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  • Mandy Queen

Turning Eight into Great: Business Lessons from a Stand-Up Comedy Show

Updated: Aug 30, 2023

I had lots of fun at the Edinburgh International Fringe Festival this past weekend. One show stood out, not just because the comedian was hilarious but how he handled an audience of only eight people. It got me thinking about how it applies to business.

With only eight people in the audience, we initially felt awkward, embarrassed for him (and fearful that we'd get picked on). Yet, the comedian took the stage enthusiastically, turning this small turnout into an unforgettable experience for everyone. His ability to transform a potential setback into an opportunity for connection and laughter struck me. Learnings:

1. The Show Must Go On: Regardless of the audience size, the show must go on. Just as this comedian embraced the awkward moment and weaved it into his act, we must remember that every journey starts with a single step. Each interaction and connection is a stepping stone towards something better.

2. Embrace the Start: Every success story has its humble beginnings. Much like this comedian's show, where only eight people were present, remember that even the biggest achievements start off with small, earnest efforts. Whether it's your LinkedIn post, a webinar, or any endeavour, even if only a few engage initially, it's a start, and be proud of starting.

3. Resilience is Key: The comedian's resilience impressed me. Despite the audience size, he didn't let it negatively impact his performance. He understood that setbacks are part of the Fringe journey, and he persevered, knowing that it was part of the experience and that it would get better.

4. Quality vs Quantity. At the end of the show, we had the chance to meet the comedian personally and express how much we enjoyed his show. A smaller, engaged crowd can lead to deeper connections – a valuable reminder that quality interactions can be just as significant as quantity and a much more memorable experience for the audience.

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