How To Perform Stand-Up Comedy – Using Gestures Effectively

If you’re learning how to perform stand-up comedy, using gestures is a fast way of lowering the number of words that you use in a given setup or punch line. When you use less words when writing stand-up comedy you’ll instantly increase the amount of punch lines you can get to within a given set. More punch lines equal more laughs on stage. For new people just learning how to be a comedian this is very important.



How to Perform Stand-Up Comedy Using Gestures

Using Gestures Adds to the Quality of the Punch Line

Using gestures when your learning how to perform stand-up comedy also adds to the quality of the punch line. Less words throughout the punch line (taking a stand-up comedy class you’ll learn they’re called a “click-point”) means there’s less time for the audience to “head you off.” The quicker the surprise is at the end of a punch line the more the audience is going to laugh. When you’re studying how to be a comedian this is a principle you’re going to come across a lot. All else equal, the quicker the punch line the bigger the reaction. Using gestures while you learn how to perform stand-up comedy will teach you how to shorten these punch line to get bigger laughs on stage.

Gestures Aid Communication

Gestures also allows for high quality communication. It’s not just simply the quantity of words you use, it’s the QUALITY. When you speak in everyday life, you naturally use gestures. Learning how to perform stand-up comedy is the same way. It’s a part of communication at it core. If you want to learn how to be a comedian that can get HUGE laughs on stage, you have to communicate efficiently, which means you have to incorporate gestures into your stand-up comedy.

Gestures don’t always have to “substitute” for other words. In fact, they usually supplement them. When you look at how to perform stand-up comedy you see this pattern in almost every single comedian. The comedian says one thing and the gesture means something else. When you’re writing stand-up comedy, be sure to remember that one of the most powerful ways to use gestures is to convey your emotions. Gestures in themselves can be the punch line. It could tell the audience that you’re “speechless” or that you are hesitant or any number of other things. Gestures are just one of the many skills that will help you as you learn how to be a comedian.

But gestures shouldn’t be an afterthought. For them to come off naturally, many times you’ll have to learn how to write stand-up comedy with your gestures already inside them. This is very different from writing your material and then trying to “jam” gestures into areas they don’t belong.

When you learn how to perform stand-up comedy, you need to pay particular importance to how you use gestures in your act.

Jared Volle