What do librarians and stand-up comedians have in common?
Actually, a lot.
Both groups regularly work to gain the attention of new audiences for short periods of time, usually between 10-60 mins. And while the content is drastically different, librarians can learn a lot from seasoned stand-ups in terms of delivery.
For instance, Aziz Ansari (of the TV series Parks and Recreation) will often test new material at a number of clubs in one night, recording his performacne so he can guage the audience’s enjoyment of each joke afterwards. The lesson here is that “it is important to solicit feedback frequently and from a variety of sources” (Tewell, 2014).
For more tips on engaging audiences during one-shot sessions, read “What stand-up comedians teach us about library instruction“.
For other Teaching Tips and more Teaching Resources see:
The Library Instruction Committee
Tewell, E.C. (2014). What stand-up comedians teach us about library instruction. College and Research Libraries News 75(1), 28-30.