Give the audience a chance to love you

The only advice I give as a host

3 min readMay 4, 2022

The first lesson I teach in Improv class is the same lesson I give to guest performers when I host PowerPoint Karaoke:

Give the audience a chance to love you

Let yourself be seen. Give the audience a chance to take a good look at you, to see you — and, though you may cringe at the thought, give them a chance to love you.

Everyone wants to be seen

We all crave validation; recognition; understanding. There’s a reason why people use “I see you” to mean “I understand you; I connect with you; I feel you”.

So all I need from you is just one moment, one chance, to let the audience see you.

People don’t like that

If even the thought of being seen makes you cringe — you are not alone.

When I teach improv, people tell me they want to challenge themselves; they want to step outside their comfort zone; they want to try something they’ve never tried before.

And yet, when we do our little round of introductions, in the first hour of the first class of their very first improv section, they try to rush through their introductions. They rush through their name; they talk like they want to move on; they never pause for people to say ‘hello’ back.

It’s like they’re secretly hoping people don’t hear their name, and they can become invisible.

Whenever I host a show and I’m bringing someone on, I always waste a bit of time. I do a bit of chit-chat, I ask people to introduce themselves.

The technical reason — heres the hosting Pro-Tip anybody can use — is that the audience takes a few seconds to learn to “listen” to a new voice. Everybody speaks differently, there’s volume and accent and tone and things. I speak in a staccato rhythm sometimes, each sentence a long run-on paragraph, separated into shorter clauses by commas and pauses, and this takes getting used to. Like reading something in a new font.

But the story I tell them, the story that people need to hear, is that you need to give the audience a chance to love you. Stop being a mystery, stop trying to hide and be invisible, stop rushing past hoping to be forgotten.

To tell the truth — the audience might well forget you anyway.

But just for an instant, just for a moment, give the audience a chance to love you.

Dice = chance, heart = love.

Accept their love — if only for a moment

It’s hard — I know it’s hard — to stand in front of people and expect them to love you.

(But, secretly, that’s the wish of everybody who stands on stage… as well as everybody who doesn’t have the courage to stand on stage yet.)

All I need, then, is just for you to give yourself a chance to be loved, to accept love, and to stand in front of people and let yourself be seen.




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