Comedic timing is hard for me to measure. I always pause for laughter, but how long is long enough?

One time, while I was telling a story, I paused for laughter. The laugh was bigger than I thought it would be, which caught me off guard. My mind went blank! For the next few seconds, I struggled to remember the next line. Then the second wave of laughter came, and it was even bigger than the first one.

Not everybody gets your joke at the same time. That’s why pauses are important. When you tell jokes back to back, you still need to wait, but you don’t want to wait for too long, either.

Pausing for laughter is like surfing. We need to understand, feel, and ride the wave.