Comedy Evaluator Pro (CEP) is a web-based software application that can now be easily used with both mobile and desktop devices to review recorded audio or video stand-up comedy performances or speaking engagements in order to:
- Provide an objective indication of an overall audience laughter generation levels.
- Provide detailed positive audience response (PAR) event data (laughter, cheering and applause) to help identify specific areas for performance improvement.
If you can operate a couple of easy-to-use buttons, you have the ability to obtain the most detailed and objective audience response data available, which can then be used for targeted performance improvement.
Let’s start at the beginning so that you can fully understand what CEP can do for you when it comes to squeezing the most laughter possible from your stand-up comedy performances.
What Happens When Entertaining Audiences With Laughter
The audience laughter levels for headline level comedians is quite a bit more demanding than the levels needed to be singled out as a highly entertaining speaking professional, which there can be substantial opportunities for those who can wildly generate audience laughter seemingly at will.
So let’s start with the comedians first:
The audience laughter response requirements for those involved with public speaking are different based on the information provided in this article and is provided below:
Why Does Knowing The Information Provided By CEP Matter?
The reasons are EXACTLY the same for comedians as they are for speaking pros when it comes to the detailed performance data provided by Comedy Evaluator Pro:
- It provides an means to obtain an objective measurement about audience laughter that was generated.
- There is no need for subjective outside opinion or third party validation to know how well a performance or a speaking engagement actually went.
- Speech or comedy material can be lined up with the Comedy Evaluator Pro laughter analysis to determine exactly which material needs to be revised or removed and replaced.
- It provides a means to evaluate peers to see where you stand.
Using Comedy Evaluator Pro can be especially useful for measuring PAR generated when new comedy or humor material is being introduced.
It is really about having the biggest edge possible among a sea of people who have the same dreams and goals that you do.
From this point forward I will be focusing on the comedian use of CEP.
Speaking professionals simply need to apply the information provided for comedians and determine what laughter level you wish to achieve when you speak to audiences.
Practical Use Of The Software
While any performance length can be evaluated by CEP, the most practical use of the software is for:
1. Short sets (5 minutes or less) when parts of your stand-up comedy routine are not reaching the PAR levels/frequency that you desire.
2. When you are performing new and untested material comedy material integrated with already proven and effective stand-up comedy material.
3. Comparing the same comedy set for consistency when delivered to different audiences.
There are three instances when using CEP is of little no no value:
Instance #1: The comedian does not have their comedy material written down on paper or with a word processor. In this instance it would be difficult at best to correlate the evaluation data provided by CEP with a comedian’s comedy material in order to make adjustments in any sort of meaningful way.
Instance #2: The comedian is not generating any laughs during a performance. Without laughs to evaluate, all aspects of comedian performance need work and CEP won’t help in that regard.
Instance #3: Each individual minute of a comedian’s performance meets or exceeds 18 seconds of laughter. While certainly not impossible to improve performing minutes with high level laughter, the greater the number of seconds of laughter above 18 seconds for any given performing minute, the likelihood of being able to improve that material drops dramatically.
But for the vast majority of comedians, CEP can be a valuable tool for performance improvement, whether it be for a particular bit, an entire chunk or a complete set from beginning to end.
So let’s talk about how CEP can help you improve your comedy performances using the data it produces.
Using The CEP Evaluation Data
The simple process of starting an evaluation, recording the beginning and end of each PAR event during a performance and stopping the evaluation at the end of a performance using CEP provides two types of valuable information: a broad overview and a detailed analysis.
I’ll discuss both types of evaluation, keeping this in mind:
Again, the goal is to approach, meet or exceed an average of 18 seconds of PAR or a PAR Score of 30 (headliner level performance) with the highest consistency possible for the greatest possibility of advancement as a comedian.
Overall Performance Data
Once a performance evaluation has been concluded, a Show Report button appears on the CEP Main Control Panel. This button leads to overall performance data and a minute-by-minute analysis of an evaluated comedy performance. Let’s talk about the overall performance data first.
The overall performance data for any comedy performance evaluated provided on the Evaluation Report is provided in the overall average seconds of laughter and the PAR Score for the duration of the entire evaluation period conducted.
Note: The average seconds of laughter recorded for duration of any performance and the associated PAR Score are exactly the same base value.
The PAR Score is merely a representation of the percentage (ratio) of the number of seconds of PAR in relation to the duration of performance evaluated. This dual representation is provided for personal preference only — some people prefer the PAR Score representation over the average seconds of laughter representation and vice versa.
At least 1 minute of a performance must be evaluated in order to accurately calculate and display overall performance data.
While this information is great for knowing an overall performance level for any particular performance period evaluated, it represents an average of all minutes (and the partial minute beyond the first minute) of the performance evaluated. In other words…
Some minutes of your performance can be on fire, while other minutes not so much. So in order to pinpoint the areas of your act that need the most attention first when it comes to improving your performances, the detailed evaluation data is the key to getting some very specific and targeted information that you can use for performance improvement.
The Detailed Evaluation Data
In addition to the overall performance data, detailed minute-by-minute PAR data is provided in the following metrics
Metric 1: The total seconds of PAR recorded for each individual minute of the performance evaluation. The most important thing this number reveals at a glance is that it identifies minutes of your performance that need to be reviewed for adjustment, rework, editing or deletion first.
Always focus any performance improvement actions with the minutes of your act that are generating the lowest number of seconds of laughter.
But it will be the next two metrics that will help you pinpoint what exactly you need to improve in order to increase the number of seconds of PAR in any given minute…
Metric 2: The number of PAR events for each performing minute. Audience laughs (PAR events) are generated by punchlines . As a general rule, 4-6 punchlines (with the resulting laughs) are needed to generate 18 or more seconds of laughter in any given performing minute. So this number can reveal several important things in any given minute:
Punchlines that are not generating measurable laughs and or…
Set-up lines are too long which automatically reduces the number of punchlines you can deliver in any given minute.
Metric 3: The duration of every PAR event (in seconds) in every individual performance minute evaluated. This is a direct indicator of the laughter generation power of any particular punchline in any particular minute of an evaluated performance as well as potential laughter pause issues that can shorten laughs.
Punchline power. This metric can help a comedian accurately determine exactly which of their punchlines are not just working but just how well they are working and to prioritize those punchlines that may need adjustment or rework. Stronger punchlines equate to longer laughs. Weaker punchlines equate to shorter laughs.
Note: This metric may also be an indicator that an improved laughter response may be possible from rearranging comedy material to place the punchlines getting the longest laughs at the end of a particular bit or topic and the shorter laughs for that bit or topic in the beginning.
Talking over laughs. Audience can’t hear a comedian talk when they are laughing – subsequently, they will abruptly stop laughing into order to continue listening to the comedian (commonly referred to as talking over laughs). Short PAR events may indicate this is occurring and warrants review of the recording being evaluated to determine if there is an issue with a punchline or the comedian cut the laugh short by talking too soon before the laugh allowed to happen in its entirety.
Important: Provided a comedian’s comedy material is written down on paper or using a word processor, the evaluation data generated by CEP can be correlated specifically with exact sections in any performance to identify needed improvements and the possible reasons why.
Objective Vs. Subjective Feedback
It should be obvious that the real value of using CEP for performance evaluations is to pinpoint which exact part(s) need the most attention for improvement first AND to provide objective feedback on any changes that have been made for performance improvement.
But there is another important aspect of using CEP that you may not be aware of…
When used properly to conduct performance evaluations of your stand-up comedy routine, you get what most comedians NEVER get which is:
Getting concrete objective feedback versus subjective feedback on your true level of comedy performances performance and the laughter generation power of your act. Here’s why this is so important…
Individual feedback from another comedian, audience members or anyone else for that matter tends to be largely, if not completely subjective in nature. Not only that, individual feedback can also be very inaccurate, specifically:
Combine that with the fact that subjective feedback rarely helps a comedian pinpoint all the areas of their stand-up comedy act that need improvement or the areas that don’t need to be adjusted or revised at all.
CEP is based on actual measurements of laughter, cheering and/or applause events that occurred during a performance.
In other words, as mentioned earlier…
CEP lets you know you are killing audiences with your stand-up comedy routine AND at what level you are truly working at without the need for any subjective feedback or validation at all.
CEP also lets you know exactly which parts of your stand-up comedy act may need work first for better performances, again without the need for subjective feedback that usually provides only minimal help if any.
This is why Comedy Evaluator Pro can give any comedian or speaking pro a significant edge when it comes quickly and efficiently developing the most powerful and tight stand-up comedy act or humorous speech possible.