The The Prop Comics Guide to Public Speaking
This post kicks off a series on what a prop comic can teach us about how to present to an audience. We hope you enjoy!
I’m assuming that most of you would recognize the name Carrot Top. No? Okay, I’m wrong. How about the name Gallagher? (Come on, even I know that one) Both are comedians, but not the typical kind of get up and spew jokes into a microphone type – these two are prop comics.
Prop comedians use everyday objects to create humor. Carrot Top and Gallagher are two of the better known names. For example, a prop comic will use a breakaway chair or a street sign as a visual representation of their joke. Sitting down in a chair and falling to the floor can be a little bit funnier than saying “he sat in the chair and he fell”.
Prop comics are (sometimes) funny because of the way they see the world. They have a completely different perspective on life than we do. This changes the way a joke is delivered and makes the old seem new again. Speaking on the same subject over and over again can start to feel the same way but if you take the prop comic’s stance and look at things from a new perspective.
Look at things from a new perspective is simply a fancy way of saying use your imagination. If you don’t feel like you’re very good at that – don’t fret, there are some things that you can do to rekindle that old spark in your brain.
- Talk to a child. Children see things in an incredible way. Talk to a child about different objects and watch their imaginations run wild.
- Drive a different way to work in the morning. This one was my boss’s suggestion and I loved it. A different perspective isn’t always a different way of thinking of things. Sometimes, it’s simply seeing the physical world from a change of direction.
- Take an art / writing / other creative class. There is very little that can open your mind like simply being educated. Classes like this help to teach you how to harness the imagination you had when you were a child and put it into practice.
- Go to the city / country. People in the country do things differently than people in the city. Everyone knows it but taking a little trip one way or the other will remind you that you are not alone. Visit the grocery store and observe how the local family owned grocery operates differently than the chain store you attend.
- Go people watch at the mall. Make up stories about the different couples and people you see. If you haven’t seen our post on how to spin a story from a moment, I urge you to go over there and follow these steps at the mall. Making up a simple “who, what, when, where, why” for people you don’t know will put your imagination into overdrive.
The reason a prop comic can be really popular is because they are looking at items that we see every single day in a new and exciting way. By doing this with your presentation topic you can breathe new life into an old discussion and get your audience moving in a different direction.