For speakers, 8 lessons from standup comedy

It’s you, a microphone, and an audience. What stands between you and flop sweat is solid preparation. Here’s what you need to know.

It was the longest two-and-a-half minutes of my life. (Zing!)

Um…yeah. That’s pretty much how my set went.

Well, anyway, if you’re a corporate communicator and you’ve got a big speech to prepare, there’s a lot you can learn from doing an open-mic session. If you don’t want to put yourself through that whole humiliating ordeal, though, you can just read what I learned. Here it goes:

Hire someone else to write your speech for you

I practiced some of my jokes in front of my mom. Afterward she said, “Oh, Jessie. There are just so many other things you’re good at. I don’t understand why you’re doing this. Couldn’t you just hire someone to write this for you?” That was a great idea. Before you even start writing your speech, pass it along to someone else.

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