What Presenters Can Learn From Stand-Up Comedians

One of the Dog and Pony Show team's favorite public speaking quotes comes from Jerry Seinfeld; he shares, "According to most studies, people's number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you're better off in the casket than doing the eulogy." Whether you are trying to make a room full of people laugh or buy your product, public speaking can be scary. Here are a few of our favorite tips for stand-up comedy that have enhanced our own presentation skills as well!

1. Be Mindful of Your Audience

Just like you wouldn't tell your grandmother the same jokes you crack with your roommates, catering material to your specific audience is key for a successful outcome. When drafting your presentation, take time to think about your audience's biases, motivations, hopes, fears, and more. This will allow you to more effectively engage with them.

2. Slow Down

Whether you're performing stand-up comedy or pitching a new marketing plan to leadership, adrenaline can get the best of presenters. To prevent motor-mouth from occurring, schedule breathes and breaks in your presentation. This practice will give you a (literal) breather, and allow your audience to digest the points you just made.

3. Keep It Concise

Stand-up comedy gigs rarely go past the half-hour mark, and for good reason: audience members have a short attention span. Keep this reality in mind while you present, and draft your points to be simple, short, and easy to remember.

Looking for more presentation tips and tricks? Check out Dog and Pony Show's blog post on three impactful presentation realities from 2019!