How Observational Comedy Helps You to Be Creative In Your Thinking

And Puts You and Other People at Ease in Anxious Situations 

Learn Through Stories
Learn Through Stories

A Case Study: Astrid’s Story:

Astrid was part of a panel sharing her views about the role of comedy in public speaking.

She’s best known for her observational style, humour and storytelling abilities based on the commonplace aspects of everyday life. 

She answered the following three questions: 

Question 1: “What is observational comedy, and how does it put people at ease in public speaking?”

Astrid: “Have you ever noticed the ripple effect of a smile?”

The audience smiled in response.

Question 2: “But what do you say if the room is cold towards you?”

Astrid: “Have you ever noticed how some rooms exude a certain energy, warmth. If you have, then you have experienced the language of a welcoming atmosphere. A language softly spoken and universally understood.”

Question 3: “How does it help if you have a heckler?”

Astrid: “Have you ever noticed how the most intriguing individual in the room seems content to listen more than speaking?”

Observational Comedy Assignment

Observational humour is based on the premise of “Have you ever noticed? It’s funny because it’s easy to understand and relatable.

It helps you to be creative in your thinking because it demands that you pay attention to everyday happenings and to think about how you can apply them to in the moment situations to lighten the mood, putting you and other people at ease. 

To get started, think about opposites. For example:

 Astrid was able to answer the question about unease because she had observed what people were doing when they were at ease – she had noticed they were smiling and the ripple effect that had.

She also knows the importance of getting people to smile – the small steps that lead to bigger laughs – in time.

She had been able to answer the question about a cold room by observing the opposite – a warm room, and she had noticed what contributed to that.

She also knows the importance of warming up her audience – on her way to getting to those bigger laughs.

And she had been able to answer the question about a heckler by observing the opposite – an intriguing individual, and she had noticed what contributed to that.

“Have you ever noticed how the most intriguing individual in the room seems content to listen more than speaking?” Is a line that Astrid has used when she has had a heckler, a line that got a laugh from the room and served to quieten the heckler.

Astrid’s background in standup comedy allowed her to understand the aspects that could cause people to feel anxious when speaking in public. In preparing to answer potential questions, she thought about opposites and then observed by noticing things.

Five Steps To Come Up With Your “Have You Ever Noticed” Line.

Step 1: Think about a situation you need to prepare for. 

Step 2: Think about the challenges that could present themselves.

Step 3: Think about the opposite to those challenges.

Step 4: Observe what’s happening.

Step 5: Come up with your “have you ever noticed” line that describes this.

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Published by Carmel O' Reilly

Carmel O’ Reilly: WorkLife Learning Practitioner & Writer Author of WorkLife Book Club, Your WorkLife Your Way and The School of WorkLife book series. Created to help you manage your WorkLife Learning. Blogger & Podcaster: Telling people’s powerful stories about WorkLife challenges & successes Founder of My guiding statement is to help people pursue their WorkLives with greater clarity, passion, purpose and pride by creating continuous WorkLife learning programmes that are accessible to everyone.