively instead of worrying about what everyone can help you immensely.

This way, you will even see that jokes will come more naturally to you due to the change in your behavior!


We have reached the end of our list! We hope that you have enjoyed the article and found tons of useful advice in it.

Next time you find yourself in a situation where you want to tell a joke, keep at least three of these tips in mind, and you will be successful much more often!

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