I think one thing that hangs many of us up in joke writing for a group that we are speaking to is that we think the jokes have to be SUPER FUNNY. Yes, you want ‘em to get a laugh, but remember that sometimes just mentioning the things that the group is going through, is enough to make people crack up. I’m not saying that you should just go on stage and say, “hey, what about that banquet,” but sometimes we miss things that are funny to the group, because they aren’t funny outside the group.
I recently did a show for a hospital group that was opening up an urgent care center in a town with about 15 letters in their name! By just pointing that out, “hey, by the time the person types that into Mapquest, they’ve had the heart attack” I got a laugh. It’s not that funny TO ME. . .but it’s something they’re dealing with all the time. Find some of the hot buttons, mention them with a soft humor line or maybe even a look that says “I can’t believe you’re doing THIS?” You’ll not only get a laugh, but you’ll CONNECT with the group – which is really what you’re trying to do anyway.