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Tim – congratulations on sellout performances for our one-man comedy show. During a pandemic – that is quite an impressive performance! While you were on stage, how did you manage to remember all the things you planned to talk about for over an hour?

I don’t remember the whole 1 hour set.

For me, a good stand up comedy looks like a sharing with friends.

When we meet with friends and want to share something funny with them, we usually don’t have to remember the whole story word by word. We just need to remember some points and then go with the flow.

But I have to remember the points and punchlines. So practice is very important, I always practice at open mics and comedy shows many times. So I can remember the jokes naturally.

Many people get stage fright, nervous or shocked when speaking to a large audience. What was your secret to talking so comfortably to an audience of 400 people?

Stand up comedy is all about the connection with audiences, so the main point for me to talk comfortably is “desire of sharing”. 

Once I have some good jokes, and really want to share them with someone, I’ll treat the audiences as my friends, this mindset would affect my body language, pacing and facial expressions.

Storytelling is a great way to engage audiences. What are some tips you may have to share with people, so they can become engaging storytellers?

Yes. Storytelling is very important. To engage the audiences. I would suggest when we  prepare the story, we need to know which part are the punchlines or the climax parts. And think about how to exaggerate that part. We may use some techniques like pausing, voice control, facial expressions…

As a standup comedian, you have many audience members who watch you for the first time. What are some ways to instantly connect with audiences, when they are seeing you for the first time?

For me, I just think they are my good friends and really want to share something I think is funny for them. And usually audiences can feel it and start to enjoy the show.

As a professional speaker, there are moments when you feel the audience is not following or agreeing with what you are saying. How do you win back the audience?

I don’t force audiences to agree with me. And I just share my point of view. I don’t think about winning back the audience or not if it’s about agreeing with my point of view. However if it’s about the audience not following, I’ll use my stronger and short jokes to win back the audience.


Courtesy of Tim Chan

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