Guess who teaches speakers how to be better speakers? Well, in the case of some very cool and very kind speakers in Northern California, it will be me. (I’ll be speaking to the Northern California Chapter of the National Speakers Association.)

This should be a blast. I’ll be doing my program Got Mirth? Milking Your program for all the Humor it is Worth.

Its a fun program I don’t get to do enough… I use this program to teach other presenters.. both professional and part-time, how to make their programs more humorous.

I love working with professional speakers. It’s a blast to get them laughing and then pull back the curtain on the techniques that made them laugh just minutes earlier.

It’s fun to teach others to be more funny; it’s fun to teach humor techniques; and to be honest it is always good for me to do this program as I always learn things myself. When you are explaining humor techniques to others, those techiques become more clear in your own mind.

But the best part of teaching other professional speakers? Hanging out with other speakers. These are my good friends and pals, and it is always great to laugh with folks who share such a bizarre — and wonderful — job.

Check out my work as a professional speaker and humorist here.

I just found this photo! A few years ago I was visiting China with my wife and ended up doing some simple coin tricks to some folks in a pretty small village.

Who was most amazed? Me! I had forgotten how powerful and fun magic tricks can be; it was an awesome reminder of how this thing — magic — is a skill that I know often take for granted. But I’m an idiot… it’s cool being a magician.

I blogged about this earlier… check out a different photo of me as a magician in China.

china magician

Click here to see what I provide as a corporate magician and comedian.

A little embarrasing. A little cool.

I graduated from Brown University in 1988, and their alumni magazine flattered me with this cool write up. (The truth is that I have a pal… Carrie Printz to thank… she wrote and pitched the article.)

Going to an Ivy League school and ending up a magician? Gotta admit that it took my folks a while to wrap their minds around this concept. But they were cool, and things turned out pretty good (If I do so myself.)

I was just talking to a client who was wanted to know about how speakers charge. What are our rates? Our speaker fees?

I found myself giving her a short course in Why Motivational Speakers Don’t Charge By the Hour, and thought you might be interested too.

She asked, “For an Hour? It’s just an hour.”

Well, yeah. But when you engage a professional motivational speaker or humorist, you are not really paying for that hour.

When I, as a speaker, take on a client, I have to prepare myself, learn all about the client, get to the location of the program (which is often takes a large portion of a day) and put myself in a clean shirt. (Which doesn’t take much time at all… :)

So whether you want me to speak for 15 minutes (I’ve done that!) or 3.5 hours in a seminar format, (done that too) I’ve already had to do the hard part: prepare, travel, etc.

In other words, the actual time on the platform isn’t the hardest part.

But the biggest reason why we don’t adjust our speakers’ rates or fees drastically based on the time on the platform is because once we agree to work for you and your meeting or convention, we cannot work elsewhere. We cannot sell that day to anybody else. You’re buying our day…

Finally, there is a whole different way of looking at it. It comes from a joke.

A plumber came in to a house, banged his hammer on a pipe and fixed a problem for a home owner. He charged $150.

“$150 for banging the pipe with your hammer?!”

“No… The banging of the hammer was free. I charge $150 to know WHERE to bang the hammer.”

I’ve been a magician, comedian, and motivational speaker for years. I mean YEARS. I’ve been in front of audiences since high school when I did street magic for tips on the streets of Boulder, Colorado. When you hire me, you aren’t really paying me for that hour. What you are paying for is for a speaker/corporate entertainer who has had a lifetime of experience in order to be ready for you and your needs.

“The joke telling is free. I charge to know where, how, and when to tell those jokes just right.”

(And while I’m there… I’ll hammer on stuff for free. :) )

Read more about motivational speakers rates and fees here.

Ok, I travel a lot for my job as a motivational speaker. I admit that I HATE O’Hare airport in Chicago, Illinois. But there is one exception… I love this tunnel between the B and C concourses. It has cool neon, music twinkles in the background, and it generally makes me happy.
twinkle tunnel in Chicago.

I love that they put this type of tunnel art in the public place. I think it shows a good sense of humor.

Besides… it makes me happy. And it makes me say, “How cool is that?!”

Illinois Motivational speaker and humorist.

Check out this excerpt from humorist John Kinde —‘s ezine. He is right on!

So when you’re delivering humor from the platform and you receive
negative feedback (maybe they don’t laugh or a heckler contributes
his or her opinion), don’t flinch. Don’t apologize. Don’t explain
the joke. Don’t assume you failed. Here is what may have happened
while you were speaking:

1. Your listeners might have been quiet Norwegians, like me,
laughing on the inside.

2. They may have been sleepy.

3. They might have been worrying about personal problems.

4. They may have been trying to think of a tactful way to give
their phone number to the attractive stranger sitting next to them.

5. They may have eaten the wrong combination of foods for lunch.

And here’s what they may have been thinking while listening to your

1. “I could do better.”

2. “I should have written that speech.”

3. “You remind me of my ex-spouse.”

4. “I dare you to make me laugh.”

5. “My life stinks.”

Get the picture? It probably isn’t about you. It’s normally about
their needs and shortcomings.

Great point, John. Nice job. (John is a Las Vegas Based Humorist and motivational speaker.)

Check out more humor techniques in my resources section.

Wanna see humor technique at work? Need a funny speaker?

Even spies need motivational speakers.

I got to deliver my motivational keynote speech to the CIA. But I can’t tell you about it.

(I‘m kidding… read about it here!)

I’m convinced that there is a huge and important difference between customized motivational speakers’ programs, and tailored programs.

You definitely do NOT want your motivational speaker or humorist to come into your event with a customized program.

(Unless you are a huge risk taker.)

Read about it here

I love this stuff! If my wife would let me, I’d have tons of this all over our house. (I once saw a hole in the “floor” that looked like you could see “into” a fish pond. Cool!)

It seems to me, that if you ran into something this cool on the way to work your whole day couldn’t but help to be better. I love it.
cool street painting What would you call this? Chalk Art? Public Optical Illusions? Whatever… I love it.

Looking for a speaker to add some humor to your day? Need a humor in the workplace speaker? Click here.