How To Host An Online Comedy Open Mic

Best Biz Practices for Comics

Planning a comedy open mic requires careful attention to detail and effective organization to ensure a smooth and successful event. Here's a comprehensive guide for comedians on how to plan an online comedy open mic:




1. Define Your Goals: Start by clarifying the objectives of your open mic night. Are you aiming to provide a platform for aspiring comedians to perform, build a community, or receive peer-to-peer feedback? Understanding your goals will guide your planning process.


2. Know Your Platform: Being familiar with your online platform (Plauzzable) is crucial to the success of your open mic. Take the time to understand how to bring guests to and from the virtual stage, how to troubleshoot any audio/video issues quickly, and understand the experience from a guest’s perspective. Attend other events on the platform and run tech rehearsals in advance of your own event. 

     Review your resources

  •      Tutorial videos (for comics and for fans)
  •      FAQ
  •      Plauzzable 101 sessions (see show listings for dates/times)
  •      Attend someone else’s open mic (read our blog post on this
  •      Read our blog post on how to run an effective tech rehearsal
  • 3. Set a Date and Time: Choose a date and time for your open mic that works well for your target audience and fits within your schedule. Select a date and time that you can make consistently. Consistency is KEY. People are more likely to remember your open mic if the dates and times are consistent. Avoid scheduling the event on holidays or conflicting with other popular events to maximize attendance. 
  • 4. Promote Your Event: Effective promotion is key to attracting comedians and fans to your open mic night. Utilize social media platforms, email newsletters, and word-of-mouth to spread the word. Highlight the unique features of your event and encourage comedians to sign up in advance. Mention the convenience of your mic, the friendliness of your regulars, the amount of time each comedian gets on the virtual stage, etc. Whatever it is that sets you apart from the rest - share that! Every promotion should include the date, time, link, and details that comics will need to know. Of course, we have a blog post about promoting your comedy event!
  • 5. Establish Sign-Up Procedures: Determine how comedians will sign up to perform at your open mic. Most comics on Plauzzable use a first-come, first-served approach on the day of the event, or you can easily implement a lottery system for fairness. Clearly communicate the sign-up process and any applicable guidelines to interested performers. You can share this information in the show listing description when you create your event on Plauzzable.
  • 6. Set Performance Guidelines: Establish clear guidelines for performers regarding set length, content restrictions, and stage etiquette. Communicate these guidelines at the beginning of your open mic to ensure that all participants are aware of the expectations. Emphasize the importance of respecting fellow performers and the audience. Let everyone know how you will “light” them and when (i.e. 1 minute or 2 minute light) and if they need to look for a signal from you or listen for an alarm. 
  • 7. Technical Rehearsal / Sound/Audio Check: Before your open mic, run a tech rehearsal with a friend to check all of your audiovisual equipment, such as microphones, speakers, and lighting, and if something isn’t working right seek technical support. Testing your equipment before the event to ensure everything is in working order and troubleshooting any potential issues is critical. Be sure to log into your event 15 minutes prior to start time and do an audio/video check before your guests arrive. You know this must be an important point; we also mentioned tech rehearsals earlier. Read our blog post on how to run an effective tech rehearsal.
  • 8. Prepare for Hosting Duties: If you'll be hosting the open mic yourself, take time to prepare your material and familiarize yourself with the flow of the event. Practice your hosting skills, including introducing performers, engaging the audience, and keeping the energy high throughout the night. Read more about fostering a positive atmosphere in our blog.
  • 9. Create a Run-of-Show: Develop a detailed schedule or run-of-show outlining the order of performances, intermissions, and any additional activities or announcements. Share the run-of-show with your team and performers to ensure everyone is on the same page at the beginning of your event.
  • 10. Stay Flexible: Despite careful planning, unexpected challenges may arise during your open mic night. Stay flexible and adaptable, and be prepared to make quick decisions to address any issues that arise. Maintain a positive attitude and focus on providing a memorable experience for performers and audience members alike. This is especially important when online as not every guest has taken the time to check their technology in advance. Have a plan on how to address these issues. 

Proper planning will help comedians attract fellow comedians and fans to their online open mics. Great hosting will keep people coming back. Here’s how…



1. Greet Your Guests: Logging in to a virtual room can be intimidating for a lot of people, especially if they’ve never used the platform before. Open your virtually room prior to showtime (Plauzzable rooms can be opened up to 15 minutes in advance). This allows guests ample time to check their audio/video connections and get settled in. Welcome your guests with a friendly hello and let them know they’re in the right place. Pay attention to them and offer assistance if you see them struggling with the tech. 


2. Take Care of Housekeeping: Before the show officially begins, take a few minutes to make announcements such as how and when to use the chat box and sound emojis. Quickly review how to mute/unmute, turn camera on/off, and use the settings to change backgrounds. Let everyone know how to properly leave a show (by clicking the hang up icon in the bottom toolbar) so they can rate/review performers at the end of the show. If they or the hosts clicks “log out”, the platform will shut down (hence the term “log out”) and the rate and review feature cannot deploy.

3. Warm Up the Crowd: As the host, your first task is to set the tone for the evening. Welcome the audience warmly, engage them in some light banter, and get them excited for the performances ahead. A relaxed and receptive audience can make all the difference.

4. Establish Ground Rules: Before the performances begin, it's essential to outline the rules and expectations for both performers and audience members. This could include guidelines on time limits for sets, respectful behavior, and how to sign up for the open mic.

5. Keep the Energy High: Throughout the night, maintain an upbeat and energetic demeanor. Keep the transitions between acts smooth and lively, using humor to bridge any gaps or technical difficulties. Your enthusiasm will be contagious and help keep everyone engaged.

6. Encourage Diversity: Open mic nights often attract a wide range of comedians with varying levels of experience and styles. Encourage diversity in acts and support all performers, regardless of their background or comedic approach. This inclusivity will create a supportive and welcoming atmosphere for everyone involved.

7. Manage Time Effectively: Time management is crucial for ensuring that all performers have an opportunity to showcase their talent. Stick to the scheduled start and end times, and enforce the predetermined time limits for each set. Politely signal (light) performers when their time is almost up to ensure a smooth transition to the next act.

8. Handle Hecklers Gracefully: Dealing with hecklers is an inevitable part of hosting live events, especially in comedy. When faced with disruptive audience members, handle the situation with grace and humor. Use quick-witted responses to diffuse tension and regain control of the room, without resorting to hostility or aggression. 

If the situation escalates and is not able to be resolved, the host may use the “Remove from show” option. Watch this tutorial to learn how. Once removed, this person will not be able to return to the show.

9. Provide Constructive Feedback (optional): If you are offering an open mic with feedback, you may offer brief feedback and words of encouragement to the comedians after each performance. Highlight what worked well and offer constructive criticism to help them improve their craft. Creating a supportive feedback loop will foster growth and camaraderie within the comedy community. 

10. Promote Camaraderie: Hosting an open mic is not just about showcasing individual talent; it's also about building a sense of community among comedians. Encourage camaraderie and networking by fostering connections between performers, audience members, and fellow comedians. This sense of belonging will keep people coming back to your open mic night. As you welcome guests into the room, make introductions to newbies or those who haven’t met before. This is also an opportunity to show your support and promote shows or mics your guest comics produce.


11. Stay Flexible: Hey, we mentioned this earlier, too. It’s that important! No two open mic nights are the same, so be prepared to adapt to unexpected situations and changes in the lineup. Maintain a flexible attitude and be ready to improvise as needed to keep the show running smoothly.

12. Have Fun: Above all, remember to enjoy yourself! Hosting an open mic night is a unique opportunity to connect with fellow comedians and entertain audiences. Embrace the spontaneity and humor of the moment, and your enthusiasm will shine through, making for a memorable experience for everyone involved.


By following these steps, comedians can effectively plan and execute a successful open mic night that showcases talent, fosters community, and entertains audiences. With careful preparation and attention to detail, your open mic can become a beloved fixture in the online comedy scene.

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