Is it possible to develop great comedic timing with practice? Well, let’s find out. Most people in the industry would have you believe that comedy and specifically comedic timing is something people are born with. But, if you are looking for ways to improve your comedic timing, you probably already have what it takes to be a great comedian.
However, like all jewels found in the dirt, your craft needs to be honed, polished and developed with the right tips, strategies and a considerable amount of hard work. If you’ve always wanted to be a great comedian, you are perhaps prepared to put in those hours. Aren’t you? If not, you should be. Nothing worthwhile is achieved in a day!
So let’s get started. Here are some of the best ways to develop comedic timing:
1. Build your inner comedian: Every experience that you have on regular days must pass through your comic ‘radar’ which tries to find or build comedy into these situations. Note down the ones you feel have potential and work on them. Another great way to build yourself into a great comedian is to study famous comedians in your genre. Try to gauge their delivery style, pace and expressions. Also, please remember that you cannot ape somebody’s style and expect to be successful. You must only imbibe the few methods of delivery that suit your own style particularly well. You need to have your own unique personality as a comedian and this can only be achieved if you get rid of all your life’s struggles, fears, and hesitations once you start delivering. Be bold, be upfront and just be you.
2. Understand your audience: The importance of knowing your audience cannot be overstated. Your audience is the only people who decide if you are entertaining or not. There are no critics or panels to gauge your success. The instant feedback that you get from your audience in terms of their laughter should be your only parameter for success. In order to really tickle an audience, it is important that you know what age group they belong to, what are their hopes, dreams, and struggles and be aware their lives in general. Jokes that may appeal to a young audience may not appeal as much to older people. At the same time jokes that computer professionals will laugh really hard at, may not even be understood by an audience of housewives.
3. Be original: Stay far away from cliche topics that make for everyday jokes. They will always come across as mundane and elicit a subdued response. Don’t deliver jokes that are expected, it’s the unexpected that will catapult you into greatness. Venture into areas that have rarely been touched before. Surprise your audience in a delightful way and without a doubt, you’ll be surprised by the applause.
4. Good Script + Good Performance = Success: Yes, that’s right, first, know your audience well, then get your script right and finally get your performance right! Always keep your script on-topic and build it around a theme. That makes for a good performance. Also, get your performance spot-on. The only way to do that is to practice. Practice your delivery day in and day out, in one style and then in another and another and another. Practice makes perfect.
If the thought of immense hard work and practice scares you, you are probably better off pursuing another career but if it excites you, then you are ready. Go on, tickle the world!
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