Can Standup Comedy Make You a Better Public Speaker? An Inc. Investigation

From Inc. Magazine

After eight minutes of watching Matt Ellsworth’s standup routine, I knew what we were in for.

Before Ellsworth stepped down from the stage to rejoin us at our table, his comedy coach, David Nihill, turned to me and smiled. “We have a lot of work to do,” he said.

Let me back up. Nihill had sworn that he’d used open-mic nights like these to become a better public speaker within weeks.

Doing standup comedy to overhaul your presentation skills is not a terribly new idea. But Nihill so believes in the idea that he’s built a company, FunnyBizz, around training businesspeople to be more entertaining.

Getting better at presenting in front of groups is one thing. But how much can comedy training–and a crash course in standup–help you become a truly entertaining speaker? I was putting Ellsworth to the test.

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