In last week's blog post I posted about three different techniques to take your after dinner, corporate entertainment, or professional speaking presentations up a notch. Let's continue from where we left off.
4. Know Your Closer
Just as you should know how to open your performance, it's important that you leave a lasting impression. It's not uncommon to watch a thoroughly enjoyable show, only to have the entertainer sulk off at the end.
This only tends to happen because they hadn't planned for the ending.
My personal preference is to, in much the same way many of my favourite films do, have my final piece relate back to what I said right at the very beginning.
This gives a really nice symmetry to the performance, and also appears much more produced and planned, as in order to know to say this particular thing at the end, I must have pre-planned the opening. Therefor I immediately look far more professional.
5. Visual Variety
Whether you're an after dinner speaker, or a corporate entertainer doing a performance at a conference, an audience needs you to keep your performance visually engaging.
For a speaker that could be using slides with huge pictures on them, and then a blank, black slide so there is no visual to accompany a certain moment.
In my after dinner mind reading show, the variety comes from the visual images I create on stage. At one point I have 2 guests on stage with me, at another it's just me interacting with people in the audience, and then later a woman is sat in a chair with her eyes closed looking all mysterious. All of that is before I involve 52 members of the audience in my huge memory demonstration that gets everyone involved.
So at each point in the show we should be thinking about 'how does it look' with a real focus on making each moment visually unique.
The simplest way to think of this is ' if someone took a photo at any point in my show, would I be able to know which part of my show it was regardless of identifying the people?'. If the answer is yes, then your variety is good and you should keep rocking that.
6. Change Your Pace
On the subject of variety, another way of keeping the another way to keep things interesting is by changing the pacing and energy levels of each routine.
For example, my opener is very sharp, and punchy. Where as the second routine in my show is a little more involved but casual as it's the first time I get guests on stage, I want them to feel comfortable.
The third routine slows the pace right down and becomes mysterious, and then the energy level goes right through the roof for the revelations of my next routine and then up again to a crescendo for the finale.
No two routines have the same energy levels. This is another way of keeping a whole audience involved and entertained.
I hope those tips were useful. I tried to think of specific examples of thinking that I use when constructing my own after dinner act, things that I consider when writing and staging my new show and hope they give you some new things to consider.
If you'd like more information about me, my after dinner mind reading act for corporate entertainment then have a peek around this website and/or get in touch.