Pitching & Stand-Up Comedy | Top 2 Similarities
Creating your pitch, or the material for a comedy set, you need to let your emotions fuel your words. An attentive audience quickly notes your personality and begins to form their opinion within seconds of you speaking. It’s crucial that you allow yourself to be real, before, during and after.
Think back to the last time you were at a comedy show, and now think about whom you enjoyed watching/listening to the most. It wasn’t only the caliber of jokes or relatability, but it was also their personality and how much you felt that they let you into their life.
This is no different when you’re presenting a strategy to a client or internally. You not only have to believe in what you’re saying, but more importantly, you need to do so in a way that further develops your character as a genuine person.
Throw away the script. Know the audience and understand your material so well that if someone asks a question, you’re not thrown off. Be present and take the time to connect with the audience — eye contact and smile.
The less reliant you are on an overly rehearsed script means less self-distraction, and being in the present with maximum authenticity.
Watch Jonah Hill during a recent interview, you’ll notice how real he is and how quickly the audience takes to him. A key factor is relatability – He opens up about his life.
No one wants to listen to someone who seems out of reach. If you’re using jargon, losing sight of the real human connection beyond the meeting, you’ll also lose engagement. Keep conversations grounded by remembering it’s not only about the pitch, but more importantly about an ongoing connection.
When I was performing my comedy set, I leveraged authentic and relatable stories of my life, and the audience knew it was real – harder they laughed, the more I knew they were relating. Make sure to genuinely draw on your rapport before, during and after the meeting.
It’s not only about what you say, but what you don’t. Your tone and body language need to mirror that of the audience. Your audience can be engaged, but you may be overly engaging, arms waving/talking too quickly, which now outdoes your audience.
The only exception to the rule of matching your audience — is if you’re losing them. Make sure your tone and movements slowly shake them out of their inattention. You can’t be Relatable or Authentic if the audience isn’t watching and listening.