Yesterday I attended a humour workshop run by Mel at the Munich Prostmasters Toastmasters club.
I have always been amazed by the energy that Mel brings to the stage and his ability to break the ice with audience from different cultures. Yesterday was no different.
He discussed the different comedy structures with the audience. They came up quite a few of them.
You knew that you were dealing with room of eager learners of humour!
I liked the part where he explained how to set up the premise, step 1 (positive), step 2 (very positive) and step 3 (negative). My group came up this joke:
“The United States has produced amazing Presidents.
Abraham Lincolm with the Gettysburg address
John F Kennedy with ‘Ich bin ein Berliner’
Donald Trump with ‘Make America great again'”
We did not get many laughs. We had complicated the simple structure. The premise was that the USA had produced amazing Presidents. The step 1 and 2 was complex with the name of the President and the speech they were famous for. Step 3 was very predicatable so it did not get many laughs.
We realised that writing humour is NOT easy. It was interesting to see the different groups trying their hand adding humour with the “rule of three” structure.
This was the first time I heard about Uptalking and Downtalking.
Mel helped us practice multiple times with Uptalk and Downtalk. It was interesting to see how using conscious intonation when needed made such a big difference to the confidence projected.
Mel helped us understand the value behind calling a room. That is addressing a disturbance in the room and not just assuming that it did not happen.
We had a lot of fun disturbing the speakers while they were talking and waiting for them to address us and get us to stop.
The other strategies of Smiling, using Names, asking questions were also used by the speakers on stage.
All in all, I learnt the 3Cs of Comedy from Mel yesterday and I am raring to give it a go with my next speech!