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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Now that’s funny! » » What do Corporate audiences find funny? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Brent McLeod
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Corporate shows- mostly what I do
Doug hit the nail on the head earlier

Comedy is a must but you must have a little bit of polish about your act!

Good audience interaction & fun poking is almost expected

Also mentioned by Morning star-do your homework-sound advice
MagiClyde
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Quote:
I worked one Christmas party this year where the President got up after dinner to talk for "a few minutes." After 45 minutes of droning on about the financial state of the the company -- complete with PowerPoint slides, everyone had been sitting for more than an hour and a half.


Man! That president sounds like a work-a-holic who doesn't know when to loosen his tie and let a little air enter his brain. He obviously expects his workers to be clones of himself. Powerpoint eh? Definitely working too hard! Smile
Magic! The quicker picker-upper!
Bill Nuvo
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Quote:
On 2007-02-28 23:02, clynim wrote:
Quote:
I worked one Christmas party this year where the President got up after dinner to talk for "a few minutes." After 45 minutes of droning on about the financial state of the the company -- complete with PowerPoint slides, everyone had been sitting for more than an hour and a half.


Man! That president sounds like a work-a-holic who doesn't know when to loosen his tie and let a little air enter his brain. He obviously expects his workers to be clones of himself. Powerpoint eh? Definitely working too hard! Smile


I DJed for a company once that had the President come up after dinner and before the dance and give a state of the company address. He was sure to note of all the other factory closings and how this particular factory, lost the least amount of money. Well, you can imagine that spirits weren't that high after that!
gadfly3d
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I had a company CEO announce that they were going to have another round of layoffs just before he introduced me.

Gil Scott
jlevey
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... were you paid that night for your work Gil? Or, layed off? lol

Actually, I should not make light of this situation that you (and the audience) experienced. It must have been a very heavy weight to carry throughout your performance... or did it help to motivate you to entertain this group the best you could?

How did you handle it Gil? I am curious.

Jonathan
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Josh Riel
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That's where you make the joke: "I have a gig set up for next week, you don't!".

That's where the laughs will ensue.... or gunfire. If I were watching that show (From a safe distance) I would find that funny.
Magic is doing improbable things with odd items that, under normal circumstances, would be unnessecary and quite often undesirable.
jlevey
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Quote:
On 2007-03-02 20:39, Josh Riel wrote:
That's where you make the joke: "I have a gig set up for next week, you don't!".

That's where the laughs will ensue.... or gunfire. If I were watching that show (From a safe distance) I would find that funny.

________________________________________________

Josh,

What you are suggesting above, is what corporate audiences would "not" find funny(IMHO) .

"Really" take a few seconds and imagine that it was you that had just found out that you (or your best friend/colleague) were about to be without a job, unexpectedly... without a way to assure that you would be able to stay out of debt (or get out of debt) and be able to feed yourself and your family with certainy.

I know, perhaps I am amking this all too seriously, but keep in mind that in my "day job" I work as an Employment Counsellor (no kidding!), providing support to those people that are "really" out of work.

Being told that you "amy" soon be out of a job, is "not", in my opinion, a situation that lends itself to humor. Sure, when people are in sudden shock, they "may" laugh (on the outside) at "anything", even if it poinitedly makes light of their own serious situation. But when the shock wears off, that evening or the next day, they will not (I believe) have fond memories of either the show or the performer.

Just my 4 cents (and food for thought).

Best regards.

Jonathan
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Josh Riel
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You don't understand. I would find it funny. That is really all I care about.
Magic is doing improbable things with odd items that, under normal circumstances, would be unnessecary and quite often undesirable.
jlevey
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Ok Josh... so you weren't "really" trying to help Edd with his initial question/concern... "What do corporate audiences find funny?"

Your comment was aimed more to humor yourself and (possibly) humor other Café readers of this post.

Is that right?

Jonathan
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truthteller
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To answer his questions, corporate audiences are different than family audiences, college audiences, and retirement home audiences. Not neccessarily harder, not neccessarily easier, but different. It also varies from one corporate culture to another. The environment at a software development firm will be different from a high end investment banking institution and that will be different from an engineering firm.

Yes, people ARE people. But an audience is different than the components it is formed by. While each of those people may laugh at one thing in their living room, while in front of their bosses, in their suits, at a $500 a plate meal - they may NOT laugh.

So, what do you do? The answer is simple.

You LISTEN.

You listen to the crowd. You listen to the coversations you have during the cocktail hour. You listen to what the person who books you says in your opening discussion.

I have to go now, but if the original poster is interested I will come back and share a story about a major event I was working where the room was DEAD cold and a strategy I used to warm it up.
Dannydoyle
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What I guess I meant is summed up above. Notwithstanding the arguement with Josh.

YOU LISTEN TO YOUR AUDIENCE.

That really is the key. no audience has a spacific make up and you do this spacific thing and BAM they are laughing. It is true that there are formulas, and all that, but if you don't listen to them you are lost from the beginning.

It is a process. Nobody can say what will or won't work. I actually watched a variation of Josh's horrid example, and believe it or not it WORKED. It released tension and it helped the show.

BUT is it something that you would do universally? No. It worked because the performer was PAYING ATTENTION AND LISTENING. Truthteller is so rigth. LISTEN!
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Josh Riel
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It was a quip, that turned into a slope.
I never intended to say such a thing myself (I have too much compassion).

However, I imagined that the question was answered. Now it seems to be getting re answered, but with longer posts. I regret that I might have caused this.
Magic is doing improbable things with odd items that, under normal circumstances, would be unnessecary and quite often undesirable.
markis
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I have worked in a corporate envrinment for almost 20 years now and from "my" experience most of them are well educated with a bachelors or masters degrees. I guess I would avoid the stale one-liners or try and out wit them with a smart ass type of approach. The corp world can be pretty dull and an act like a Charlie Fry or Cole and company would be a big hit.
markis
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I have worked in a corporate envrinment for almost 20 years now and from "my" experience most of them are well educated with a bachelors or masters degrees. I guess I would avoid the stale one-liners or try and out wit them with a smart ass type of approach. The corp world can be pretty dull and an act like a Charlie Fry or Cole and company would be a big hit.
truthteller
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Listening is important. Another thing to do is research. When the show is booked, talk to the booker about the corporate climate. Now, you have to take everything with a grain of salt, but it is a good starting point.

Also, what type of event is it? Is it a reward retreat? Is it the end of an educational session? Is it a board meeting? Is it an awards banquet?

Knowing this will help set the tone. At the end of 8 grueling hours studying the details of a new product, people are tired. If you come in too high energy, it may push them away. But if it is a reward retreat and they have been golfing and drinking all day, then you may expect a rowdy group where a lot of the comedy will come out of them.

I worked a large educational session for an international banking firm. The CEO in charge of the meeting told me point blank - "these people don't like to listen. Our speakers have a hard time keeping them focused. Make your presentation as long as you feel is right." Though I had been booked for 45, he told me that "if we get a good 20 minutes, we are thrilled."

So, going into the presentation, I knew what I was up against. I knew who the speakers were during the week, and they were top notch. But I made some choices, rearranged some material, wrote a different intro and gave a 45 minute presentation that resulted in the CEO giving me a hug AND the crowd gathering around to talk about the show at greater length.

I do not offer this to brag, but merely to point out that forewarned is forearmed. If I did not know this, I would have surely failed. I had an advantage.

And while we are on the subject of succesful corporate presentations, may I point out a common mistake made by magicians: They do not carry themselves as if they are worthy of respect - as an intelligent adult who has something to offer other intelligent adults.

Adults are not children and should never be treated as such. Too many times I see magicians talking to adults as they would a group of children. Loud clothes, lines for the sake of lines, banter that borders on insulting, gags that are clearly more funny to the performer than the audience...a lot of people take this approach, and a lot of people get booked - once.

When I look at the most succesful corporate magicians, I see people who approach their presentations and their audience in the same manner as a $30,000 keynote speaker would. They are confident, they dress well, the speak intelligently, they are humourous without trying too hard, and they offer messages/material that are unique (or at least seems that way). They are in control. They are not apologizing. They receive respect because the act as if they should be treated with respect - without being either demanding or arrogant.

They know what they need to be succesful and they ask for it. If it is not there, they take efforts to get it there. They know how much time they will do, they have done the material thousands of times, and they know what changes to make if the audience seems to be less or more receptive than expected.

But always remember who you are performing for (adults in a business environment) and what your goals are.

The art of doing magic is not doing your material well. It is getting your audience to the point where they are ready to receive the material that you do well.

And the primary skill required for navigating that tranformation is (as Danny said) listening.
Dan Monroe
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I think most people that work in an office all day upholding certain high standards like to really cut loose and let there hair down at say Christmas partys and such. I use pretty much the same routines as I would for any other gig but come up with ways to make it play bigger as you are all most always on a larger stage.
The power is within us all...I'm just a little more full of it.
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Dan Paulus
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Quote: So, what do corporate audiences find funny?
Edd

Answer: Dan Paulus Smile
There is no great genius without a mixture of madness. - Aristotle
Aristotle

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Dannydoyle
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Nice comercial, but nobody who wil pay you is watching here.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
jlevey
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Dan... I believe what you actually meant to pose as the question was...

"So, what do corporate audiences find funny?... Edd! "

Is that right Dan? Smile
Jonathan
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wizardofsorts
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Guys there is some great info here that I will be rereading. So part of what I picked up is: corporate magicians make more not because of what they do on stage but because of what they've done before getting to stage, the home work.

Now if there were only a video camera I chould practice listening in front of...

Edd
Edd Fairman, Wizard of Sorts is a corporate magician available for your next trade show, hospitality suite, client luncheon, or company event. http://www.wizardofsorts.com
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