This past summer I agreed to speak to the North End Club in New Haven. I can’t always say yes, but this was at a convenient time, in a convenient place. I like speaking – once I’m doing it. I hope that makes sense?
Today was a significant weather day with snow/sleet/freezing rain/rain in various parts of the state. The president of the organization was nice enough to shuffle her meeting and get me on early – which got me out early.
I don’t work from a script, but I’ve given variations of the same talk for 20 years. I know where I’m going and where the laugh lines are. Actually, the laughs aren’t guaranteed and there are places where I can gage how my audience is accepting me. I’ll field edit if it isn’t going well.
I hate to bomb but audiences have group personalities… and not all are conducive to what I do.
Of all the people I’ve seen on stage Johnny Carson brought something I had never seen, before or after. It was in Las Vegas, and as soon as he walked on stage, he was a hit. For the rest of us, the first goal is to win over the audience. I’ve never seen anyone but Johnnybe a hit from second one.
The woman who introduced me read from my bio. Oops – a few of the jokes I wanted to tell were there and she was delivering them. Oh well, – my fault.
My program ran 30-35 minutes followed by some questions. They were very responsive while I spoke and their questions afterward were also very good. So, all in all, a success.
I won’t take money from a non-profit organization, but they did give me an honorarium to donate to charity. Since our morning meteorologist, Dr. Mel and his fight with cancer became a topic of discussion, I will be donating the check to the Cancer Center at Yale.