Audiences love to laugh. If you are searching solely for someone to make people laugh at your event, you can save a lot of money by hiring a comedian. Comedians can charge anywhere from $500-$2,000 and a funny motivational speaker can charge $2,000-$10,0000.
When to Hire a Comedian
Remember this: There are some really bad comedians, far more bad ones than good ones. It takes a lot to be a good, clean comedian who delivers universally funny comedy. Unless your goal is to offend the audience, stay away from anyone who swears or pokes fun at ethnic background, sex, etc. Make sure you have seen the comedian's act beforehand and share anything you want avoided that may offend the group.
Comedians are good when audiences demand nothing but a good laugh. In some venues (like when audiences are drinking) a thoughtful message will fall flat. Comedy can catch like a wildfire, sending ripples of laughter through the group, relaxing them and building camaraderie. If a comedy routine is built into a larger program, such as an awards ceremony, make sure to keep it short and sweet.
The difference between Comedy and Humor
Both will play with the unexpected to make you laugh, but they use a different means to do it. Stand up comedy is written with a set up and a punch line. The punch line comes at you like Dr. Norman Cousin suggests as a train wreck in your mind. You don't expect it, then when you recognize the connection between the set up and punch line you laugh. If you have heard the joke before or the punch line isn't unexpected and clever enough, the routine will fall flat. It won't be funny. This is why so many comedians suck. Their comedy isn't unique or clever enough. Audiences know a joke is supposed to make them laugh, and when it doesn't make them laugh, it makes them groan - not the most preferred form of audience participation.
Humor is taking everyday life stories and looking for the funny in it. Less than 20% of what we laugh at has anything to do with comedy. Humorous motivational speakers take their own or others' life stories and craft them with a funny spin to make a point.
When to Hire a Humorous Guest Speaker
The biggest difference is that the funny guest speaker will have a message that's geared to that particular audience. A speaker will have objectives and goals for what the audience will take away from their humorous motivational speech. Hopefully, their message is crafted to leave some kind of lasting learning or inspiration. The humor is used as a means to get that message across. It may be comedy, with a set up and a punch line, but more likely their presentation is build around humorous and poignant stories.
A humorous motivational speaker takes an audience on a journey filled with education, inspiration and humor along the way so that the audience, armed with a different perspective, will be compelled to change.