All Women All Day!
This week I got a chance to present my “Finding the Funny in Communications” program to a group consisting of all women! They were great! I do a lot of programs in which there are just women, or even just men, in the audience, and I usually never worry about it. Here’s a few dos and don’ts for writing jokes for when the group is the same sex.
Do address it.
If you’re a woman addressing an all-woman’s group, or a man addressing an all-man’s group, you have a great opportunity to have some fun with everyone being in the same “club.” Make a list of what issues you have in common because you’re all the same sex, and then write jokes about it. In this instance, the group was small and it was women who were in a predominantly male industry, so I kicked off with. . . “how did you all choose this profession? Were you looking for career in which there was no line in the ladies room?” When I did a show for Pep Boys managers, I had some fun because they gave me a Pep Boys polo shirt so I could sit in the sessions during the day “unnoticed.” Yeah, that worked really well considering 100% of them were men! I joked around about how well I “fit in.”
Don’t bash the other sex.
Remember, these people are married to and interact with the other sex. Some speakers/comedians think that’s how to get people on your side, with an “us” against “them” type of speech. Unfortunately that’s how we get bad reputations – women for male bashing and guys for being chauvinistic. Do the same clean comedy that you’d do regardless of the group.
Do Use stereotypes.
Yes, I said you can, as long as you’re being NICE. I’ll address writing jokes using stereotypes in a later comedy writing blog, but the quick version is. . .list out what do people think about women (right or wrong).. . long ladies room lines, bad drivers, menopause, etc. . .and then have some TASTEFUL fun. That’s how I came up with the line above.
Do treat them the same.
I did the same jokes and the same program for these woman that I’d do for a mixed group or an all male group. A few weeks ago I did this same Finding the Funny in Communications program for all women support staff, and I still gave them the same program and the same jokes that I’ve done for CEOs. Just because they’re one sex or another, or one job title or another ,doesn’t mean you should make it “softer” or give more “meat”. . .give information that you’re proud of and use humor that is appropriate for EVERYONE.
That’s one of the biggest pitfalls of comedy. . .prejudging the group. 3 times in my life I’ve had audience members apologize to ME after the comedy show. They said things like “we saw there was a woman comedian on the show, and we thought ‘this is going to stink’”. I don’t like being judged for what I MIGHT say because I’m a woman. . .so don’t prejudge you’re audience for how they MIGHT react because they are women or all men. If you’re funny and giving good information, they will respond appropriately.
Here’s a unique stocking stuff for the holidays – Cubicle Comedy Playing Cards. They include my work humor as well as work “advice” for surviving the office. Want to know how to eat for free in the office? Find out in the cards! See a 1.5 minute video here. . .cute!