Open Your Ears to Find Funny Material For Your Speeches

Ask any successful comedian; being funny takes a lot of work and is actually quite a serious business.

Typically, there are many rounds of writing, re-writing and testing required to create an awesome stand-up set. And it can take time.

But, here’s a truism. Things can go a deal faster if you start with good material.


Why Stories Rule and Facts Drool When You Give Talks

Tell stories to win audience attentionHere’s a case in point about why stories trounce details when you give talks – paving your way to being a smile-inducing, crowd-pleasing speaker:

While I’m fascinated by history, my teenage daughter (like many of her age) rolls her eyes and mutters stuff like ‘Oh no, nuh-huh’ if I’m foolish enough to suggest museum visits when traveling overseas.

I don’t blame her. I was the same at that age.

So, when visiting New York recently with my family, I found a perfect antidote to the litany of boring written chronologies you’ll see time and again at historical sites – a Gangs of New York walking tour.

Result. It was a massive hit.

Why it Pays to Embrace The Power of Showing Ahead of Telling


Drop Details and Tell Stories to Give Memorable Speeches

Tell Stories to Give Memorable Talks - Eamonn O'BrienTell stories in your speeches to become a memorable speaker — If you build talks around details instead of stories, expect your audiences to take frequent ‘mental holidays’ and remember precious little of what you say!

May I share a secret with you that’s a bit of a bust?

People don’t remember nearly as much as you might imagine. And this is especially true when it comes to details. Here’s why:


Use Structure to Ignite Your Business Stories: More Improv Star Tips – Podcast 80

Improv Comedy Star Rachael MasonAs a follow-up to my last post about how speakers can learn from the world of improv comedy when honing more interesting business story characters, here’s my question this week: To what extent should you use structure to ignite better stories every time you speak?

If your gut answer is ‘not much’ or ‘not at all’, could this be down to concerns that bothering with structure might get in the way of your creativity – bringing a halt to your gallop or maybe encouraging ‘cookie cutter’, ‘paint by number’ or ‘me too’ story telling?

If these or similar concerns occur to you –  at one level, you’d be right.

A fill in the blanks or formulaic approach to storytelling simply won’t set audiences on fire. Rather, it’ll lead to forgettable audience experiences.

BUT…there’s the other side of the coin (the side I’d recommend).