Dave handled the children and classroom situation with a great professional standard, and brought a sense of fun and adventure to the lesson. I can recommend Dave without hesitation – he was a delightful person to have in the school and the children went away having learnt skills they can use in their own writing. A thoroughly delightful day.”
Head of English Bridgewater School
Dave Smith certainly proved his stand-up comedy credentials by keeping students laughing for the session. It wasn’t just fun and frolics though; Dave stressed the importance of planning and redrafting to perfect written material. Students who used the comedy writing techniques in their Original Writing coursework were singled out for praise by the moderator as being, ‘a joy to read.’ I’ve never had so much fun marking 30 pieces of coursework before. We’re certainly planning to invite him back for a third year.
Teignmouth Community College
Dave Smith was excellent! He really inspired the group and made them think; he also filled them with optimism and enthusiasm. A brilliant achievement! Well done and thanks!
Head of Learning Support
Tabor Science College
In the last twelve years, I've visited over six hundred schools, talking to students about humour writing, and passing on useful and useable techniques for their own creative writing.
Not only are they interested, they are also able to relate to someone who has made a living from being funny, as opposed to a 'heavyweight' novelist. Writing and enjoyment are not mutually exclusive!
The students are given the opportunity to write something using the techniques we've discussed, which helps them overcome the 'fear of the blank page'. They quickly learn that creative writing is not beyond them - you don't have to be a novelist to be a great writer!
At the end of the sessions, students have written work they can be proud of, and there is always an enthusiastic response from both students and teachers.
My workshops are for all age groups of varying ability and I have visited schools of every kind, including huge comprehensives, academies, small grammar schools, referral units and private schools.
I have 24 years’ experience in public speaking and I am now enjoying being able to pass on to young people the experience and skills I have gained.
Once I’ve made them laugh, and they feel relaxed, confident and associate speaking with having a good time, I then move on to analysing what I have said and how it's been delivered - body-language, eye-contact are also essential to an engaging speech.
Beginning with baby steps, I get the students to move from speaking for a few moments to delivering a longer, more considered piece. The transition in a short space of time is incredible; from being closed off and not really wanting to do it, to standing and delivering a personal, entertaining and well thought out monologue.
Having a voice and being able to use it, fills people with confidence and self-worth.
Speaking out in front of people and expressing oneself in an articulate way is an invaluable skill. In a challenging world, being able to give a good account of oneself is key, whether it is at a job interview, a presentation, or simply meeting new people at a party.
I have built up many long standing relationships with teaching staff over the years who invite me back year after year to work with new groups of students.
After 22 years on stage and at the keyboard, I am now inspiring young people to have a go, to express themselves, to grasp new opportunities and to create new ones.
I am still amazed at where writing has taken me: from writing bullet-proof one-liners to perform in front of rowdy comedy club crowds, to composing well-crafted and considered opinion pieces for Radio 4 listeners; from Montreal to Hong Kong, from Dublin to Rome, no-one is more surprised than me.
By making bold choices and stepping way out of my comfort zone, I have created a career for myself which is extremely rewarding in many ways.
Doing something that you are good at, and that you enjoy, is really important. In a marketplace where adaptability is everything, I am living proof that there is a place for using and developing the skills you already have, to build an enjoyable and meaningful career.
Being creative and embracing an entrepreneurial frame of mind is key, as is taking risks and trying new experiences.
The message in my presentation is to encourage young people to be brave and have a go, because you never know where it will lead. The idea is to leave the students fired up with a sense of optimism and hope, and of course, have a laugh.