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There this popular saying that “A man’s greatest treasure is wit beyond measure.” Wit is a charming quality, and one of the easiest ways to get people to lose their guards is by being witty. As a witty person, you can easily win people over; you can influence and charm people easily, you can turn around any situation into something positive and generally, a witty person will always find themselves to be the center of attraction in any situation, event or gathering.
Being witty is not about being a comedian or doing funny or silly things for entertainment. Being witty is a unique ability to think on your feet and be able to come up with a clever or comical observation about the situation on the ground. Being witty and eloquent is about saying things that make other people admire you, love you and immediately develop an interest in you. Wit does not come naturally to everyone, but everyone can be witty if they learn. Like everything else, practice goes a long way, and you must have a high level of motivation to achieve desired results.
So, when you see your favorite speaker, writer or entertainer churning out impressive bon mots, one-liners and puns effortlessly, you wonder how they can do that. You want to be like them, but you do not know where exactly to start. Fortunately, we have put together some valuable tips that work. So, let’s get into it.
Watch a lot of TV.
TV shows, although, scripted, are perfect resources to master the art of wittiness and eloquence. If you want to feel inspired, find yourself television shows with outstanding dialogue and excellent one-liners. Watch podcasts, especially comedy with fast-paced and hysterical banter. You are probably wondering if watching witty people makes you witty too? Of course, yes. Get yourself immersed in proven witty personalities and you are very well on your way to becoming that smooth talker you have always aspired to be.
Grow your vocabulary.
According to the BBC, an average person only knows 35,000 words and regularly uses about 3,000 of those words frequently. The remaining words that they hardly use fall into the “passive vocabulary” which is rarely used at all. A witty person has no bounds – you should be able to go all out to drive home your point with words. Be exceptional. Make friends with different dictionary resources such as Dictionary.com, The Online Etymology Dictionary and Thesaurus.com. Learn different words every day and make sure you find out the origin of the word and how you can use the word. Once you get consistent with this, even you would be surprised at the results.
Think about having a perfect quote for every situation and scenario. You would be treated like a king. There is nothing better than having a quote that fits the situation. It makes everyone want to listen to you and look forward to what you may have to say. You have to memorize, learn, digest and churn out quotes. This perhaps is one of the most interesting parts of learning wit and eloquence.
"The human race is just a chemical scum on a moderate-sized planet, orbiting around a very average star in the outer suburb of one among a hundred billion galaxies. We are so insignificant that I can’t believe the whole universe exists for our benefit. That would be like saying that you would disappear if I closed my eyes." - Stephen Hawking
Learn to be brief and concise
A well-delivered wit is one that is brief and concise. Even Shakespeare once said, “Brevity is the soul of wit.” If you can express yourself in as few words as possible with impressive one-liners and quotes, you are more likely to pique people’s interests than someone else who keeps going on and on to deliver a point. Want to argue that? Why take hours to pass across a piece of information that can be expressed in a few words?
Use frameworks and scripts.
As much as being witty and eloquent requires a great deal of spontaneity and being able to come up with things to say at the bat of an eyelid, you sometimes would need to have a script to guide you. A lot of professional writers and speakers use prompts, scripts, frameworks, and scripts to structure and keep their thoughts in line. This does not make them any less witty; it only helps them produce an outstanding delivery which is the goal of any eloquent speaker. You do not get a second chance at being witty. You only get to do it once, and you must do it right.
"I have no race prejudices, and I think I have no color prejudices or caste prejudices nor creed prejudices. Indeed I know it. I can stand any society. All that I care to know is that a man is a human being-that is enough for me; he can’t be any worse." - Mark Twain
You have to be able to use words interchangeably – both words that sound alike or mean the same thing. Imagine a book publishing company that is currently having legal issues, and you were asked to create a witty tagline for them. Think about something like, “At our company, our word is law.” You have been able to infuse what they do with what they are currently going through. That, exactly is how puns work. Master the art!
"We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity; more than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost." - Charlie Chaplin
Practice makes perfect.
Just as reading and writing must be your favorite past-times if you want to be a great writer, to be a witty and eloquent speaker or writer, you have to practice being witty and eloquent. And that involves putting into practice all of the points mentioned above over and over again. If you can do anything for six hours a day, every day for a whole year, you will become very good at it.