Category Archives: Comedy

Comedy shows, gigs, writing and performing.

What do Google analytics and a stand-up comedy skills workshop have in common?

While helping a business client increase traffic to their website, I remarked how their Google Analytics marketing reports weren’t so different from taking a stand up comedy skills workshop.

That might sound like an odd thing to say – but the more I thought about it the more the comparison holds up.

Google Analytics reports feedback what’s happening on a website, what people are looking at and responding to. How long they stay engaged, and if they connect…becoming a customer or a fan. You can even see it in real time.

For that particular website, we added some recent case studies and removed technical jargon. By doing that we changed the language – the website’s voice – and added relatable stories (short case study videos) to draw people in and acquire new customers.

I used this metaphor again this week quite fittingly, at my first workshop at the Google Digital Garage in Manchester. They were really supportive in providing me with a space to lead my all elbows ‘Present Yourself!‘ comedy workshop, which mixes stand up comedy with presentation skills, team games, improv, public speaking tips and interpersonal skills all rolled together.

It covers the same ground as analytics, but with less artificial intelligence. It’s for humans instead of websites. It’s all about understanding your audience. How to stay engaged and avoid attention span ‘bounce rate’, and the language we use tell stories and connect with others. Again, all in real time. I guess you might call it the discussion points we have as  ‘human analytics’.

Human Analytics (in front of an audience) :

  • Audience. Make eye contact with them, this will give you all the data you’ll need.
  • Behaviour. Be aware of your body language, relax and be comfortable.
  • Engagement. If what you’re saying isn’t working experiment off script with a different approach  -this is where the scary fun learning happens.
  • Acquisition. Don’t try too hard to be funny. Just be yourself. Let your audience, or customers, come to you.

The feedback since I started running these sessions in 2015 has been great. Together with the help of the  Business Growth Hub  it’s evident that business leaders across the North West are really keen to integrate this kind of skills workshop into their own team training programmes.

Contact Rocket Steps to discuss how this training can help your business.

Call:  or
Email: info@rocketsteps.co.uk

Improvising in Ireland at Improv Utopia

I had an amazing time this weekend  at Improv Utopia in Ireland.  Joining over 100 improvisers from all over the world for games, workshops and loads of fun.

An opportunity to meet an improvise with folk from the USA, Ireland and  other countries all in one place. I’ve been to plenty of improv conventions in America over the last ten with my comedysportz troupe,  and honestly didn’t know what to expect from this – but it was every bit as cool as I’d hoped.

 

We took over Newgrange Lodge just North of  Dublin with some expert teachers including Nick Armstrong, Katy Schutte, and Neil Curran as well as the lovely Craig and Carla Cackowski From L.A.

Watching improv people together in large groups is quite a thing to behold, and probably quite curious to the outside world.  We played ‘diamond dance’ outside in the blistering sunshine. It’s a game about dance moves, but also leadership…but really – dance moves!  I could see the staff of Newgrange Lodge watching us, clearly a little bewildered and  amused by what they were watching.

Each workshop covered a different discipline.  From group work to using emotion, character and selling yourself.  The weekend reaffirmed  my love for improv and how it’s a great tool for connecting and building relationships.  Improv Utopia has been running for many years in the US, but this is the first time they have organised a residential outside of the US – and it proved to be a great success.  Big thanks to all the guys who put it together, it felt like being in America without actually being in America.

Sell it! – workshop with Craig Cackowski

Links:

About John Cooper

He’s performed in hundreds of theatres around the UK and internationally as part of the CSz Manchester improv troupe. He has delivered workshops on how to use humour  and improv in business, taking part in the BBC2 series ‘The Speaker’ and the BBC New Comedy Awards. John is author of Present Yourself! – An illustrated guide to speaking in public and building confidence.