“I've talked to comics who have been doing comedy for decades, and they still get this wave of nervousness.

Once I realized it's a thing that's not going away, I learned to embrace it.

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Some of the funniest people are masters of the one-liner who save their words for when they have something meaningful to say. Humor is based heavily on interaction, knowing your audience, and knowing when to plug in or hang back.

Trying to spout off a bunch of lukewarm jokes will just drown out the ones that actually land.

“Making jokes about the misfortune of others is generally not going to land.” Humor should never be cruel.

What are friends and family good for if you can't make them test subjects for your comedic stylings?

Also: Zoloft.” Here, Gersbeck offers some tried, tested, and practical ways to overcome your comedic hangups and make a woman laugh.

Just as writers are told to “write what they know,” your sense of humor should come from the same place—yourself.

Just as you can train and eat right to improve your appearance, hone your conversational skills by engaging with more people and going on more dates, and improve your public speaking skills by getting up in front of people and embarrassing yourself a few times, you can teach yourself to be more funny. “They say it takes 10 years before you really find your voice, so I don't think I'm quite there yet,” says Chris Gersbeck, a New York City-based comic.

But comedy is always a work in progress, and he's dedicated the last three years to tuning that voice and using comedy as a means to overcome his shyness and anxiety.

It’s fun to make light of an awkward or difficult situation—maybe you just spilled a drink on yourself or you flubbed the restaurant reservations.

Poking fun at yourself and laughing it off are good ways to diffuse the tension.

Are you great at telling long, detailed stories, or more adept at quick, witty observations? Some people are made to be physical comics, whereas others are primed for more cerebral humor.