Sure it’s important to

know WHO you’re talking to, so you can inject appropriate jokes and humor, but don’t forget to look at your surroundings and bring the WHERE into the equation. I just had an event for a health care group this week and it was held in a hotel connected to a casino. This gave me a great opening line – “it’s nice you’re holding this at a casino. .  . like working in health care isn’t enough of a gamble.”

I’ve used the casino-gambling connection

in the past too, so that I can kick off some funny jokes about the group. Several years ago I performed my comedy for mushroom growers, and they had told me that the biggest mushroom grower had just bought 3 mushroom farms and then immediately went out of business. This was great for the remaining mushroom growers because that opened up the competition.  So, since this event was at a casino, and I came up with a great comedy line to kick off the event. .  “I was speaking to one of the dealers last night. And he said that the only way you can lose money faster than gambling is if you buy 3 mushroom farms.” The group loved it!

So next time you’re developing humor,

don’t forget the room/environment you’re in. I’ve performed in:

  • a restaurant which was filled with statues – “it’s nice to be here, I’ve never performed at a yard sale before,”
  • a cruise ship “the captain says you can renew your wedding vows at sea. . .or if things aren’t going so well, for an extra fee, you can become a widow at sea,”
  • in a computer history museum “every time I drink wine around computers, I end up emailing one of my exes,”

and in a nursing home, in a bakery, a winery, a field outside next to a canal with HUGE barges going down it, a floating dock while the audience was on the grass embankment, a restaurant while people were eating (I was told the wait staff loved me as well as the audience!), a mulit-million dollar gymnasium with a $20 sound system, and other weird, odd or unusual venues. . .and I’ve had jokes for all of them.

Make a funny connection between your group and the environment, and you’ll create instant rapport.