My introduction to comedy and story was my old clock radio – well it was new then. It sat on a shelf (yes, they really were that big), and it was very special, new technology. You know, a clock and a radio with a timer. Wow! After I’d gone to bed, and my Mum had gone out to work, I would turn on that big blue radio, with its stiff knob that I had to bite to get it to move round to the timer (yes, it was flash!). I’d spend happy hours lying in my bed listening to the golden age of radio in the dark of a London night, whilst Gran thought I was sleeping.
To this day, I would love to have a regular quiz show all of my very own, just like the fabulous Nicholas Parsons. All those great comedians and storytellers inspired me to create my favourite, very effective tool for creating humour and story.
The radio show that inspired me is still going, since it began in 1967 – round about the time I got the clock radio. I’ve changed all the rules and the name, and come up with new ways to play it for what we want to do. Come and play with me now.
You will learn the skill of managing up front or on stage time easily with this simple start-up exercise.
Whether you speak at a business conference or create cutting edge comedy, you need to stick to time.
This game will get you used to how it feels to talk for a minute. Later you’ll add more minutes. Just like taking up exercise for the body, it pays off to build up when exercising the mind. I’m a big fan of the bite size chunks.
Did you know traditionally a comedian’s first set at open mic night is 3 – 5 minutes? Then, if you do well, the organisers might invite you back for a 7 – 10 minute slot (half spot), and then a full spot (20 minutes) as you progress.
At the other end of the scale, if you’ve ever been to a speakers training event, you know they can get really particular with flashing lights and timers to keep you on track.
Wherever you are is the best place to start, and keep at it until it starts to work. This exercise will show you how to build on your own sense of time to get more accurate.
Us! A personal question will dig into the mine of memory and creativity you have for material. If you pick a question that doesn’t relate to you – make up an answer. One of the funniest responses I ever had to this exercise was a thirteen year old telling us all about his latest divorce.
Time it, if you like record it, you never know what gem you will come up with, you could build on, and if you’re really game, play this with friends.
A terrified student looked at me once and asked very seriously “do I have to be funny?” That was her first comedy gem, as everyone heard how hilarious that response was, and nearly fell off their chairs laughing at that gloomy face. No! Funny will come when it does. Let’s get talking first. And if you can stand, do it standing. Train your body and mind together to be ready to be up front. On the other hand, be sure and jot down any seeds you find in your talk you think could lead to a speaking topic. That’s where playing with friends can make this more effective. Do you think my student would’ve known how funny “do I have to be funny?” was if she’d said it to herself?
Talk for 60 seconds. As you do it more and more, try to include a beginning, middle and end in the 60 seconds. Now you’re cooking! You can stand, and speak and have structure. Your 60 second audience will love it.
That’s it, you’ve begun valuable practise to find your spoken word. That’s right – Spoken! Not written, not prepared. Naturally spoken. Enjoy.
Hello! I am Caroline Welkin, owner of Stand and Deliver with a background in public relations, performance, drama and stand up comedy. I started Stand and Deliver in 2014, out of passion and determination to help presenters and performers find their own stage comfort zone. I have a passion for good speakers and good speeches and the techniques that make them so. I hope you enjoy my blogs!
Speak out and Stand out! – I use the latest ideas and processes to help you look and feel confident as a presenter. Let’s talk about how YOU can be a powerful presenter. In your FREE consultation (worth $75) I will help you identify your strengths and weaknesses in your current skill set, in order to find the fastest ways to improve so that you too can give scintillating presentations.
Copyright 2017. Stand & Deliver