Practicing your Set- How to Become a Stand Up Comedian
Updated: Sep 7
6 Key tips ensuring Practice makes Perfect - the next step on how to become a Stand Up Comedian
Practicing your stand up comedy set can be one of the scariest and most daunting tasks, but it's essential if you want to make sure you deliver the best performance possible!
Even if your material is killer, the only way you're going to get a good reaction from the audience is to live and breathe the performance.
The easiest way to do that is to know your stuff inside and out, so you can focus on the delivery.
Here are some tips on how to practice your delivery so that you can nail your next Stand Up gig:
1. Record Your Sets
Make sure you record yourself when practicing and performing to live audiences, so that you can assess how well you're delivering jokes and what areas need improvement. You are your greatest critic in both a negative and a positive sense so you can really help yourself gain valuable insight into which delivery styles work best for different types of jokes, as well as identify potential weak points in your set.
2. Experiment with Different Styles
Everyone has their own unique style when it comes to Stand Up comedy. Try different things when practicing your performance to see which works best for you. This could include changing your tone of voice, volume and inflection or even experimenting with different types of gestures.
3. Don't Just Plan Your Words, Plan Your Actions
Act outs are key in a stand out set. Words alone will not deliver the glory. Plan out the everything, from the way you walk onto the stage and greet the crowd to what you do after you've delivered your punchline. A cleverly timed act out can turn a good joke into an applause break.
4. Learn your set inside and out
This is crucial! If you know your set off by heart and don't have to think about the words, you can concentrate more on what is happening in the room, how the audience are responding, your presence on stage and all this will really enhance your performance.
A learning hack I use when building up to an important gig, is performing it in front of the mirror to yourself just before you go to bed and first thing when you wake up. Do this for a few days in the build up to your show and your brain will subconsciously work on learning it both whilst your asleep and during the day!
5. Practice in Front of an Audience
As good as it is practicing on your own, the best way is just going out and doing it in front of a crowd. This will not only help you get used to performing in front of people, but it will also give you invaluable feedback on how well your jokes land. So go out there and book in those gigs!
6. Take Notes
When practicing your set, take notes about what worked and what didn't. You can use these notes as a reference when writing new material or preparing for future gigs. Try and do them fresh after the gig so you still have the live feeling of what went well and cross check it with your recording.
With a bit of practice and experimentation, you're sure to find the perfect delivery style for your stand up comedy set! Just remember to have fun and be confident in yourself - that's the most important part of any successful performance. Good luck!
Want to see how it's done before you venture onto the circuit? We've been touted as one of the best comedy clubs in London, so if you're keen to see the pros in action, slide on down to one of our shows! Buy tickets for Comedy in Your Eye on our main page here!
If you want to learn more about how to become a Stand Up Comedian, check out our other articles here.