Delivery Vs. Content

Which is more important? Content (the words) or delivery (the style)? That would be like asking: When creating an oil painting, what is more important, the paints or the technique of the artist? The truth is you need both. One without the other produces no art. And content without delivery, or visa versa, usually gives you no humor.

The three most important aspects of delivery that help me drive home my observational humor are:

  1. Attitude. I’m not referring to the creation of a character who has attitude, although that is often an excellent vehicle for humor delivery. What I refer to is an attitude of confidence. It helps tremendously, in the delivery of a fresh line, to know why a line is funny and to believe that it will be funny to the audience. A friend and former member of my improv troupe had a key role in a play. One night, about three weeks into the production he had a surprise. A line which was supposed to be funny, but had never gotten a laugh, got a great response from the audience. Someone asked him, after the closing curtain, what did you do to get that great laugh tonight? His response: “Last night my wife explained the joke to me.” He didn’t realize that it was supposed to be funny! The next night, he delivered the joke with the attitude of confidence that it was funny. And that attitude made all the difference. Yet as confident as you may be, sometimes the audience will tell you that it is not funny. Silence happens. A learning event, how wonderful. Just remember that delivering your lines with confidence goes a long way to selling your humor.
  2. Timing. There are many aspects to timing, but the most important is a skillful use of the pause. Pause to accentuate the punch word. Pause to let them absorb the material. Do not rush your delivery.
  3. Connection. The most important factor here is eye contact. Truly deliver the funny line to just one person. Nail the eye contact. Be conversational. And maintain the eye contact for a beat after you deliver the punchline.

Your words are important. So is your delivery style. They team up to make you a funnier person. Experience teaches you how to put words and style together and to hit the mark…most of the time.

Copyright 2005 by John Kinde

By John Kinde, Motivational Humorist from Las Vegas, NV.

(702) 263-4363


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