Stand Up At Work: Comedy Learnings For Company Earnings
One of my biggest takeaways in comedy is how helpful a joke can be outside of the club. Successful comedy is successful communication, and it can be utilized across most areas of your life. Except with cats. You will always bomb with cats. Cats are passive aggressive hecklers who think your material is absolute garbage.
Below are my top guidelines for anyone who aspires to be funnier and assert themselves as their organization’s resident stand up comic.
Open and close strong.
Laughter up top is an immunization for boredom and provides you a much longer attention span runway. Conversely, a parting punchline validates your audience’s time and gives them a reason to show up again. When you lead and finish with humor, you essentially break the ice twice.
Know your audience.
Jokes are only as effective as the point of views that receive them. If you’re communicating to an audience of senior citizens, avoid jokes about Drake. What’s he talking about, Melvin? -I think he just messed up the word ‘Lake’…
Audiences want you to succeed, but if you show weakness they will absorb that weakness. Ignore silence. Smile through applause. Don’t step on your laughs, surf them. Shred that comedy gnar, brah.
Bombing is learning.
No one likes to fail, but mistakes are lessons. Silence means you need to trim the fat. Groans reveal you’re too corny. Boos show you’ve crossed the line. While painful in the moment, bombing steers you on a funnier path. There’s no way around it. The best way to learn how to change a tire is to get a flat.
Work it out.
Repetition and bombing are cousins. Inseparable cousins who hang out all the time and make tons of bad jokes. Write a joke, then REWRITE that joke. Test it out with a friend or colleague. When you watch a comedian KILL on Netflix, remember that most or all of those ideas were worked out hundreds if not thousands of times to get to that level.
Now’s the exciting part. Explore and follow the comedy trail, fail confidently and efficiently, and beware of feral audiences!