Consistency is the Key

I commented to a member of my Toastmasters club that we had several people who had become very consistent participating in the Observational Humor part of the meeting.  He said, “Well I’m not consistently good.” 

Actually when thinking of consistent members, I had included him on the list.  The key to getting better is consistency of effort…not consistency of results.  Consistency of effort leads to growth which leads to consistency of results.

I would compare practicing Observational Humor to going to the gym.  At the gym I might see one of those Incredible-Hulk guys bench pressing 250 pounds.  If I’m only pressing 70 pounds I may feel like the 90 pound weakling at the beach (well, maybe a 175 pound weakling).  But if the Hulk guy only shows up once a month to show off…and if I go five times a week…I’ll show more growth.  The change in my strength will be more noticeable.  The key is consistency of effort because that results in growth.

I’ve noticed that some of the funniest people in our club who rarely contribute to Observational Humor don’t show the same progress as the more humor-challenged members who make an effort to contribute every week.

A saying in the comedy world is that performers need a good place to be bad.  You learn what’s funny by guessing and testing…and not being funny.  And little by little you become a better judge of what other people will find funny.  From a performance point of view, that’s much more important than what YOU find funny.

And let’s not confuse consistency with quantity.  You can qualify for consistency of effort by coming up with one joke or five jokes.  The important thing is that the creative process engages you for the entire meeting.  It forces you to put on your humor hat and to be an active listener for the whole program.  It’s the journey and not the destination.

Be committed to effort and growth will follow.