I love social media....in fact I think I'm secretly addicted. Not because I stay awake late at night....waiting in anticipation for the next Donald Trump tweet...but because I'm met some incredible people.
In addition, I've used social platforms as a way of learning and practicing my data science craft, experimenting with audio and video content and more recently...I've been using it as a vehicle for experimenting with comedy.
That's 4 great reasons...or maybe 5. I was never any good at mental arithmetic. Let me explore two of those themes....Incredible People, Video and Comedy.
So I went on holidays this year and decided to venture off to the outlandish Las Vegas strip....and to see the incredible and eclectic sites of New York. Now....having used twitter for around 2 years...I made some friends online. Real friends.
One of them...Avro (@avrohomg)....I'd already met in Brisbane. You see on the back of our conversations he came out to Brissie...and we had an awesome time. Check out our favourite pic at the world famous Australia Zoo....
Now....one of the first people I met online was Dez (@dez_blanchfield). He was very encouraging....not just of me...but many other people....and we've mates for a few years now. One of the ways he encouraged myself and others, to improve our visibility on social media, was to post original video content. And so the #DezVideoChallenge was born.
The idea behind the challenge is to encourage everyone to create original video content of themselves and more importantly have fun. By doing this...you create what we call in Agile...a forcing function...in this case a fun...gamified...video challenge. Not only helps the participants feel good about themselves...but also allows each other to learn by filming and also learn from others. In the end we all realise that none of use are natural actors...so it's a good way of sharing great content....creating a buzz in the twitter world and most importantly we can all have some serious fun.
Here is the latest #DezVideoChallenge I did with Dez himself. This was only done last week...so it's fresh off the farm....so to speak....
So back to my trip to Vegas and New York...and yet again more #DezVideoChallenge moments....click on the photo or the link below...which leads to you the video on twitter:
This video features: Jola (@JolaBurnett), Adam (@AdamRogers2030), Maria (@MissTalent86), Tricia (@TriciaKicksSaaS) and Avro...again! 😂
And another.....this time with Kevin (@Kevin_Jackson)
And another great favourite of mine.....this one was done the last few weeks with Keith (@KeithKeller) in Melbourne:
But don't take my word for it....check them all out on twitter....just search for #DezVideoChallenge of click on the link below:
"Hi everybody....as always I hope you're doing fantastic"....is a great opening for a brilliant new YouTube channel, that I recently discovered called Mentour Pilot. I love this channel, because you get to learn lots about real flying, planes and pilots, and the presenter is an active pilot himself. Check him out by clikcking the image below. Isn't the doggy cute....😂
But what has that got to with comedy......it's another source of learning.....just like comedy.
Yesterday.....I performed my 10th standup routine last night in Brisbane to a phenomenal crowd and felt really comfortable delivering my 6 minute set. Why did I start this comedy journey.....to grow....to learn and above all....have fun. When it stops being fun.....I'll switch to something less boring instead. Click on the image to see my latest Instragram pics...so I can share all the fun with all or you....😍
Everytime I stand on that stage....I pick up maybe 5-10 learnings every time. Things such as making eye contact with everyone in the crowd...using tone and accent to vary the delivery....walking confidently up to the stage and making sure I have a strong grasp of the mic....but last night I'd like to share 3 very personal learnings....that you can all take with you into everyday lives.
1 - Sit with the Crowd and Enjoy all the other acts (Gemba)
In Agile, we call this Gemba....which literally means the "place where work is done". In a manufacturing plant, it is the factory floor, in a hospital it is the wards and theatres, in a retail supermarket, it is the stock rooms and supermarket aisles....it's where the front-line workers experience the good and bad in a business. In comedy it's sitting with the audience.
Why is this important? 🤔
In comedy, you can tune into your audience....gauge their reactions to the other comedians and learn fast....so that you provide an entertaining set for your audience. You can feed off the jokes of others and see how people are reacting....it gives you a chance to tune-in and learn.
Below is a diagram from one of my Scaled Agile Framework courses...I've underlined the need to "get out of the office"....or "get out of the ivory tower" which is what Gemba is all about....click on the link to view our 2 day Leading SAFE course:
2 - Prepare a Detailed Script
Always go into a comedy routine with plenty of preparation. It might look like a casual conversation with the audience....but that's all part of the act and the art. Great comedians leave nothing to chance, outlining every nuance, every gesture, learning every word....until their script is memorised word and action perfect. I call this my foundation. It's like a house....I can now build on this on. 🏠
From here, I now have the confidence to line-up an opening joke using a reference from a previous comedian, or something I saw today on tv, or maybe even the weather. In other words, I can now improvise or try out new material. This worked very well in New York, being the token Aussie....and Melbourne....being the token Queenslander from a hot state. You can check out my New York set on YouTube here:
3 - The 60 Seconds before you walk onto the stage is the most critical
Soaking up the audience atmoshpere and then distilling that into 60 seconds is critical. I need to remember...I'm here to entertain the audience....not make them laugh. The best advice I ever received was 'NEVER....EVER....try to be funny". Sound counter-intuitive, but I'm not a professional comedian. Why would I put myself under that pressure. So I go out there to entertain. The laughs are a bonus. The more I focus on the crowd...the more laughs I get.
Also....people come to enjoy themselves, to have fun and escape for an hour or so. Let me help them with that journey. Let's escape together...for 6 minutes...in a unique world....the world of The Digital Coach...where fact is funnier than fiction. 🚀
I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Feel free to reach out social media and provide your feedback. It's very much appreciated. 😎
Have an awesome week beautiful people....
Paul Colmer is a digital coach for ALC training and consulting, with a real passion for learning and applying disruptive technologies. Paul has responsibility for building and delivering ALC's digital architecture strategy and the development and execution of a number of cloud courses, including Cloud Security (CCSP), Amazon AWS, DevOps, Microsoft Azure and Office 365.