I'm getting to a point where I can learn from listening to my sets. I am hearing that if I tighten up my delivery, I'd get that much more laughs. So I was wondering what your thoughts on delivery were. What I am learning from what I'm hearing is that I'd get a better response if it didn't sound so clearly like I was telling a joke. But I digress, I was wondering what your insights were on the topic of delivery.
Well, kinda obvious but I'll say it anyway: If you hear a certain type of delivery gets better results, do that more. And tightening up is always a good thing. I think too-many-words-syndrome is the most common mistake I hear newbies making. Get in, get to the funny part, and get out.
Should you sound like you're telling jokes is an interesting question. As with most stuff in comedy (and life), I don't think there's one right answer. If you write jokey jokes, I think selling them as jokes is fine. If you're talking about really personal stuff, then sounding more conversational is probably appropriate.
Some people really sell a performance (for example, PFT in the snakes in can bit) while others work hard at trying to look like they're not selling a schtick (Birbigs and Bill Burr are two that come to mind). Different styles, all work great. But these guys who look like they're just being conversational are still selling a performance, it's just in a different way. It takes a lot of hard work to pull off looking like you're not trying hard...if that makes any sense.
I will say this though: When you're starting out, I think it's good to take chances and try stuff to see if it's a good fit. So maybe try going over the top on some stuff and see how it goes. Do a character. Or turn up the performy knob in another way. Mess around and see what feels right/works for you. Later on, things usually start to cement and it gets harder to take those chances.