Be prepared for the unexpected! Be attuned to the mood of the audience.
Create the illusion of control. Approach the audience as though everyone came to have a good time. The purpose is not to control them, but to ask, “What is it we have in common?”
Five Effective Humorous Openings:
Self-effacing humor—creates a bond with the audience.
Physical surroundings—if it’s on the mind of the audience, you must mention it.
Tap into “inside humor”—Comment on what everyone is chuckling about. All of a sudden you’re one of them. You immediately gain respect because you did your homework.
Always check with the person you’re going to poke fun at.
Current events—what is happening in that particular city, around the nation, or worldwide?
Alan Ray www.telejoke.com –firstname.lastname@example.org
Place plants in the audience to help set the tone of the program.
**The purpose of your opening is to loosen up the audience and invite them to listen.
To The Amount Of Original Material You Use
The harder you are to duplicate, the more in demand you will be.
Jokes versus stories: Stories are always best, because they give the audience a chance to get to know you. Vulnerability is your greatest strength.
Tip #5—If You Can’t Find Funny Material, Change Your Glasses
Transparencies—Read it aloud so everyone gets it at the same time.
www.artbyshannon.com – designed just for you.
Custom made videos or slide shows
Read funny material.
Bumper stickers, posters, signs, Internet humor.
Read funny letters from clients.
Make up letters.
Create your own definitions.
Tip #6—Great Humor Is Not Written;
It Is Rewritten
“The most common mistake in using humor is people give up too soon.” —Peret
Practice, Practice, Practice
“Tell people your story so in it they hear their life. We can then change the world one story at a time.” —Max Dixon
“People don’t remember what you say; they do remember the pictures you created in their minds.” —Patricia Fripp
5 steps to writing original material:
Recall experiences from your past that are embarrassing, unusual, or funny.
If you want to add more comedy, add more conflict.
Don’t just tell the story, be the story.
www.VictoriaLabalme.com - 212-645-1101 – Movement Coach.
Re-write. Eliminate unnecessary words and shorten. Put the biggest laugh at the end. A really good story explodes into the punch line, which is nothing more than the unexpected truth that twists reality slightly. In humor, less is more.
Play “Half the Words.”
When you’re comfortable, start telling it from the platform. The pause will dramatically improve your timing and rhythm.
Add laugh lines. Keep editing. Tell it fresh every time.
Get a Humor Buddy!
Play “what if...” Exaggerate ... “I thought you were going to say…”
Tip #7—Spontaneity Is Always Better The Second Time Around
Accidents do happen. When accidents take place, the audience becomes ill-at-ease. Any comment will break the tension.
Being prepared is the key to rehearsed spontaneity.
Before making a remark, pause and look up like you are searching for something to say. The audience will think you are creating the humor on the spot.
Beeper: Time to take my pill!
Ambulance or any siren: ‘Gotta go, my ride is here!
Lights go out:
Why do I have the feeling that when all the lights come on I’ll be alone?
Now we're all in the dark.
I know you’re on a tight budget.
I’m going to have to start over.
If any of you have heard me speak before ... please go on to my next thought and I’ll catch up. Participant walks out:
I hate it when the audience finishes before I do.
You know there is a penalty for early withdrawal. What to do with Hecklers? Pick out hecklers ahead of time.
Don’t let the heckler stay anonymous.
Stand close by and let the heckler know you’re on to them.
Tip #8—If They Don’t Laugh, It Wasn’t Meant To Be Funny
All humor must apply to your speech. Relevance reduces resistance.
When taking advantage of humor of the moment, be ready with a comeback line.
When a joke dies:
1. “ Some jokes I do just for me.”
“I’d now like you to bow your heads, and join with me in silent prayer for that last joke that just died.”
3. “That’s the last time I buy a joke from (key member of staff).”
4. (Look at notes.) “ It says here ‘Pause for laughter’.”
5. “ Jokes are just like children. You like them all the same even when one is very, very bad.”
Tip #9—The Richest Laugh Is At No One’s Expense
You lose respect and credibility when you offend someone in your audience.
Listen through the ears of the audience. When in doubt, leave it out.
The reason you use humor is to enhance your message. If your humor offends, then it interferes with what you have to say.
When someone blushes with embarrassment... when someone carries away an ache..., when something sacred is made to appear common..., when someone's weakness provides the laughter..., when profanity is required to make it funny..., when a child is brought to tears..., or when everyone can't join in the laughter...., it's a poor joke! Cliff Thomas
Tip #10—You Are Your Own Best Style
You need to uncover the style you already have and use it, rather than someone else’s style. Select material carefully so that it complements your style.
If your humor is inconsistent with your own personality, it appears awkward and incongruent. Be yourself!
“People who steal material are destined for doom. They are avoiding the essence of who they are and will never dig deep and discover their own unique way of looking at the world.” —Judy Carter, Stand-up Comedy
The quality of life is determined by the quality of our relationships.