I just got back from Washington DC where I was a humorist / motivational speaker for the huge Northrop Grumman.

They were having a leadership conference for a bunch of their hand-picked middle and upper managers and wanted to make sure that their conference was a positive experience. Way positive.

It was a total blast… and in many ways this client used me in a way that I wish more corporate clients would use me; Northrop Grumman used me to make sure their investment in this corporate convention was a success.

Here’s my confession: years ago, when I first started working this comedian/motivational speaker thing, I used to question the value of making a corporate group laugh. (Which was in many ways all I thought I was doing.)

But through experience (tons of experience), I see that folks crave a break from their stressful lives. And during conventions where there is a TON of high-content learning, having an outsider come in to poke fun at their problems, their stresses, and then give them a bit of perspective on how to lighten is a lot more than a luxury…. it’s nearly a necessity. Folks just plain cannot take in all that learning. And considering the incredible investment these groups make to bring their people in from all over the country, put them up, take them out of the work force, feed them….and on and on… bringing in a humorist motivational speaker is a bit of insurance that they won’t overload.

Well…. in any case…. I had a blast with Northrup Grumman.

And if you check out this video of the meeting planner (a wonderful woman named L. Cassidy) it seems that I wasn’t alone.

Learn more about what I spoke about here.

Thanks Northrup Grumman!

Brad Montgomery
Humorist Speaker, Motivational Comedian Speaker, Fan of Washington DC!

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I got a hoot out of this blog post about sick day calendars.
Although I think this is funny, but it’s also a bit sad. To me the basic premise of these types of jokes is sad: that we hate our jobs so much we need to create lies to stay out of work. My goal is — and I’m convinced all of our goals — should be to have a job that we ENJOY enough to want to go to.

I don’t want to hate my job. And who would? Your choices are simple: either get a job that you like, or find a way to like your job. Need some help? Check out my motivational seminars and speeches.

But in the meantime, check out this blog post:

jobacle.com – BLOG – Official 2007 Sick Day Calendar
Easter: It can’t be “Good” Friday if you have to punch in. Plus, you need to recharge and resurrect your career. Call in sick on Friday, April 6. Those chocolate bunnies also gave you a tummyache. Take an extra day to find missing eggs and digest that lamb on Monday, April 9.

Memorial Day: Use the official start of summer to plan how you’ll call in sick for the next three months. By taking Friday, May 25 and Tuesday, May 29 off, you’ll show your boss that this summer, you’re using ALL of your days.

Independence Day: It’s a holiday based around independence. Show your employer that you’re a true individual by giving yourself Thursday, July 5. A necessary day to recover from BBQ overload.

Funny Stuff. But I still think you wanna find a way to like your job.

Cheers,

Brad Montgomery
Motivational Speaker, Humorist, Guy Who Loves His Job

But not the way you think.

I was lucky to recently spend some time in Mexico with my family. One of my absolute highlights of a killer fun trip was doing magic for some kids. Ok, one kid actually.

At one point I did some simple magic tricks for some kids. My daughter — the blondie in the picture — and two Mexican kids, one of whom was fairly well off, and the one who lived in a shack. (Seriously, I saw it… it was a shack. No plumbing, no door, hardly any space, and in the middle of what looked like a trashed out lot.)

Well, all three kids seemed to dig the magic tricks… it was one of those cool days where it is fun to be a magician. But there was something especially fun about working for this underprivileged little kid. I know for a fact that she doesn’t have a TV — so it isn’t like she has been seeing a ton of magician David Blaine or David Copperfield. And — ok I’m guessing — but I’m pretty sure she wasn’t at any of her little friend’s birthday parties where they bring in a professional magician. In other words, I was one of the very few magicians this 5 or 6 year old kid had ever seen. Perhaps the only magician.

It was really cool. Sure, I love doing magic. And sure, I love doing it for kids. But doing some tricks for a kid who clearly was seeing something she perceived as special was a total blast.

But it also made me wonder how we as entertainers (and magicians in particular) are ever going to impress anybody in that same to-the-core way as the world becomes more technological, more youtube’d, and more connected in general. When anybody can order up any entertainment they want, are they still going to be impressed with (even the coolest) magic tricks? Or the most qualified magicians?

What do you think? Leave a comment!

Check out my work as a magician motivational speaker here.

Brad Montgomery
Magician, Magician Speaker, And Fan of Mexican Kids

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What DO they mean?

Nothing. Zippo. Nada. But they cracked me up. And sometime I think it’s ok to laugh without any greater, deeper hidden wisdom. Don’t you?

Yahoo! News Photo
Roto-Rooter’s ‘Pimped Out John’ in an undated handout photo. Roto-Rooter says its ‘Pimped Out John’ is designed to ‘fulfill all your wildest bathroom dreams’. Special features include an iPod music player and speakers, an Xbox video game console, a refrigerator filled with drinks and snacks and a cycling exercise machine.


What this person was thinking when they dressed up their dog I’ll never know. But still, it made me laugh.

Check out professional motivational speeches and seminars here.

Brad Montgomery
Motivational Keynote Humorist Speaker, Humor Consultant, Fan of Crazy Photos

This is so sad. You might have read that comedian Rechard Jeni shot himself. One of the funniest people in the country couldn’t deal with whatever he was facing and ended it all for himself.

In my seminars and keynotes, I frequently have audiences who miss the crucial difference between the need to be funny (which I’m convinced is … for most of us… not important) and the need to have a sense of humor and be able to laugh at life. I don’t teach how to be funny; I teach how to enjoy the funny and how to take ourselves less seriously.

Ok, so the point is that there is a crucial difference between the two. Need proof? Check out this story on Jeni. I don’t know him, and I have no idea what sort of pains he was dealing with. But I do know that he was (apparently) unable to take his troubles and lightly enough to see a healthy way out of his troubles.

I’m so sad…. Do yourself a favor and go find something about which to laugh.

Here’s a photo of Jeni with his friend Chris Rock.

Comedian dead in apparent suicide – CNN.com
LOS ANGELES, California (AP) — Richard Jeni, a standup comedian who played to sold-out crowds, was a regular on the “Tonight Show” and appeared in movies, died of a gunshot wound in an apparent suicide, police said Sunday.

Jeni died at a nearby hospital.

Jeni regularly toured the country with a standup act and had starred in several HBO comedy specials, most recently “A Big Steaming Pile of Me” during the 2005-06 season.

What a sad and total waste.

Learn about my funny motivational keynotes here.

Brad Montgomery
Comedian, Speaker on our Sense of Humor, Fan of Richard Jeni

Why do beer companies always make the funniest beer ads? Budweiser ads make me laugh; Kleenex ads leave me cold.

The difference? Humor of course.

My question: Why don’t the other industries take a hint from that laughter and punch up the funnies?

Check out my motivational speakers headquarters here.

Brad Montgomery
Humorist Speaker, Motivational Speaker, Fan of Beer Commercials

In this podcast episode we return to a visit with Minnesota motivational speaker Mark Sharenbroich.

Mark tells us the story about when he stopped an old man in Illinois for directions, he asked the man, “How long will it take to get there.” The man answered that, “It’s 91 miles, but how long it takes is up to you.”

Simple wisdom, almost cliche’. But Mark reminds us how this simple story applies to our lives. We have what it takes… it is up to us to decide if and how we get there. I love it… Mark is such a great story teller, and this story is a gem.

Mark also reminds us that motivation is not just goal setting, focus, and decisions. (In fact, in a cool moment Mark pretty much summarizes most motivational speakers on the market today.) The bulk of success is just plain hard work. Are you willing to do do what it takes to make stuff happen?

Sure, you need to know where you are going, and you need tot know how to get there. But in the end, it is up to you to decide if and how you get there. As the old man told Mark, “How long it takes is up to you.”

Mark is a good friend, a great teacher, and an awesome story teller. You’ll love this podcast recording. Besides… it’s free! :)

Check out my work as a motivational speaker here.

Brad Montgomery
Motivational keynote speaker, humor consultant, fan of Mark Sharenbroich

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What does Sponge Square Pants have to do with keeping your sense of humor (and your sanity) in the military?

If you ask Merry from Florida’s Hurlburt Air Force Base, the answer is quite a bit. In this first of a series of three podcasts featuring Merry, she talks about specific ideas, rituals and techniques she has personally used to create humor in the workplace. My favorite aspect of these podcasts is that they speak to the criticism that some workplaces cannot use humor, make jokes, or generally purposefully create laughter because THEIR office is too serious, too professional, too whatever.

If you think that what you and your office does is too important and serious and that you need to be avoid embracing humor and laughter in order to preserve your job and your professionalism… then this is for you.

Merry is the leader of the humor team for a bunch of contracting professionals on an Air Force base during a time of war. They arrange for everything from water to guns to bullets to planes in order to keep the base and their war fighters going. It’s a job of tedious and crucial details, hi stress, and huge results… it’s a “job that counts.” Yet they do their very best to use humor to improve their people,their productivity and their morale. You think you have a serious job? Hmmph.

In this particular podcast Merry talks about two related rituals they have in the office… one of which revolves around a Sponge Bob flyer — a whistling Frisbee sort of toy — and a “Golden Shovel.” The short story is this: when people do something good, they “earn” the Sponge Bob flyer. It goes sailing and whistling over the cubicles to the winner for something they did right. Maybe they did a good job on a contract, solved a problem… anything good. And it lives on their desk as a trophy until the next person earns it. The result is that people WANT the Frisbee, and will work to earn it. And when the Frisbee changes (temporary) owners it creates a break, an “atta-boy,” and generally a sense of fun and accomplishment. Do you think you can say “thank you” enough? Me neither. And isn’t this a great and fun way to do just that?

The opposite of the Sponge Bob Frisbee is the Golden Shovel. This special shovel is passed around the same way as Sponge Bob (though I assume it is actually passed… not thrown) to people who have done something dumb, made a mistake, or generally goofed up.

The result of the shovel is the similar… people work hard to avoid earning this thing, and in fact help each other avoid earning it by checking each other’s work, etc. One of the funny things is that once one person has got the shovel, the whole office bands together to make sure that owner keeps it as long as possible. They will help each other and generally conspire to keep mistakes and goofs to a minimum to assure that the shovel stays where it is.

Can you think of a better way to:
• Decrease the amount of mistakes?
• Create office teamwork?
• Acknowledge mistakes without berating the people who make them?

And again, this is all done on a military base, while we are at war, and doing a difficult job. Cool!

My point: If Merry and her crew can use humor and laughter (and related rituals) to fight stress, raise morale and teamwork, and increase productivity and success, don’t you think you can too? Merry invites you to steal her ideas. Why don’t you? And for more ideas for incorporating more humor in the workplace, bring in a pro speaker to talk about this cool concept. Oh, now there is a good idea.

Check out my humor in the workplace seminars and keynotes here.

Brad Montgomery
Expert on Humor in the Military, Motivational Keynote Speaker, Fan of Hurburt Air Force Base

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images: milestone-coat.jpg misers.jpg I was recently in Miami, Florida doing my funny motivational speaker humorist thing. (I gotta think of a better name than that!) The company was a group called Milestone Systems and the event couldn’t have been more fun.

Milestone is a video surveillance company… I admit that I don’t totally understand what they do but I can tell you that the build the software that some of our largest companies in the world use to operate their surveillance.

The event was a blast…. My favorite part was seeing the audience — who was exhausted, totally over worked, and even a tiny bit …. er… more tired due to an open bar and wine bottles on all of the tables — go from a dead stop to a Full Monty, No Holds Barred Awesome Audience.
They had a professional photographer there in Miami and he sent me these fun photos of the magician – portion of the speech. Check out the coins in the air…. this guy was good.

Cheers!

Come on! Hire me to be a hilarous motivational speaker at your corporate event or association convention!

Brad Montgomery
Florida Motivational Speaker, Humorist, Fan of Milestone

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