Always Keep Them Laughing…and Never Let ‘Em See You Sweat!
I really enjoy comedy clubs and watching good stand-up comedians draw in their audiences with their wit and humor through perfectly timed jokes. I also love making others laugh, but have never saw myself as a stand-up comedian, that is until I attended a workshop for PR professionals at a comedy club in New York City. The purpose was to help us understand how we could apply stand-up comedy’s tools and concepts to business presentations, new business pitches and daily work.
Now everyone in attendance had the same thought, we’d go to a comedy club, hear a speech on best practices, tips and advice, possibly enjoy a stand-up routine from the speaker, have a light dinner and do some networking. While all of that was definitely on the agenda the one thing missing was that each of us had to perform a 1-2 minute stand-up routine. As you can imagine this was no laughing matter for anyone in the room. You heard a lot of people saying out loud, “we’re in PR, we’re not funny!” What in the world could a bunch of PR people come up with to say that was funny, much less for 1-2 minutes? The results were shockingly funny.
While stand-up comedy may appear as if anything goes these concepts and tools actually help most comedians to be funny. Many of these same concepts and tools hold true for business settings too. Of course, there’s always a danger to think pure stand-up comedy can be translated to business, especially since not everyone is funny. The point is to identify your comedic style, think about how to apply it to any given situation and use the rules of engagement to help you be more comfortable in different business settings.
Laughter is one of the greatest releases of tension and comedy lets people know you’re real and human. Always keep them laughing and never let them see you sweat!