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August 23, 2019

5 Time-Management Tips From a Corporate Comedian

Adaptability and knowing how to fill your time are just a few of Brian Stollery’s tips.

Photograph by Jared Sych

Brian Stollery is a comedian who has performed for crowds as small as 50 and as large as 800, doing shows for companies such as Trico Homes and Wendy’s. Over the years, he has become super conscious of how he uses his time on stage and his time preparing to be on stage.

 

Preparation is Key

“To write jokes usually takes a long time mulling over them in your brain. You gotta think about them from different angles. Experience helps.”

 

Work Against the Clock

“When I have a limited amount of time, I try to meet with the people in the company, either by phone or in person. I ask questions about the ins and outs of the company, who does everybody know, etc. Then I get to work and find the jokes, ‘making the funny,’ if you will.”

 

Home in on Your Target(s)

“I’m not just doing a generic comedy show for an audience. I know about these people, I know who they are. I’ve also taken the time to learn about what they do and put some thought into what I find funny about it.”

 

Be Ready to Adapt

“I have to be ready to cut jokes when I’m on stage. If they’re not buying into that joke, they’re certainly not going to buy into the next two I have on that topic. I’ll cut my losses and move on.”

 

Know How to Fill Your Time

“I’m filling the show with laughs, I’m not filling it with me talking. The majority of the time, people should be laughing. The more I’m talking, the less they’re laughing. That’s not what comedy is about to me.”

This article appears in the February 2019 issue of Avenue Calgary.

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