As an aspiring stand up comedian before you even begin to worry about refining your on-stage performance, you need to concentrate on having good quality, funny material. Since you can never have too much material, you should be always on the look out for ideas for your routine. You’ve probably already discovered that there is a big difference between cracking the odd jokes to family and friends and the pressure of getting on stage and pulling off a polished, timed comedy performance.
So where do you start when it comes to writing your own material? Successful comedians tend to use their own life experiences and observations, so my advice would be to always stick to what you know. Not only will this make writing easier, but if you do write material from your own interests and experiences, the audience will sense the personal connection and it makes your comedy more relatable. So, look at your own lifestyle and interests and you’ll begin to see topics you can use for your comedy material. For example, if you are still living at home, situations that arise from sharing living space and your relationship with extended family could be a source. If you have just got married, there will probably be plenty of situations in your new relationship/lifestyle that can give rise to ideas for material for your stand up routine. Observations from the workplace, visits to the gym, people watching at the coffee shop, a trip to the market, attending a football game, the list goes on.
If you are a little bit more edgy in your material, you may want to feature current events in your routine. In that case, make sure you keep up to date with current affairs and review your content regularly to ensure it is not out of date and irrelevant. Also, remember that some current events can be considered controversial or uninteresting to some, so be ready for the reaction this type of comedy material might attract.
Note down any ideas that come to mind during your daily life and come back to them when you are writing. Hopefully those ideas/observations can be expanded into comedy material for your routine.