Melbourne Comedy Festival RAW comedy heats

‘That’s it’ I said as I hit submit on the on line entry.   I had been saying I would enter this for years and 2017 was the year, no more excuses.

It all came around quick after Christmas.   Small intimate comedy room, the Evelyn Hotel in downtown Bohemia Fitzroy.  30 hopefuls on the bill with about 25 actually showing up on the day.

A great supportive audience for the show.  Gone was the shackles of my everyday persona as I jumped into my alter ego “Gail the Snail”  A character piece on the parallels of parenthood for humans and snails. Plenty of puns, double meanings and even broke into song at the end.  But most importantly lots of laughs.

Am I mad? Why would I do this?

Delving back into the world of humour keeps your speaking skills honed and sharp.  Keeps you focusing on your audience not your ego.  It fast tracks your development as a speaker. It’s creative and fun to craft a piece of humour.

Appropriate humour can be added to most occasions, work presentations, events, social. Understanding and reading your audience is the key.

Confidence soars when you learn to take control of the speaking area and deliver a well crafted line.  You pause to allow the audience to laugh and when you are ready, you continue. You are in control of the situation.  You build resilience when your humour ‘bombs’.  Living through the dead silence after what was meant to be a joke is tough but as long as you remember that ‘bomb’ won’t actually kill you, you will survive anything.  A stage presence develops and a confidence mindset is formed.

How did I start with comedy?

Adding humour facts:

  1. I always love to laugh
  2. I always love listening to someone who makes me laugh.
  3. Making an audience laugh sparks that connection that bonds you to your audience.
  4. It’s the fastest way to create a connection.  A connection your audience will remember you by.
  5. Adding humour helps your audience remember, helps them learn.
  6. Even a very serious heavy topic can be made easier to digest by segmenting it between light hearted segues.

With this in mind years ago, and being someone who couldn’t even tell a joke, I pondered is it possible for me to use humour?

The answer is a resounding YES

And so began my creative journey on the extreme edge of public speaking – comedy.  Entering humorous speech contests, Emcee comedy themed nights. Stand up classes and improv classes and several stand up sets.  I not a comedian, (they work hard at their craft) but will do the occasional stand up or humorous speech.  I would describe my speaking style professional, dynamic, engaging, underpinning this is my experience with humour.

I would recommend anyone wanting to improve their speaking skills to try adding some humour.