One of the best pieces of advice I have ever received on communicating came from comedian Jeff Foxworthy.  I asked Jeff, “How do you know if a joke is going to work in front of an audience?”

I needed to know so I could avoid the painfully awkward silence of bombing.

His advice was gold.

“If a joke works in your living room, it will work everywhere else.”

In other words, try out your joke in front of one or two people.  If they laugh, then chances are, everyone else will.

It’s amazing how accurate this is.

Whenever I’m doubt the delivery of a joke or a story, I share it with my wife and a few members of my team. If they laugh, it’s solid. If they don’t, I pull back.

This is a way to prototype your talk.  Build the joke or story, test it out with a few people and see if it works.

Prototyping isn’t limited to joke-telling, though. ** It is a fantastic way to test your new product, initiative or service, and see if it solves the problem from the Understand stage in the Launch Sequence.**

Far too often, launchers build ideas first and then they go looking for the problem.  Instead, let the problem—not the idea—drive you.

Is this a solution to the problem you defined in the Understand stage?

If you are a start-up, prototyping your idea will look different from a Fortune 500 company.  But the idea is the same: How can you create a low-cost, low-risk test to see if your idea is a viable solution?

We want to hear from you! How are you prototyping your current idea, and what questions do you have? Let us know in the comments and then listen to The MNTR Podcast to hear if we answer them!