Comedy writing gigs are

all over the place IF you look outside the box! Most comedy writers only think of the obvious people (i.e. comedians and entertainers), places (late night TV and sitcoms), and things. . . but there are other people, places and things that use humor too. My first stop would be:

Professional speakers.

People who speak at conferences and conventions are ripe for buying jokes because they are usually good at content, but not at funny. They know how to tell you about making widgets. . .but many times the information, while good, is BORING. Now there are 2 main types of convention speakers.

The first is the

Keynote speaker (also called Plenary Speaker). . . they are the one who addresses the entire conference at once. Many times these are motivational speakers and while they are good at motivational stories and some funny stories about their kids, sometimes they aren’t that funny. And they are easy to write for because they usually have their keynote in a word document. . .so you can work with that! As opposed to other people, like comedians, who may just have a subject, relationships or cats, and they want you to write on that subject – much harder because it’s so broad. They also make the bigger paychecks, so they have $ to pay someone for jokes. I’ve written for several keynote speakers and I really enjoy it. If their topic isn’t too close to mine, then I don’t have a problem with it.

Keynotes send me all over the place

Keynote speaking at a great city in Montana!

The second group of convention or conference speakers are called

breakout speakers. They do the breakout sessions that are in between the keynotes and the luncheons and the parties. They do the more esoteric topics that really drill down and appeal to conference attendees. They don’t usually make the big bucks, but they still need jokes. Many of them are new to speaking too. . .which means they may not be getting paid much for the breakout session, because they have another job that actually pays the bills. They can do 1-2 hours at a breakout session, and trust me, that’s a long time if it’s not funny.

There’s actually a third group of people at conferences who can

also use funny material. . .vendors! These are the people who staff exhibit booths in the exhibit hall. They are usually sales people and many times they are also the sponsor at the event. Soooo, not only can they use jokes in their sales pitches, BUT they can also use jokes in their spiels for the sponsorships they do.

These are 3 big groups

who can use humor and there are thousands of conferences. Tap into this market and you can make some serious comedy writing money.

Part 5 coming up. . .more comedy writing opportunities.

Have a great week!


Jan’s keynote and comedy website