by Mike Ososki, PMP

Jeff Justice recommends fun ways to deal with stress, especially at work—to make your day a little better. As the Humor Resources Director at, he has helped lighten up the likes of Fortune 500 companies across the country, and been featured in Time, Newsweek, TV Guide and more. Jeff has authored seven books and is president and founder of Jeff Justice’s Comedy Workshoppe, the US’s largest and most successful school for stand-up comedy.

Justice-JeffHumor is a vital management tool and everyone can do it. Even if you see yourself as a dead serious professional, you can find your own style of humor, and grow by baby steps. Yes, unfunny people can learn to be hilarious and heard, and still get good, quality things done in scope, time and budget.

Some of Jeff’s comedy tips:

  • Only use humor to make a Point.
  • The Punch Word is the Last word of the sentence.
  • If you want to be funny you have to learn to Shut Up!
  • Don't drop your Voice on your punchlines.
  • Your mom was wrong. Lying is OK ! Exaggeration is one of the keys to comedy.
  • Don't Telegraph your punchline by saying, “Here comes the bad part, unfortunately or surprisingly.” Make it immediate. It happened Today , Yesterday or Last Week.
  • Attitude is Almost everything!. It's 10% material and 90% delivery.
  • Poke fun at Yourself especially in the Beginning of your program.
  • Don’t Tell them, Show them.
  • It’s your voice and not your words that tells the listener what’s important.
  • Humor breaks down resistance and stops situations from escalating.
  • Humor is better than anger, and you don’t want heart lesions.
  • Laughing is healthy. Women laugh more and live longer.

A couple of samples of Jeff’s standup material:

  1. A fellow is driving home one night. He coasts up to a stop sign, looks around and doesn’t see any traffic coming. So he slows down a bit, but he still runs the stop sign. A police officer is waiting around the corner and pulls him over.
    The officer asks, “Do you know why I stopped you?”
    The guy says, “No, I don’t.”
    “Well, you ran that stop sign back there.”
    “Oh, no, didn’t you see? I slowed down.”
    “Well, you’re supposed to stop.”
    “I slowed down. It’s the same thing.”
    “Look, the law says you have to come to a complete stop.”
    “GIVE ME A BREAK! I slowed down. We both know it’s the same thing!”
    At that point, the cop whips out his nightstick and starts whacking the guy
    over the head. The guy yells, “Owwwww! That hurts!”
    And the cop replies, “I know. Now, do you want me to stop…or slow down?”

  2. I stopped at a minimart for gas and a Coke on my way to the airport. I was standing behind a man at the counter — he was about my height but a big, muscular, workout kinda guy. He was trying to buy a pack of gum with a hundred dollar bill. The woman at the cash register gave him her best you’re-an-idiot look and said, “I don’t have enough change for that.” 
    He snarled, “Well, go get it!” 
    She said, “I can’t leave the register because the manager’s not here.”
    The guy was really giving her a hard time. And finally she told him, “Do us both a favor and stand off to the side. Let me take care of the customer behind you because you’re holding him up.” 
    I’m thinking, “Oh, great! Now Godzilla’s going to look at me.” 
    He turned and said, “Hey, Mac, am I holding you up?” 
    I was mad, and I said, “Yeah, pal, you are holding me up. As a matter of fact, you’ve been rude to this young lady. You apologize to her right now or I’m gonna take you outside and kick your tail!” 
    Well, to myself I said that. To him I said, “Oh, no-o-o-o — take your time! I’ve got all day, buddy. Boy, she’s got some snotty attitude, doesn’t she?”

Yes, humor can make yours and everyone’s day a little better. Loosen up on your ego. Take yourself lightly and poke some fun at yourself. Find laughter. Everyone does self-talk—what are you saying? Don’t be like the boss at the cemetery, with lots of people under him, but no one is listening.

And finally, Jeff performed the wondrous and amazing blue-ribbon-through-the-microphone trick over and over, then showed us how it was done—in slow motion! Who’d a-thunk-it?