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Lessons learned from stand-up comedy...

Meridith Grundei at Gotham Comedy Club

Last night, I took the plunge and faced a full house of eager comedy lovers at Gotham Comedy Club in NYC, armed with nothing but a mic and my 5-minute stand-up set. First time ever! Sure, I've done countless improv shows, hosted cabarets, and have hosted TV movie marathons, but standing alone on that stage, tossing jokes into the crowd, and waiting for the laughter to roll back? That's a whole new level of vulnerability.

This show was the culmination of a 6-week class and here's what I learned and how it will help you as a speaker:

Timing is Everything: Whether you're delivering a punchline or emphasizing a key point in your presentation, the pause can make or break the moment. It's all about rhythm and pacing. If you choose to incorporate humor or a well-placed joke into your speech, remember that timing is your secret weapon.

Authenticity Shines: Being genuine and true to yourself resonates with the audience. Whether it's a keynote speech or a comedy routine, authenticity creates connection.

Adapt and Connect: Reading the room and adapting to the audience's energy is key. It's a skill that's as vital in stand-up as it is in delivering a powerful presentation.

Embrace the Unexpected: In stand-up, as in life, things don't always go as planned. Embracing the unexpected and going with the flow can turn a mishap into a memorable moment.

It's raw, it's real, and it's a rush like no other. The lessons from stand-up comedy are universal, and they've enriched my toolkit as a public speaking coach. Not just because of the lessons learned but also because I stepped out of my comfort zone.


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