The Most Important Stand-up Secret

Note: This special report is an important part of the free Stand-up Fundamentals Course.

If you are reading this, the chances are pretty good that:

  • You are recognized as a funny person in everyday life and…
  • You are looking to apply your ability to cause others to laugh off stage to stand-up comedy or public speaking.

So if that describes you, then here’s a secret that no so-called comedy “expert” will tell you…

You have already been producing and delivering stand-up comedy material for YEARS, whether you realize it or not.

Every time you express yourself and cause others to laugh, you use highly specialized stand-up comedy techniques that are specific to you, the way you talk and the way you express yourself and your sense of humor.

Not only that, I’m going to show you in the extensive Special Report provided below exactly why I can say this with great confidence and…

Explain why this is a very big deal for any new comedian looking for stand-up comedy material or ideas for a routine.

With that said, there are 3 very distinct objectives that I want to accomplish with the The Stand-up Secret That No One Else Will Tell You special report:

  • Expose the REAL differences between causing laughter to happen in causal conversations and on stage in front of an audience of strangers (hint: these are most likely NOT what you think they are).
  • Reveal why you are literally sitting on a ton of potential stand-up material that has already been proven to work.
  • Expose why you DO NOT need ANY special “writing” skill at all in order to produce powerful stand-up comedy material or funny material for a speech or presentation.

Click on the sections below to review the Special Report: The Stand-up Secret That No One Else Will Tell You.

If you are looking to create and develop a killer stand-up comedy routine in the shortest amount of time, you will be glad that you did.

Note: This Special Report also provides access to two Success Primer Lessons usually reserved for registered Members only.

The Stand-up Secret That No One Else Will Tell You

1. The Crucial Missing Information

You Won’t Get This From The Comedy “Experts”

If you immerse yourself in any of the popular mainstream stand-up books, courses and workshops made available for those who want to learn how to develop a stand-up comedy routine, you will notice this if you are aware enough:

There is no acknowledgement of your comedy talent — you know, the comedy talent that:

  • Took you decades to develop
  • Is unique to you and the way you express yourself
  • Allows you to say things spontaneously to get laughs from things that you talk about and respond to during casual conversations

No, oddly enough the comedy talent that you use daily DOES NOT enter the picture when it comes to “writing jokes” or “writing” comedy material in any capacity — it’s not included in any process to develop comedy material.

If comedy “experts” thought your natural comedy talent was valuable at all on a professional level, they would show you how to use it to make audiences laugh instead of focusing on peddling “writing” processes that simply do not work for the vast majority of people.

Well, I am going to demonstrate why the “funny” that you use in casual conversations is exactly what you want to use on stage or from behind a podium to generate audience laughter.

And if you can thoroughly understand and apply what I will reveal in this report…

It can make the difference between struggling needlessly to figure out what to say to an audience and having access to more stand-up comedy material than you have stage time to deliver it!

That is NOT hyperbole by the way.

So to kick off this process, I am going to present some questions that you will want to answer for yourself honestly.

I will present information regarding each question for you to consider along the way.

And I want to encourage you at every possible juncture to do your own research and investigation as I present this material.

So let’s start with the first question that you need answer for yourself:

What are the primary differences between making people laugh in everyday conversations and making people laugh when a stand-up comedy routine is delivered to an audience?

Seems like a simple question, does it not? Don’t be fooled — the vast majority of people CANNOT answer this correctly and that’s because…

Most people have been conditioned to believe that generating audience laughter as a comedian or a speaking professional is vastly different than what happens when making friends, family, coworkers and acquaintances laugh when interacting with them.

I want to point out something that is very important about that question before I move forward.

Notice that the question focuses on causing people to laugh — specifically I am referring to the actual process involved with:

The activity of talking and expression which causes people to laugh out loud as a result.

This is an important distinction when it comes to nailing down what the real differences are between causing people to laugh in everyday conversations and when delivering a stand-up comedy routine and…

Figuring out why it matters when it comes to making audiences laugh.

One last thing…

While the remainder of this special report will focus on comedians, the information provided is just as applicable to any type of public speaking.

2. The Visible Physical Differences

You Can Easily Recognize These Observable Differences

blankLet’s start by examining some of the obvious and visible physical differences between making people laugh in everyday conversations and generating laughs from an audience of strangers.

The venue. Casual conversations happen in a wide variety of places, both public and private. Stand-up comedy routines and funny public speeches are delivered in wide variety of venues that are usually suited to accommodate an audience.

The primary difference here is amplification of the laughter generated because of the accommodation of more people than casual conversations involve.

Note: There are audience differences that I will discuss shortly that involve more than sheer numbers.

The related question:

Does the venue in any way determine whether or not a person is funny beforehand?

There is nothing about a venue that determines whether or not a person is funny or not no matter where they might be, whether it be in a 3000 seat theater, in a friend’s living room or in the break room at work.

Using a microphone. Comedians use a microphone because they communicate with audiences and those audiences need to be able to hear the comedian outside their usual voice range.

We don’t use a microphone in casual conversations because the people we talk to in casual conversations to are close enough to hear us without the need for a microphone. So the related question that I want to ask is this:

Does using a microphone have an impact on whether or not a person is funny and has the ability to generate audience laughter when they talk?

I submit to you that simply using a microphone has no bearing whatsoever on whether or not a person is funny or not or if they can generate laughs from what it is that they have to say and express to an audience.

Again, using a microphone is merely a means by which larger numbers of people can hear what is being said by the person using the microphone.

If simply using a microphone was all that was needed to be funny, every comedy open mic comedian would slay audiences every time they picked up a mic. Trust me, that is NOT the case — not even remotely close.

MOST comedy open mic comedians are NOT funny at all and tend to fall into the moderately to severely awful category. A major factor for why most open mic comedians flop on stage is revealed in this special report.

Addressing the audience from an elevated stage. A stage is nothing more that an elevated platform that allows a larger number people to see a full body aspect of comedian (or any other performer for that matter) that they otherwise cannot see as well if they were performing on the same level as a seated audience.

Keep in mind that body language — even subtle movements of any part of the body, arms, legs and face along with talking — is a major factor in laughter generation when expressing oneself to others.

However, does speaking from an elevated stage where the audience has a full body view of the person speaking have any impact on whether or not a person is funny or not when they talk to the audience?

No, it does not. Again I will refer back to the vast majority of open mic comedians who couldn’t get a laugh from an audience if their mom was being held hostage.

Using stage lighting. Stage lighting is used to improve visibility and help focus the attention of the audience on a comedian in an otherwise darkened space.

Just like using a mic and standing on an elevated stage — does the use of stage lighting have ANY bearing on whether or not a person is funny when they talk to an audience? Once again, no, it does not.

The reason that I bring these visible physical differences up is this:

While these things fall into the category of being significant differences that are clearly visible when it comes to delivering a stand-up comedy routine or conversing with people we know and meet on a daily basis…

These differences DO NOT have any bearing on whether or not a comedian is funny or not or if the stand-up routine they deliver will generate frequent laughter.

Now let’s talk about some audience factors.

3. Significant Audience Similarities

Part 3: Audience Differences

blankIt’s an unfortunate fact that most new comedians are under the impression that audiences are somehow vastly different from the people that they interact with everyday.

So how are audiences different from friends, family, and coworkers? Here’s how:

  • Audiences contain more people than the group of people assembled at a home, for a get together somewhere or coworkers gathered together talking on a break.
  • Unlike with most casual conversations, most audience members won’t know you like your friends, family and coworkers do.
  • Unlike most casual conversations, most audience members don’t know each other.
  • If an audience is laughing, the resulting laughter can be larger and last longer than when there are less people are involved (like in casual conversations)

The important thing to note here is this:

Audiences are simply groups of people, usually strangers to one another, who have assembled for a purpose.

Audiences have no special powers. Outside not being as well acquainted with you or the others they are assembled with, they are no different than the people you interact with everyday.

Most importantly, audiences collectively have no special empathy or understanding for a person who is sucking on stage while attempting to be a comedian.

If anything, they initially have less empathy because they do not know anything about the comedian until they start performing and displaying their comedic skill (or lack of it).

Interesting side note: While the visible physical factors that I mentioned in the previous section certainly won’t make a comedian funnier, they do help focus attention on a performer — whether they are killing the audience or flopping like the vast majority of new comedians do.

It could be said that audiences are collectively smarter than any comedian standing on stage and largely more objective than the people that they know and interact with in everyday life.

Audiences are not “required” or compelled in any way to laugh just because a person who has been identified as a comedian takes the stage.

Audiences are not “tasked” or obligated in anyway to “get the humor” in what a comedian has to deliver to an audience — their expectation is to be entertained by the skill of the comedian delivering their act.

Now it’s 100% true that some audiences can be more responsive with their laughter than others.

But it is very rare for a comedian to completely slay an audience for one performance and completely flop for an audience of a similar size and composition in a different performance.

So let’s go back to the original question that you need to be able to answer for yourself:

What are the primary differences between making people laugh in everyday conversations and making people laugh when a stand-up comedy routine is delivered to an audience?

Consider this:

A professional comedian can travel from city to city delivering their stand-up routine to all manner of audiences and generate similar high level laughter results no matter where they perform.

If they couldn’t do that, they wouldn’t be a professional comedian for every long.

So, here’s the important question for this section:

Does an audience make a comedian funny or is a comedian funny for the audiences that they perform for?

The point that I want to make here is this:

Other than to verify with laughter that a comedian is funny, audiences have no bearing on whether or not a comedian is funny before they start delivering any part of their stand-up routine.

Let me put this another way…

People laugh at things that they perceive as funny, whether it be in conversations with friends or an audience of strangers.

In stand-up comedy, it is the comedian who is responsible for delivering the “funny” that causes the audience to laugh — audiences merely verify that stand-up material is funny by laughing.

Note: Not every audience member has to laugh in order for a comedian to be “killing” because there is usually always someone who won’t care for a comedian or what they have to say.

However, a comedian is “killing” an audience when the majority of audience members are audibly laughing at a stand-up comedy routine.

Because of the contagiousness of laughter, even those who don’t actually like a comedian will laugh because of the laughter from the other audience members.

Audiences also verify that stand-up comedy material is not funny by not laughing or heckling if a comedian is offensive or not funny for an extended period of time.

So let’s recap the differences that have been covered so far and their impact on how funny a comedian is:

  • The venue or location does not determine whether or not a comedian is funny.
  • Using a microphone doesn’t make a comedian funny.
  • A stage doesn’t make a comedian funny.
  • Stage lighting doesn’t make a comedian funny.
  • An audience is comprised of a larger number of people that do not make a comedian or their material funny before they deliver any part of their material, but do verify that their stand-up material is funny by responding with laughter.

So stated in the simplest terms possible…

Laughter occurs in both casual conversations and when delivering a stand-up routine when something that is said and expressed is perceived to be funny and responded to as such with audible laughter.

It seems to me that if there are any differences to be found between causing laughter to happen in a casual conversation and a stand-up comedy routine, we need to look a bit closer at the process that actually causes the laughter to happen.

4. Important Laughter Mechanics

All Laughter Has These Two Parts

blankWhen it comes to spoken word comedy that generates laughter, there are two parts to the process that happens whether a person is standing around around talking with people that they know or they are standing on a stage delivering a stand-up routine:

Part 1: Some sort of baseline information is provided. This can be anything — an experience, opinion, observation, idea, etc. In stand-up comedy, this part is referred to as the set-up.

In casual conversations the set-up can be provided by anyone involved in the discussion. In stand-up comedy, the set-up is provided by the comedian.

There is no real “mystery” surrounding set-up information — in the most basic terms it’s really just the “stuff” we want to talk about.

Part 2: The punchline. This is the statement, remark, quip, observation, opinion, etc. that is expressed related to the set-up information being discussed that causes laughter to happen.

There is no difference between a punchline used in a casual conversation and a punchline used in a stand-up comedy routine.

If there is a difference to be identified it would be that in a casual conversation with multiple people, more than one person can express set-up information and punchlines during a discussion of any particular topic or subject being discussed (referred to as a dialogue).

In a stand-up comedy routine, only the comedian is providing set-up information and the corresponding punchlines relative to that information (referred to as a monologue).

But the process for generating laughter from verbal communication in casual conversations or when delivering a stand-up routine is EXACTLY the same — some sort of information is conveyed and punchlines relative to that information are delivered.

So it should be obvious that a person who can generate laughs in a casual conversation should also be able to generate laughs on stage as a comedian, right?

Up to this point, it should be fairly easy to see that when it is broken down piece by piece, there doesn’t really appear to be much difference in the process between generating laughter in a casual conversation and a stand-up comedy routine.

That is of course, unless you have been conditioned like most people to believe that delivering a stand-up comedy routine is vastly different from generating laughs in casual conversations.

Again, just to be clear:

  • The venue or location doesn’t determine whether or not a comedian is funny.
  • Using a microphone doesn’t make a comedian funny.
  • A stage doesn’t make a comedian funny.
  • Stage lighting doesn’t make a comedian funny.
  • An audience is comprised of a larger number of people that do not make a comedian or their material funny before they deliver any part of their material, but do verify that their stand-up material is funny by responding with laughter.

So I will bet at this juncture you are asking this question:

So what are the differences between causing others to laugh in casual conversation and delivering a stand-up comedy routine?

Let’s talk about this and please note:

What I am about to share with you is NOT addressed by any other comedy “expert” or resource.

5. The Real Differences Are Few

Easier To Understand Than You Ever Thought

blankThere are only three significant differences between laughter generated in casual conversations and during the delivery of a stand-up comedy routine, specifically:

Punchline frequency. Professional comedians learn to structure their stand-up comedy material in order to generate an average of 4-6+ audience laughs (punchlines) per performing minute (or more accurately an average of 18 seconds of laughter per performing minute).

While there can be a lot of laughter in a conversation with friends, it doesn’t usually hit the average of 4-6+ laughs per minute mark and if it does, it is not for an extended period of time (5+ minutes) nor as a result of a single person talking.

There are instances when someone can be in a casual conversation with a group of people and get “on a roll” where they are talking about a particular subject, topic, experience, observation, etc. and virtually everything they say results in a laugh.

This particular situation is as close as a person will get to delivering a stand-up routine off stage during a casual conversation and is covered in this excerpt from Episode 1 of the Stand-up Comedy Secrets For Beginners Audio Series:

Commonly Recognized Subject Matter. When we talk with friends, family and coworkers, a good portion of the things we discuss may only be known or recognized by those people, along with any humorous or comedic value associated with these topics.

Subsequently shared experiences, events, observations, etc. that would not be easily recognized or understood by people who don’t know us or who have no knowledge of these things have no point of reference to get what is “funny” about what is being talked about.

If you have ever said something like “I guess you had to be there” after you relayed what you thought was a funny story and got no laughs, this is usually the cause — the people you are talking to couldn’t recognize, visualize, relate to or fully understand what you were referring to in the story.

Subsequently, they couldn’t “get the joke” or recognize what was funny about the story you were telling because the points of reference they needed were missing.

This reality of delivering commonly recognized subject matter is yet another thing that you can easily investigate for yourself by reviewing online videos of your favorite comedians.

Now that you know what to look for….

You can easily see that comedians tend to talk about things that are easily recognized or can be related to by almost anyone and they don’t usually talk about things that only a few would see the humor in.

If a comedian does talk about things that would not be commonly known by an audience of strangers, you will also notice that they tend to “teach” the audience about the topic or subject in a way that is funny.

Premeditation. Much of the set-up information and punchlines delivered in casual conversations is spontaneous and not usually “mapped out” in advance.

In stand-up comedy, all the set-up information and the related punchlines are known, mapped out and rehearsed in advance to provide the appearance of spontaneity when that stand-up comedy material is delivered.

One need only attend the same professional stand-up comedy show featuring the same comedians two nights in a row to verify this.

And believe it or not…

You have been involved in this same sort of premeditation yourself when you told stories about your life and experiences to new people you meet.

And you tell those same stories over and over again, year after year.

Not only that, you may have a cache of jokes that you know to generate laughs that you tell to new people that you meet who have never heard you tell these jokes.

The same could be said of sayings, quips and anything else that you have used over and over again to generate laughter over the years.

Actually, at this point we need to jump to the part on how you are sitting on more potential stand-up comedy material than you could possibly bring to the stage in a year of performing.

Not only that…

I am talking about stand-up comedy material that has already been tested in advance and proven to work….

6. Why This Is The Fast Track

What This Can Mean For You

blankIf the only differences between talking that generates laughter in a casual conversation and a stand-up comedy routine are:

  • Punchline Frequency
  • Commonly Recognized Subject Matter
  • Premeditation

That essentially means that any time a person says and expresses something and it causes laughter to happen, they are essentially producing stand-up comedy material that is specifically tailored to them, their sense of humor and how that sense of humor is expressed — regardless of the venue or environment.

Causing others to laugh in casual conversations is not usually called producing or “writing” stand-up comedy material even though it is undoubtedly the civilian equivalent of its professional performing art form counterpart.

The comedy talent that you use on a daily basis with friends, family, coworkers and acquaintances to generate laughs easily when the opportunity presents has no formal or official name or designation.

It is called “shooting the breeze”, “cutting up” or whatever name you want to call it when you interact with the people you communicate with everyday.

Subsequently, it doesn’t seem to merit any consideration by the comedy “experts” despite the fact that the EXACT same mechanisms for generating laughter are used no matter where or when a person’s comedy talent is used.

The reality that does not line up with the mainstream narrative is this:

A stand-up comedy routine that generates laughs is actually a skillfully modified, preplanned and longer version of what you already do when you talk and express yourself to cause others to laugh.

I simply cannot overstate how important or valuable this information is to any new comedian, especially when it comes to easily determining what talk about in a stand-up routine instead of guessing at every juncture what may or may not be funny to an audience from a “written” process perspective.

It means that you and the people that you know and communicate with have been using their own already developed and organically personalized stand-up comedy techniques and producing material spontaneously to get laughs in casual conversations FOR YEARS.

It means that you are potentially sitting on a treasure trove of stand-up comedy material right now that has already been tested and proven to generate laughter in the smallest audience environments.

It means that you don’t have to try to “write” stand-up comedy material at all — you simply need to start recollecting, selecting, collecting and categorizing the comedy material (and comedy material ideas) that has been presented (and that will continue to be presented) in conversations that you have with people that you know.

To give you some idea of how important what I have just shared with you is, here is special access to Lessons 4 and 5 from the Success Primer in the Killer Stand-up Online Course (usually accessed by paid Members only) which covers this in more detail:

Success Primer Lesson 4: Selecting Your Best Comedy Topics The Easy Way

Success Primer Lesson 5: Comedy Topic Selection Guidelines

Potential stand-up comedy material happens around you every day when the opportunity presents — produced by you and the people that you interact with.

The problem is that you have most likely been trained to look for something other than the potential stand-up material that is being constantly produced by anyone with a sense of humor and a willingness to use it.

So the next section provides some insight on verifying for yourself if the potential stand-up material produced in casual conversations can be used as already tested stand-up material.

7. Verify This Info For Yourself

You Can Easily Investigate The Info Provided

blankIf you want to verify for yourself that comedy material generated spontaneously among people engaged in causal conversation is suitable for a stand-up comedy routine, there are some things that you can easily investigate for yourself.

Below you will find two very easy to do research activities that can not only help you see for yourself what I am talking about but also provide you with a quantity of potential stand-up comedy material in the process.

IMPORTANT: Both of the activities described below can result in having a large quantity of raw stand-up material and comedy material ideas in a short period of time — no matter what system or method you ultimately use to turn the raw material into a tight stand-up act.

Related Article: Secrets For Harvesting Powerful Stand-up Comedy Material From Casual Conversations

The hardest thing that you have to do with the activities described below is to pay attention and not look like a goob when you do it…

Easy Research Activity #1

You need only review any number of stand-up videos of your favorite comedians, making a note of the broad topics that each comedian talks about and answer this simple question honestly for yourself:

Have you talked about any of the same sorts of things in conversations with family, friends, coworkers and people that you know?

I believe that you will be able to easily answer this question as mostly YES, which means that you’re literally sitting on a potential goldmine of unstructured stand-up comedy material that simply needs to be processed for audience consumption and frequent laughter rate.

All you really need to do is make sure you check out Lessons 4 and 5 that were provided and be self aware about what happens around you when you (or those around you) make others laugh.

Easy Research Activity #2

For the next several weeks, pay attention to the laughter events that happen when you are talking with others that you know in the conversations that you have with anyone.

Specifically, you need use your phone or a notepad and make a note of these things (as soon as you can) associated with the laughter that happens in your conversations with others:

  • What was the topic of discussion?
  • What was the set-up information that lead to the punchlines?
  • What were the punchlines that got the laughs?
  • What was the emotional state (excited, sad, happy, etc.) associated with the topic or subject?
  • What body language was being used (if any) when the punchlines were being delivered?
  • Would a group of strangers understand this material if I told it to them?

What you will be doing is gathering potential stand-up material and comedy ideas (ie: identifying the topics of conversation that trigger your sense of humor).

As you do this, you may be reminded of past conversations with noteworthy laughter events. Use the same questions above to vet any potential comedy material that you remember, then add it to what you are currently collecting.

At the end of two weeks of doing this, answer this question:

Do you have enough potential stand-up material (things to talk about on stage that an audience of strangers would understand and appreciate) for a 5 minute routine?

Hint: You will most likely have much more than 5 minutes of potential stand-up material to work with at the end of just two weeks of paying attention to what happens around you.

Plus, you also have the extreme advantage of not having to guess what may or may not be funny using some sort of “writing” process that is about as helpful as a one-size-fits-all running shoe.

No, you would be working with a constantly growing quantity of unprocessed stand-up material that has already proven itself to have laughter value under micro-audience conditions.

You have nothing to lose doing both of these activities because if you will do them, you will quickly find that you are suddenly far ahead of other new comedians stepping into the arena. And you are dealing with comedy material and ideas that already generated laughter.

Once you realize that comedy is comedy no matter where it is happening…

You’ll also come to realize that you are constantly producing potential stand-up comedy material when you make the people around you laugh.

You’ll also come to realize that the people that you talk with are also producing potential stand-up comedy material that you can potentially use as well when they say things that causes other to laugh.

It won’t be about what to talk about or do you have enough — it will be more about structure and delivery preparation for a constantly flowing stream of comedy that is truly happening around us all the time.

Thank you for taking the time to review this Special Report and I truly wish you the best in your stand-up and public speaking adventures!

5 Stand-up Comedy Lessons - Killer Stand-up Online Course
This training module intro page provides comedy lessons on why conventional stand-up comedy writing methods don’t work.