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Four principles from a famous stand-up comedian that could save your business

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I recently interviewed James Acaster – a talented comedian who has appeared on Mock the Week, Live at the Apollo, and Russell Howard’s Good News! – on my weekly podcast Getting Goosebumps.

Acaster gave a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the process of writing and performing stand-up, alongside the myriad applications of comedy into the greater business world.

As such, I’ve explored how applying the principles of stand-up comedy to your business can pique interest, improve audience engagement and drive conversion. 

Lesson one: Be true to your brand message

To leave a lasting impression, Acaster believes there’s one essential trick that has helped him develop his on-stage persona. The answer? Be true to yourself.

Being true to yourself pays dividends, and then some. Plus, it means you don’t need to constantly shapeshift to appeal to different audiences. For Acaster, he can maintain his comedic style and essentially self-select the type of audience he would most like to attend his gigs. This sense of legitimacy is something that resonates with him and his audience.

In the world of business, brands need to stay true to their values in order to attract and retain customers and candidates. Align yourself with businesses that share the same ethical principles, and use your brand purpose to hire employees that become an extension of what you represent. 

This helps created an image of trust and moral legitimacy, which is important in today’s digital age.

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Lesson two: Flexible working

Acaster believes that a rigid working schedule bogs down the creative process. In his case, setting aside dedicated time to write, or being fixated with a desire to constantly generate material from his daily life, can act as a hindrance to the creative quality of his material.

The lesson? Rigidity is counter-productive and makes processes become stale over time. Who wants to work in a strict, hyper-regulated environment all day long? Give employees the license to manage their own time and tasks within reason.

This not only garners trust between employer and employee, but allows staff to grow and develop a sense of autonomy. Flexible working lets ideas flow in a spontaneous manner and encourages a more relaxed, open sharing of thoughts and concepts. 

Continue on the next page for the final two comedic principles you can carry into your company operations, including how comedy can impact sales.

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