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“Re”-Perspective: What I Learned From My Comedy Class

I love watching stand-up comedy. In fact, during some of the most anxiety-producing moments of my life, AKA my fourth trimester, my husband and I sat together on our couch while it snowed lightly outside and rang in the New Year watching stand-up comedy. It was exactly the medicine I needed to momentarily slip into another universe, laugh out loud, and forget about the sleepless night ahead.

Humor produces various chemicals in our brains such as endorphins, that reduce stress, leave us feeling lighter and happier, and gives us the opportunity to connect on a deeper level with the person cracking jokes.  Humor is a free, easily accessible medicine with no side effects, except maybe sore cheeks and side aches.  

As a professional speaker and someone who is very comfortable taking ‘the stage’ I thought, I want spread some of that medicine around.  Why not challenge myself and take a different type stage then I am used to.  So, I signed up, WILLINGLY, for an 8 week stand-up comedy class that culminated in a live performance in front of 200 people, the warm up for a professional comedian. What was I thinking?!

To be honest, at first I thought, “this won’t be that hard…I not only speak for a living but I coach and consult professionals from all over the world how to stand out from the crowd by incorporating compelling personal stories alongside relevant data into keynotes, presentations, meetings, sales pitches etc.

Boy, was I WRONG! Being deliberately funny for 5 whole minutes is HARD, no joke about it :)

Little did I know that being a confident speaker, or even a funny storyteller is far from being a competent stand-up comedian. 

However, one thing holds true no matter what stage you might take; if you want to be a good, or perhaps a great comedian, you have to practice, practice, practice.  As my good friend and business partner, Keith Bailey, says, “you must get in the reps!”

Keith shares, “A professional athlete or anyone at the top of their game, will spend more time practicing, scrimmaging, and reviewing the ‘playbook’, then they will playing the actual game." This could not be more true when it comes to getting on a stage and intentionally trying to make people laugh.

Over the course of the comedy class, I spent a lot of time writing and rewriting set ups and act outs (the two main components of the stand-up comedy formula).  I spent even more time saying my bits out loud in front of various audiences. Some things landed, some didn’t, and some are still floating around in space.  Come see my next show and you’ll know what that means! 

This class was humbling for me and gave me “re”-perspective of what our clients and workshop participants feel like when learning our storytelling method or trying out new ways to network, present, and pitch. 

I have a huge appreciation for professional and novice stand-up comedians and greatly admire their ability to constantly share material, tweak it, share it again, throw it out, try out new stuff, repeat all of that and then practice, practice, practice.

And, I have a huge appreciation for all of you, who are learning a new skill, trying things out, practicing, reworking, and practicing some more. 

I’ll leave you with this, “Why did the cell phone go to the dentist?”  “It had a blue tooth!” Perhaps I need to keep practicing!

If you’d like to practice your storytelling, networking, or presentation skills, reach out, we’ll guide you, hold you accountable and do it all with a bit of humor. 


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