September 15, 2009

An easy tip to customize your content



I watched part of Kevin Nealon's stand-up special, "Now Hear Me Out" last night, and I was struck by this one moment in the routine.

He's talking about picking baby names and using names of commercial products so that he can get his children sponsored through college.

He mentions Velveeta and Zoloft, then says he even considered "Keyes, Keyes, Keyes -- Keyes on Van Nuys!"

The show was taped in Hollywood, and Keyes on Van Nuys is a local Los Angeles auto dealership. (Listen to the jingle below.)

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Mr. Nealon lives in L.A., and he's probably heard that jingle before. He probably didn't have to do much research to find a local advertisement that the audience would be familiar with.

However, this week he was performing in Tempe, Arizona. Do you suppose this joke would have the same impact on audiences in Tempe? Probably not!

This is the kind of subtle tweak that performers and speakers make, from gig to gig, to make sure that at least some of their content is customized to the group.

It's as simple as watching some local television or picking up a local newspaper. Find some local tidbits that fit into your presentation or routine and freshen up your material for each audience.

I wonder what ubiquitous local commercial he inserted into his Tempe show...

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