October 29, 2010

Comedy Gold

In August 2008 Marc Hogan was bet £1 that he couldn’t become a stand up comic in less than 12 months and perform a one man comedy show at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival in August 2009 for 21 nights. He won the bet!

Last night’s comedy gig went brilliantly!

I’m never that nervous when I do a Funny Business Corporate Keynote as the audience is usually not drunk – hung-over maybe – but not drunk.

However a comedy gig, well that’s a different matter entirely.  You’re never sure if the heckler at the back might turn into a raging psycho at any moment.

My job as compere is to get the audience “on side” quickly and fortunately, last night the audience were lovely!

The headliner, Brian Gittins – who supported Ricky Gervaise last year – was very funny.   Brian actually came to my Edinburgh show, which he said he really enjoyed so that was lovely.

Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year 2010 nominee (no less) Tom MacDonnell was on top form.  His Rage Against The Machine Christmas Song is brilliant.

An unexpected delight was Kishore Nayar, a relatively new comic who I had not seen before, but would thoroughly recommend.

It’s always nice when your new jokes “work” and the audience was genuinely great. If only every comedy gig could be this good…

Next month on Nov 25th we have TV’s Paul Foot, Ant Dewson, Phil Higgins and William Lee.  It should be another great night!

On December the 6th I launch Desperately Seeking Stage Time in London for all new budding comics. After every keynote a member of the audience always asks how they could get into stand-up?  Well now’s your chance!

More details coming soon…

Click here to watch Marc’s showreel. If you would like to find out more about Marc, visit www.marchoganlive.com or to book him for a speaking event please contact your favourite speaker bureau.

October 26, 2010

The Funny Roundabout

In August 2008 Marc Hogan was bet £1 that he couldn’t become a stand up comic in less than 12 months and perform a one man comedy show at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival in August 2009 for 21 nights. He won the bet!

Once you’re bitten by the comedy bug, you can’t keep away!

Compering at the Funny Roundabout Comedy Club Thursday 28th in Hemel Hempstead with Brian Gittins, Tom Mcdonnell and Kishore Nayar! http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Funny-Roundabout-Comedy-Club/107791562612908

Click here to watch Marc’s showreel. If you would like to find out more about Marc, visit www.marchoganlive.com or to book him for a speaking event please contact your favourite speaker bureau.

October 25, 2010

“You’re Fired”

In August 2008 Marc Hogan was bet £1 that he couldn’t become a stand up comic in less than 12 months and perform a one man comedy show at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival in August 2009 for 21 nights. He won the bet!

Last night whilst watching the Apprentice, it suddenly struck me that Sir Alan, sorry Lord Sugar, can’t really say, “You’re fired” – it’s actually an interview process and the candidates don’t have a job. Surely he should be saying, “I’m sorry, but unfortunately on this occasion due to a higher than expected number of candidates we won’t be taking you forward….”

Click here to watch Marc’s showreel. If you would like to find out more about Marc, visit www.marchoganlive.com or to book him for a speaking event please contact your favourite speaker bureau.

October 24, 2010

How To Become Indispensable

In August 2008 Marc Hogan was bet £1 that he couldn’t become a stand up comic in less than 12 months and perform a one man comedy show at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival in August 2009 for 21 nights. He won the bet!

In these uncertain economic times, short of blackmailing your boss with some compromising office party photos how do you become indispensable at work?

1) Become a “yes” man or woman!

I know, I know, but trust me your boss needs people who will tackle those difficult tasks, who will gladly take on extra responsibilities and look for ways to make things work.  I know sometimes the voice in our head (the Editor) thinks, “that will never work” when the boss comes up with a new idea to set up a new procurement procedure to procure some new procurement software that will make procuring easier… But if you see flaws in a proposal, rather than thinking what a stupid idea it is, perhaps you could suggest a way to make that stupid idea work…?

2) Don’t be half hearted

If you do take on an extra project or an implement a new idea, don’t do it begrudgingly.  I’m sure we’ve all been guilty of saying to our people, “I know this won’t work but we’ve got to do it anyway.”  There is nothing more corrosive in a company than this kind of attitude. I’m not saying become a mindless autonoman who does everything you are told to, but if you take on a project at least do your very best to be excited and passionate about it and pass that passion onto your colleagues, because whether it works or not at least you will know you really did your best.

3) Take responsibility

At Edinburgh I had good, bad, and indifferent reviews. Sure I could blame the reviewer, but the truth is, if I messed up a joke, forgot my lines, or let my nerves get the better of me it wasn’t the reviewer’s fault, it was mine… Taking responsibility for your actions and results, good and bad, will earn your boss’s respect.

4) Remember the little stuff

We all hate paperwork don’t we? (I’m writing a book at the moment and it’s slowly killing me…) But these little things are important – our bosses like to see reports.  If they are always late and slap dash because you’re too busy doing ‘real work’, your boss  might not mind if the company’s doing well, but when things are a bit tighter, that paperwork becomes crucial in letting them know that you’re working hard.

5) Become a team player

I know teams are made up of lots of individuals, but it’s up to you to be part of the team, to look for solutions, to help each other and find better ways to achieve your team’s goals.  Simple things can help, always be on time for team meetings, don’t blame each other for not doing things, offer to help individuals who are having problems, and certainly don’t sulk in a corner checking your Blackberry every ten minutes…

6) Know that this too will pass

Everything is cyclical, every economy, company, team will have good times and bad times. No matter how difficult your current situation, things will improve, we just need to be a bit more creative and dig in a little bit more and always remember it could be worse, you could be David Milliband…

Click here to watch Marc’s showreel. If you would like to find out more about Marc, visit www.marchoganlive.com or to book him for a speaking event please contact your favourite speaker bureau.

October 20, 2010

Cash Wednesday

In August 2008 Marc Hogan was bet £1 that he couldn’t become a stand up comic in less than 12 months and perform a one man comedy show at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival in August 2009 for 21 nights. He won the bet!

Well we’re all in it together apparently, even Manchester United are making cuts…

I’ve also just learnt that George Osborne’s real name is Gideon, he changed it when he was 13. Gideon in Hebrew apparently means “Destroyer”  or “Mighty Warrior”,  l’ll let you choose your favorite definition…

Click here to watch Marc’s showreel. If you would like to find out more about Marc, visit www.marchoganlive.com or to book him for a speaking event please contact your favourite speaker bureau.

  • Filed under: Blog Posts — marchogan @ 11:32 am
October 18, 2010

The Fear

In August 2008 Marc Hogan was bet £1 that he couldn’t become a stand up comic in less than 12 months and perform a one man comedy show at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival in August 2009 for 21 nights. He won the bet!

After years of presenting to tens of thousands of people, presenting to a comedy audience is still the scariest thing I’ve ever had to do. I tried lots of things: deep breathing, visualisation, even alcohol -which unfortunately leads to blurry visualisation…

While practice remains the best way to overcome stage fright, I did find this exercise very useful.

Can you remember your best holiday?  Recent scientific research shows that remembering a pleasurable or horrible experience has a physical effect on the body.  Don’t believe me?  Well try this, remember the last time you saw a rat / big spider/ a big bowl of maggots/ Peter Mandelson. Did your skin just crawl?

To begin the exercise you need to clear your mind (it shouldn’t be too hard, it’s Monday morning!).

Now think of a time when you felt confident and focused. As you access that memory, see what you saw at the time, hear what you heard, feel how confident and good you felt. Now, take a moment to locate where these good feelings are in your body (I know it’s a little weird but stick with me).  Where in your body do they start?  Do they start in your stomach, in your head, or perhaps in your fingertips?  Now that you’ve found them, take another moment to feel where they move to.  This might feel strange at the start, but as you take that moment you will realise that feelings don’t stay still, they are always moving in one direction or another.  Once you realise they are moving and can feel which direction they are travelling, then you can start to control where and how they move. 

Start to amplify the intensity of the confident feeling by spinning it faster within your body.  It doesn’t matter if you spin it clockwise or anticlockwise, if you spin it from the top of your head to the soles of your feet or if you spin it round your stomach or chest.  There is no correct method.  The key is spinning the feeling to intensify the good feelings inside you. 

The next step is to imagine that you are getting ready to get on stage.  Imagine you are entering the room waiting to be announced, then imagine walking on stage, as you do so, continue to spin the confident feelings in your body.  Imagine the feelings of confidence amplifying as you begin your speech.

Imagine being on the stage.  Let your body adopt the posture you will use.  Now, imagine presenting passionately, engaging with the audience, and continue to spin the feeling as you present with confidence. 

Keep the feeling spinning; keep the confidence levels amplified throughout your speech, even if you get asked an unexpected question.  Imagine this happening but imagine yourself responding with confidence and clarity as you keep the feeling spinning through your body. 

Imagine your presentation ending, and the crowd applauding.  Imagine leaving stage with confidence, knowing you’ve performed to your best and continued to spin those feelings. 

Now take a moment to consider how that felt.  How confident and clear did you feel?  Just think how strong those confident feelings could get with practice?  All you need to do is to practice this process over and over again before your speech. 

Now, obviously nothing beats actual physical practice and I know for some of you your “Editor” has already decided that this is a stupid idea, but this exercise takes less than 5 minutes and can be practiced anywhere so surely it’s worth giving it a go?

Click here to watch Marc’s showreel. If you would like to find out more about Marc, visit www.marchoganlive.com or to book him for a speaking event please contact your favourite speaker bureau.

October 13, 2010

A Miner Miracle

In August 2008 Marc Hogan was bet £1 that he couldn’t become a stand up comic in less than 12 months and perform a one man comedy show at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival in August 2009 for 21 nights. He won the bet!

Odd day today on TV: scenes of Maggie Thatcher and miners celebrating.

Maggie Thatcher is 85 today, doesn’t that make you feel old? If you’re too young to remember Maggie Thatcher, she was our slightly more right wing Barack Obama…

Click here to watch Marc’s showreel. If you would like to find out more about Marc, visit www.marchoganlive.com or to book him for a speaking event please contact your favourite speaker bureau.

October 11, 2010

Office DIY

In August 2008 Marc Hogan was bet £1 that he couldn’t become a stand up comic in less than 12 months and perform a one man comedy show at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival in August 2009 for 21 nights. He won the bet!

Interesting article in Scientific America Mind this month by S. Alexander Haslam and Craig Knight.

Unsurprisingly the size of desk, access to natural light, and our privacy are all predictors of our contentment and productivity (nice work geniuses / genii!).

However what’s more interesting, in the authors’ experiments, workers who were permitted to customize their office decor showed about a 30% improvement in productivity and well-being over those working in undecorated office spaces. Not a bad return on office mementos!

Meanwhile, people who worked in an environment with art and plants were 15% more productive than those in the undecorated space.

However before you rush out to buy those “motivating posters”, design a chill out area and put up some pot plants, you should be aware that in the experiments productivity gains disappeared for “disempowered” workers who had their decoration choices overridden and their office rearranged — even though the rearranged office still contained art and plants.

So if you want Steve to be a little more productive perhaps you could let him put up his ‘Kylie Minogue’* calendar, and Sarah can have her teddy bears and ‘Men In Uniform’* calendar.

*Other stereotypically sexist calendars are available…

Click here to watch Marc’s showreel. If you would like to find out more about Marc, visit www.marchoganlive.com or to book him for a speaking event please contact your favourite speaker bureau.

October 8, 2010

Russell (should never) Brand

In August 2008 Marc Hogan was bet £1 that he couldn’t become a stand up comic in less than 12 months and perform a one man comedy show at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival in August 2009 for 21 nights. He won the bet!

Overheard in a coffee break at a conference for financiers:

Financier 1: “I’m reading Russell Brand’s new autobiography; it’s a sequel to My Booky Wook.”

Financier 2: “Booky Wook? Let’s hope he never opens a bank!”

Click here to watch Marc’s showreel. If you would like to find out more about Marc, visit www.marchoganlive.com or to book him for a speaking event please contact your favourite speaker bureau.

October 4, 2010

Decisions, decisions

In August 2008 Marc Hogan was bet £1 that he couldn’t become a stand up comic in less than 12 months and perform a one man comedy show at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival in August 2009 for 21 nights. He won the bet!

A couple of years ago I learned a great business lesson from my comedy director friend Phil Whelans when he explained how he sold his comedy services. He drew me a Venn diagram on the back of a napkin (see below) and said, “you can have any two of these the three elements, but you can never have all three.”


Any product or service can be good, fast or cheap.

If you want your product to be good and delivered fast it won’t be cheap, because of the extra work I have to put into deliver that.

Conversely if you want your product good and cheap it won’t be delivered fast, as I have better paying premiere customers to serve first.

If you want your product fast and cheap, it probably won’t be very good.

Every time I teach this to a business audience they nod sagely and say, “that’s really obvious, why didn’t I think of that?”

The first key I teach is “Opportunities Are All Around Us” most of the time we’re so busy doing our job or trying to get the sale that sometimes we miss the obvious.

What if for 10 minutes you took a step back, stopped running around, and thought about how you could make your job or your colleagues’ jobs better?

Or if you work in sales, you might want to draw this diagram on the back of a napkin the next time your with a demanding customer?

Click here to watch Marc’s showreel. If you would like to find out more about Marc, visit www.marchoganlive.com or to book him for a speaking event please contact your favourite speaker bureau.

  • Filed under: Blog Posts — marchogan @ 10:11 am
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