Should your conference begin with a stand-up comic? Should you pay someone to warm up your audience?
These were questions posed by the CA World conference organisers in Las Vegas last month.
They went for the stand-up comedian. And they chose Jake Johannsen.
The result? One of his hardest gigs.
Comedy can work as the first conference session of the day. Even at nine in the morning in Las Vegas.
What doesn’t work is the mix of a comedian’s carefully prepared material and a conference organiser’s theme. In this case:Â cloud computing.
All of Jake’s early references to the cloud were inherently weak. His nervousness translated into choppy hand movements that became monotonous after a while.
Eventually he got into his own material on the economy, mortgages and the Bank bailout. And that worked. He is a funny man with his own material.
He managed the cut into a well-worked video production on cloud technology that was very similar to a presentation from Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer at Washington University. This worked and really helped to set the scene and the tone for the event.
Jake then moved into a classic introduction role when he introduced Dr Ajei Gopal, CA Technology’s Executive Vice President for Products and Technology. A perfect introduction for a speaker. In fact, a perfect introduction for a very accomplished speaker.
The Principal Trainer at training business Time to Market. Based in Oxford, I run presentation and public speaking training courses, coaching sessions and seminars throughout the UK. Andrew Ivey on Google+
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