Improv Comedians: The Magician of the Comedy WorldJohn Sanders
As an example, we can look at the modern improv comedian, who is a renowned act. They are not just technically gifted performers who can make people laugh and tell jokes in a spontaneous manner.
Improv comedians rely on their wit and creativity to get the audience on their side and to make them feel warm and fuzzy inside.
The Art of Engaging Audience With Silence: Improv Comedian
Comedians are experts in the art of comedy, but comedians also need to learn how to use silence well. They don’t have to be talking all the time for them to be funny. Silence is a powerful tool for improv comedians, whether on stage or off. When they don’t know what to say, they move their audience to action by making them lean in and listen.
The players know exactly what they’re going to say and they’re scared that saying anything at all will call the audience out.
In sales presentations, silence is golden as well – some sales people are afraid that saying anything might offend their customers and lead them away from purchasing their products.
Don’t Just Talk About Doing Something – Do Something Instead!
A quick getaway for an improv comedy is to use the “wash the dishes” trick on their audiences: this not only keeps them off foot but also helps them when they get stuck and couldn’t quickly respond to an audience suggestion.
The term “wash the dishes” refers to an established improvisational technique where performers take on the role of an onlooker sharing their opinion on a scene.
No matter how many times you are on stage and how experienced you are, there is a part of every performer that dreads the first performance. The feeling of not knowing what you will be “doing” on stage is no doubt uncomfortable but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Doing something instead of talking about doing something plays a vital role in helping us to establish connection and rapport with our audience. It also helps us deliver social cues to our audience which in turn leads to better engagement and better performing.
Types of Audiences
There are many factors that influence the performance of an artistic artist. These include knowledge, experience, and the ability to be in tune with the audience.
Once you get an idea of what kind of audience you’re playing to, it’s important to keep their attention for as long as possible. You would usually come across two kind of audiences:
Cerebral Audience likes quick intellectual wit rather than a bunch of puns or one-liners. Many clever strategies can be used to attract the cerebral audience, but you must be careful that you’re not overdoing it.
To some people, the word physicality is synonymous with humor. For the physicality audience, comedy can be made more lively when it has a physical element. Here, they don’t want to dig in hard – they just want to laugh hence less movement-comedy and less intellectual wit.
Engaging your Audience Through Spatial Activity
An improv comedian is not just an actor in front of the crowd; they are a part of the crowd. They are someone who entertains and amuses the audience through sketching out scenes, characters, lines and jokes with their friends.
Let’s pause here and go back to “washing the dishes.” The purpose of putting it here is to understand what spatial activity is: it is the act of doing a physical act on stage without uttering a single word.
Seems simple? It isn’t!
However, it is a great tool to engage an audience. Improv comedians would learn how to walk through space or paint a scenario in a manner that would make the audiences believe that they are physically present there.
How? By picking up and using objects that weren’t physically present there. For instance, pretending to use a computer or open a door, that physically the audience couldn’t see, but feel because of the improv comedy; a form of pantomime.
If this goes well, the audience would soon start visualizing everything being shown and without uttering a single word, the improv comedian would have the audience’s 100% attention.
What does this have to do with Sales?
Silence isn’t just golden on comedy stages, but also on sales stages. Well, who doesn’t enjoy short cuts?
Generally, there are two ways to look at wash the dishes goals:
- Help in gaining full audience focus without making them realize it.
- Help in maintain performer’s emotional control without letting the audience know about it.
Making your Audience Lean In
Have you ever leaned in when someone wasn’t audible? That’s what happens here!
When it comes to conversations, thoughts, and ideas, most people are not clear or don’t know how to express what they want to say. However, saying nothing will actually call the audience to divert their physical attention and to physically lean in – in a way that they might strain to hear what they can’t.
The act of physically leaning into someone might be an unconscious or unintentional act. However, the subconscious mind will proactively lean into the person you are observing.
Lessen Cognitive Role with Movements
When the player encounters a “block”, they sometimes need to move their bodies in order to tune into a new mindset. This physical and mental shift can lead to increased creativity.