“Spreading Smiles” being a seriously humorous stand-up comedian and simultaneously influencing people in a way that inspires them to be all that they possibly can – sometimes becomes critical and quite tricky if you have a “hard” audience who have no clue who you are and they are all well equipped to mock and just make fun of the speaker on stage. They don’t care how old or skilful you are, no matter how prestigious you might be, they are just there to test your patience and your public speaking skills that how better you can handle “on stage troublemakers”.
To take it on a positive note – that’s something that makes you the best from the rest. It helps you to learn the skills of how to handle random assholes who have nothing to do rather than just joke and pass some crappy comments while you are on stage.
Well, I have been lucky enough to get multiple such audiences in my early career that prepared me for any kind and any type of “hard” audiences. Along the way, I have been collecting some uniquely phenomenal ways to handle such gentlemen/women. Let me share some of them with you (not all).
really try to find out what they are trying to say…
It’s really going deeper, and finding out why this person has chosen to disrupt a performance that everybody has paid for, and that everybody is there for and agreed to sit for? Why did somebody rebel against that? What made them do so? I’m always curious about it.
Then, I ask them about who they are with. I can ask the person they are with, things like, “Why are they like that? Are they like this all the time? Is this a special thing?” or something like, “What did he/she had today in the breakfast?” You could also talk to the other people around them, people who are seated next to them, “What was this person like before the show?” or “What were they saying? What led us to this?”
Sometimes, the best way to defuse or defeat attackers and troublemakers is to ask short questions and keep them talking. Even a simple question like, “Why do you say that?” or “Why do you ask?” can do the trick.
Online, I’ll sometimes let famous people answer my hecklers in the form of quotes. If someone is outraged over something ridiculous on social media, for instance, one of my favourite replies is…
“Those who are offended easily should be offended more often.”