Comedy: a Serious matter for Traveling Speakers!
Comedy Doesn’t Travel Well! This point may surprise you but it’s true. Travelling to Speaking Events & Presentations is often recommended by Trainers, books, & DVD’s. Travelling is a good way to build your Business and increase your earnings & reputation. But, there are a few liabilities of being a Travelling Speaker you should recognize. In today’s globalized environment… Travelling locally or Internationally carries both Assets & Liabilities for You the Speaker.
There are some valid and potentially unpleasant aspects of using Comedy & Humor outside of your Community, Region, or Country. You must determine When, How & Why you will include Comedy or Humor in your Presentation. How do you make that decision, and what’s the best Decision given the circumstances of this Event? If it’s true that Comedy Doesn’t Travel Well, how do you decide before you accept the job and pack your bag? Well, lets take a look… The plain fact is this:
Jokes barely make it from Region to Region in one country. Internationally it’s even more challenging. Much of what we label as Comedy is based upon aspects of our local Community. Often Comedy is rooted in our Regional or National habits, speech, and interpretation of past events. Rural, sub-urban, Urban? Ethnicity. Your home “culture” may not be known to a distant or foreign audience. So, if in doubt, Pack your Passport, and leave the “Jokes” at home. That’s my best advice. Unless you truly know your target audience, accept the fact that including Comedy might not be a good decision.
The impact of the web has to be acknowledged as both a Benefit and a Liability. Therefore, do your research. Talk to the Event Planner about the Audience. Gather the ‘facts” then carefully consider this: What is your Goal at this event? Is telling a joke or a comedic story about anyone, anything, anywhere, Risky? You most likely can and should evaluate “on the ground” after your arrival. If you decide this audience is a group you’ll most likely connect with, then you might Risk it.
One suggestion: If you decide Yes, then tell Stories or Jokes with YOU at the center. Let them laugh at YOU! It’s a safe bet!
News travels fast. Cultural sensitivities are on high alert. It’s not the “good old days” which I’m not lamenting. Simply making an observation, I believe is a statement of fact. Let this bit of advice guide your decision regarding the use of both Comedy & Humor when you’re on the road. You’ll be glad you did.
Comedy Doesn’t Travel Well
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