In a previous video update, I included a form that folks could use to ask stand-up comedy related questions.
Here’s a couple interesting ones I received from a stand-up comedy tips blog reader:
How do you get a big laugh instead of a little laugh?
Is there a formula… or technique that you can use (something separate from practicing) that will give me bigger laughs on stage?
Here’s my video response to those great questions:
Below you will find 22 questions about developing and delivering stand-up comedy material for those who are generating 10 seconds or less of laughter for each performing minute on stage and…
An additional brief video which identifies 3 specific things to look at for those who are generating 13-15 seconds of laughter each minute with their stand-up comedy in order to get bigger laughs.
And I will be so bold as to say this:
If you cannot answer the questions that I have provided with confidence, the chances are pretty good that you will struggle — or continue to struggle — needlessly on the stand-up comedy stage.
As I mentioned in the video, most of the time, there is usually not just one aspect of a comedian’s material that can be focused on and improved upon to get better results because…
Developing and delivering stand-up comedy material that works at a high level and generates big laughs is representative of a number of simple, yet important aspects that work in conjunction with one another.
Here are the questions, the answers to which can be found in the Killer Stand-up Online Course, along with an additional video:
Questions You Need To Be Able To Answer For Yourself
1. Do you know how to select topics, experiences, observations, opinions, etc. that allow you to fully utilize your natural comedy talent and unique sense of humor or are you trying to “write” the “funny” into your comedy material?
2. Are you aware that there is a significant difference between trying to “write” comedy material designed to be “read” and developing comedy material designed to be said and expressed to a live audience?
3. Is your stand-up comedy material representative of a narrow sense of humor range or does it appeal to almost any audience?
4. Are you aware that being able to identify set-up lines and punchlines is only valuable AFTER you have determined what you want to talk about on stage?
5. Do you know how to make sure you have 4-6+ laughs per minute in your comedy material that will give you 18+ seconds of laughter for each performing minute?
Note: The number of laughs generated each minute on stage is not nearly as important as being able to reach the 18+ seconds of laughter for each performing minute milestone.
6. Are you aware the comedy mechanics used for generating laughter on the stand-up comedy stage are exactly the same as those used in everyday conversations?
7. Are you trying to be some sort of made up “character” on stage or are you able to capitalize on your own unique expressiveness and sense of humor on stage?
8. Do you understand line length as it relates to your natural comedic timing and punchline frequency?
9. Do you understand line length as it relates to how your stand-up comedy material is structured on paper?
10. Do you know the sentence structure that most punchlines have and why it matters?
11. Do you know what a punchline really is?
Note: Simply knowing the definition of a punchline will NOT help you produce punchlines that work for you and your sense of humor.
Related Article: The Truth About Set-up Lines And Punchlines
12. Do you know why you cannot study “punchlines” delivered by other comedians to gather any meaningful information you can use for your own stand-up comedy material?
13. Do you understand that being able to identify set-up lines and punchlines is only valuable after your stand-up comedy material is transcribed on paper?
14. Are you aware of the audience variables that can affect your stand-up comedy performances and why it matters?
15. Do you know how to prepare to deliver your comedy material in a way that capitalizes on your natural comedy talent?
16. Is the only time you “practice” or rehearse your stand-up comedy material is when you get to the stage?
17. Do you know why most stand-up comedy material doesn’t “read” funny from paper and why it matters?
Related Video Update: Do You Know This Secret About Stand-up Comedy Material?
18. Are you aware that most of the laughter you will generate as a comedian doesn’t come from the words or sentences you use in your stand-up comedy material?
19. Are you struggling on stage because you don’t actually have comedy talent or because you really don’t know what you are doing when it comes to developing and delivering stand-up comedy material?
20. Do you know how to properly prepare and rehearse your stand-up comedy material in a way that capitalizes on your already developed expressive comedy traits?
21. Do you review your performances for improvement — more specifically, do you even know what to look for to make rapid and intelligent adjustments to you comedy material?
22. Do you have confidence in your comedy material and ability to express it naturally on stage, or are you in a constant state of confusion about why your material works or doesn’t work?
Getting Pretty Good Laughs And Want Bigger Ones? Check Out This Brief Video