Four Public Speaking Tips From Standup Comedians


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How do you give great presentations? How do you captivate an audience? How to you tell a story on a stage? This deck is filled with a handful of insights that answer these questions using inspiration from studying a handful of successful comedians.

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Four Public Speaking Tips From Standup Comedians

  1. 1. As you navigate through your public speaking career, you will learn from failures. You will learn your strengths, what resonates well with different audiences and how to truly captivate your audience.
  2. 2. Comedians are a group of people who are forced to learn these things very quickly. Unlike public speakers, they risk the chance of being booed off the stage instead of simply being met with a few people walking out of a theatre.
  3. 3. Here are four lessons that public speakers can learn from stand up comedians.
  4. 4. 1 Create a Story that Your Audience Will Appreciate. 2 Learn from The People You Admire. 3 Work the Room Before Hitting the Stage. 4 Comedians Hustle. You Have to Hustle Too.
  5. 5. 1 Create a Story that Your How Comedians Do it: When a comedian crafts their jokes, they don’t target the entire world. They target a specific group with a specific point of view and focus on truths, biases and opportunities to challenge or reaffirm the audiences hostilities and prejudices.
  6. 6. 1 Create a Story that Your How to Do it yourself: No matter what size the audience is, always aim to connect with them. Understand the audience and strive to deliver a presentation that will provide them with the value they need to leave the presentation feeling as if they learned something.
  7. 7. 1 Create a Story that Your REMEMBER: The target audience is arguably the most critical factor in writing successful material.
  8. 8. 2 LEARN FROM THE How Comedians Do it: The best comedians learn from the best before them and study their craft. They recognize the importance of studying the greatest in order to understand the dynamics of good jokes and audience reactions.
  9. 9. 2 LEARN FROM THE How TO Do it YOURSELF: The best public speakers have thousands of YouTube videos online of them presenting at events and conferences around the world. Spend a few hours a week watching them perform and study everything from their delivery, to their stage presence, to the way they interact with the audience.
  10. 10. 2 LEARN FROM THE REMEMBER: These folks are ahead of you for a reason: they’re doing something you’re not. Studying their craft and understanding their success will help you build your career.
  11. 11. 3 WORK THE ROOM BEFORE How Comedians Do it: Most comedians starting out work the crowd beforehand. Its an easy way to handle hecklers, because the individuals they’ve built rapport with will often jump in and help mute them. It’s a simple tactic but it’s also one that’s helped ensure that the delivery of jokes are appropriate for audiences.
  12. 12. 3 WORK THE ROOM BEFORE How TO Do it YOURSELF: Never hit the stage without having a conversation with one or two people in the audience first. Strive to build rapport with this person and you’ll feel confident knowing that they’ll come save you if things go wrong.
  13. 13. 3 WORK THE ROOM BEFORE I disagree. REMEMBER: In business settings, a heckler is different from a heckler in comedy. These people don’t scream, “you suck” from the back of the room, instead they raise their hand and ask you questions that add nothing to the conversation or simply tell you they disagree without reason. Be prepared to handle them.
  14. 14. 4 COMEDIANS HUSTLE. HOW COMEDIANS DO IT: Seinfield is known as one of the greatest comedians of all time. Outside of his amazing standup routines, he is also known for working harder than anyone else in the business. People say that Jerry Seinfield studied comedy more than anyone else, got on stage more than anyone else and spent more time writing than anyone else.
  15. 15. 4 COMEDIANS HUSTLE. HOW TO DO IT YOURSELF: Work hard, understand the art of the hustle and be truly dedicated to your craft. Hustling will help you to generate a consistent revenue stream from being paid to speak.
  16. 16. 4 COMEDIANS HUSTLE. REMEMBER: It’s rare for even the best public speakers to express that they have “natural ability”. They will tell you that they worked hard at their craft and studied the best. Natural ability might get you to first base but hard work will let you get home.
  17. 17. ROSS SIMMONDS @TheCoolestCool
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