Make Yourself Stand Out
At one point in my life, I performed stand-up comedy. My friend, also a comedian, was performing at a "talent show" at a local Boys and Girls Club. Unfortunately, the comedy I was performing was pretty intellectual and the majority of the people there were preteens with very little intelligence at all, so I had a lot of problems getting their attention. Most of the people who were there only came to watch a band that performed later, so they were all socializing, playing games, etc. When my name was called to perform, nobody stopped what they were doing, and there remained a constant roar of voices. What I did was use lots of over-exaggerated body language and a very large contrast in the dynamics of my voice (i.e., make loud, stressed parts more loud and stressed, but low and even medium-parts spoken slightly more relaxed and quiet, so the more stressed parts stand out). It helped quiet them down and get their attention, but I never fully grabbed their attention. At one point, a girl tried to heckle me by saying "you're not funny," and as soon as she got the words out of her mouth I replied "you're not skinny." Letting someone or something else grab the attention of your audience can and will distract you, and you will most likely lose your train of thought by trying to get their attention.
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