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Do you talk funny is very much a practical manual on how to apply a comedic framework to public speaking of all kinds. At its core, a lot of it is would seem like common sense, but when analyzed through the lens of stand-up comedy which is oftentimes put on a pedastal, it really hits you in the face as obvious. One thing that really drove home for me was the laughs-per-minute ratio and how any kind of public speaking, even a mundane team update can be an opportunity to build rapport as a speaking (and get practice). Again, it's obvious, but I hadn't really taken it all that seriously in the past. I'd recommend reading it if you're at all involved in public speaking for work.
Top Lessons Learned
- Stories can help any presentation improve, the more personal, the better.
- Spontaneous moments can be scripted and rehearsed so that they seem natural and off-the-cuff but they are extremely controlled.
- Humor in presentations is a mixture of what you're saying and then how you're saying it.
- Practice, practice, practice. The more stage time you get, the better things will be.
(There is a free workbook to accompany this book, available at http:// 7comedyhabits.com/ workbook).
Stand-up comedy, at its basic principles, is a combination of material (what you say) and delivery (how you say it).
Tell a story
- We learn and remember things best through stories.
- Use stories to build a Brandon deliver any message or product.
- “People don’t invest in your business or product. They invest in you and your story. If you want people to remember what you say, tell a compelling story.”
- Audiences respond better to a story that features the storyteller. Include stories from your own life experiences before referencing those of others.
- The best way to be more engaging, memorable, and funny quickly is to tell a story that contains a few essential elements. “Who wants what and what stops them from getting it?”
- Process: have a hero, define what they are up against, have a transcending emotion, include a clear lesson/transformation, add twists and turns, make it believable, have a clear incident to make the story roll, know the end in mind at the beginning, quickly build in an attention grabbing hook, reference the beginning or setup at the end, use three acts (beginning, conflict, resolution), entertain.
- tips from the moth: stories are told not read, have some stakes, start in the action, steer clear of meandering endings. Have fun with it.
Add humor, find the funny
- Use relatable stories so you can get personal with it.
- The Joke Funnel means we start as wide as we can to make our story relatable and relevant to the audience, then get specific. In other words, we make the story relevant to everybody with a general topic, and then we make it relevant to us by connecting it to our own personal story.
- Stand-up comedians, top TED speakers, and even presidents tend to follow the same joke format for this: (1) setup, (2) punch line, and then (3) taglines.
- Place the impact word at the end of the sentence is not just important for comedic effect; it applies to all key points.
- “There’s always a funny or a humorous relatable element in real-life stories. The key is to tie them to your overall macro concept and get to laugh lines as quickly and effectively as possible. Keep it relevant to everybody on a macro level before going micro and adding detail.”
Work on your writing skills
- use local references
- set the stage
- add attitude to the writing and presentation
- Give clear takeaways
- use callbacks
- Incorporate media icons call outs if possible
- Always write in the present tense
- Use the rule of 3as much as you can
- use inherently funn6 words and get to the point quickly
Practice diligently so spontaneous moments are actually rehearsed
- You need to practice your material exactly as you wish to deliver it.
- Memory can be enhanced using the memory palace technique where you have a visualization for everything to recall and place it in a palace, use a physical blueprint to draw out the route and help train the recall.
Delivery is everything.
- “The first thirty seconds is your time to grab the audience’s attention. Tell them who you are, why they must listen to you, and do it in a manner that makes them like you.”
- Try and introduce yourself to as many people in the room as possible before you start to speak. It helps break down that initial barrier that a stage can create. Don’t wait until you have already addressed the audience to start working the room.
- Body language, tone, and timing all make huge differences. Practice can help you get the most out of your time.
Control the audience
- If you’re trying to engage the audience members and you want them to talk for a longer period of time, ask open, leading questions. Use words like how, who, when, what, why, and where to elicit a response greater than one word.
- Preparing an audience interaction in advance, like a series of questions can be a powerful way to seem spontaneous while at the same time staying in control.
- Never ignore interruptions and always manage disruptions.
- Never end with questions, it leaves you on a low note. Ask questions right before you do your wrap up concluding slide, then thank everyone and the organizers.
- TED talk called, “I Got 99 Problems . . . Palsy Is Just One.”
- Comedians will use what’s known as a Bookend Technique. This is where they reference opening jokes and stories at the conclusion of their show. This gives their performance a feeling of completion and symmetry.
- Try to stay in a permanent beta, comedians are always seeking to develop and improve. They need to be pleased, but never satisfied.
- Ken Robinson's Ted talk has a high laughs per minute ratio which is ideal for presentations. Less words to get to the punch line increase this.
- Watch this TED talk: “Shawn Achor: The Happy Secret to Better Work.”
This conference is all about bridging the gap between comedy and business - http://funnybizz.co/funnybizz-conference
“The reality is, you can’t wing it. If you don’t prepare, you may do okay some of the time, poorly all too often, and good occasionally. You have to practice. Practice breeds consistency, good habits, and success. This is something that every comedian, performer, and athlete knows.”