I often write in this blog about the importance, the motivation behind, and the reasons for humor in the workplace. But how — specifically — can you do it? How do you start?

Here’s a cool idea from a fun blog I think you’ll like.

My plan was to anonymously send a $40 floral arrangement to two unsuspecting employees every Monday morning… Attached to the flowers would be a note: “Don’t ever think your good efforts go unnoticed.” Signed: “From someone who cares.”Then do the same: Send someone in your organization an anonymous present. Flowers, candy, balloons, a cool gadget. Something fun, happy, cheap and positive.

Great idea. It could be something as simple as this. Or as affordable as just a hand-written note along the same path. Besides… it’s fun and funny.
Work CAN be fun… but only if you take responsibility for making it so yourself.

Brad Montgomery
Motivational Keynote Speaker, Humor at Work Consultant, Seminar Leader

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THURSDAYS WITH GRANNY

My grandmother, 97 year old Clarice Montgomery, is a sometimes
grumpy, sometimes childish, sometimes
mean but always lovable woman who is also
ALWAYS thrilled when I visit her in her nursing home.

When I get there for my irregular visits, she says without fail, “Oh
Brad! I was hoping you would come today.” And happily, she is
always willing to laugh at my jokes. (Well… nearly always.)

During my most recent visit I realized how smart she can be. Who
needs TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE? I’ve got Thursdays
with Granny. On this last visit it was a dreary,
yucky, clowdy wet day in my home town of Denver. It was one
of those depressing days that makes you want to stay home in
bed with a good novel. Ok, I’ll say it; the day sucked.

She and one of her aides told me about how earlier that day
they got their coats on, and went for a “roll” (Granny’s in a
wheel chair) outside in the weather. Yup, you heard that
right. My 97 year old matriarch went out to play in the rain.

I tried a joke. “Did you jump in the puddles?”

“Yes.” But it was clear that this wasn’t what she wanted to
tell me and that my humor was just in the way. She told me
about the smells, the sounds and the feeling of the air. “It
was wonderful, Brad. Just wonderful.” And by the dreamy
look in her eyes — something I’m NOT used to seeing from
this no-nonsense woman — it was clear that it WAS wonderful.

I felt like an idiot. I was rushing round doing errands, one of
which was visiting my granny. She was just another thing to
“check off” my list. I was having trouble enjoying the day; I was
having trouble being in the moment. And granny was waxing
poetic on a short trip into inclement weather.

Yup, Granny is pretty smart. But on that day she was brilliant.

Thanks Grandmother! Love you!

(Now I gotta go put on my galoshes.)
Brad Montgomery
Youngest Grandson of Clarice Montgomery

Or: Something Smells Fishy Around Here.

Ok, admit it. This would make your office workplace just a teensy bit more fun.

Can you imagine the buzz around the water cooler at work when this thing finds it’s way into the washroom down the hall? :)

Home renovators looking to bring life to the smallest room in their home now have the chance — with a toilet that doubles as an aquarium. The Fish ‘n Flush is a clear two-piece toilet tank that replaces a standard toilet tank, with a see-through aquarium wrapping itself around a conventional toilet tank.

Looking for some way to pick up your morale at work and add some humor to YOUR workplace, but don’t want to spring for the fishy-toilet? Check out my funny motivational speeches.

Flush!

Brad Montgomery
Motivational Keynotes and Seminars, Humor in the Workplace Consulting, Fish Fan

There is an interesting article today in Colorado’s daily paper about humor for presidential candidates. It stresses the importance of humor, as well as the danger of humor. Humor has both won and lost elections for folks.

“Humor is vital. It shows likability and deflects criticism and makes people feel comfortable,” said Liz Carpenter, former speechwriter for Lyndon John son while he was vice president and author of the book “Presidential Humor.”

But, as this article says, humor-gone-wrong had created some real problems for candidates. The good news is that there is a solid piece of advice that will keep you out of trouble AND keep the smiles on your audiences’ faces:

The Denver Post – Politicians work to win with laughs
That’s why when it comes to a politician trying to be funny, Katz – who worked as a humor writer for President Clinton – has three rules:

Be self-deprecating.

Repeat as necessary.

Be self-deprecating on behalf of others.

This is a good advice for presentations from speakers, executives, etc. If you stay away from the zingers — even the ones meant to be funny — the chances of being misunderstood are nearly eliminated.

Check out that article….It’s good.

Brad Montgomery
Humorist, Humor Coach, Teacher of Humor Skills
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Doug Stevenson is a very funny fellow, another Colorado speaker and keynoter, as well as a kick butt coach and teacher-of-speakers.

He’s also a friend. I was glad to see his new blog is up at dougstevenson.com. I was struck by the absolute truth in a recent post where Doug wrote about keeping our presentations simple.

I recently coached a fellow Colorado speaker who had a background in training. She is charming, talented, and smart. But I’m telling you, her keynote needed a bit of the Doug Stevenson approach… it needed some simplification.

She talked for 5 minutes when one minute would do. She talked for a long time when she didn’t need to. She just plain used too many words for no good reason. Doug wrote a great article… you should check it out. Thanks Doug!

Check out my speeches and programs here.
Brad Motivational Keynote Speaker, Colorado Speaker, Fan of Doug Stevenson

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I just got a great note from a wonderful ski school instructor. We had the great luck to have this woman teach our three kids this winter, an she sent this funny story of humor at work on the slope and with the instructors.

I heard a very funny story at an instructor meeting the other day. After several hot chocolate spills one very cold day, an instructor jokingly told his class that parents are charged $25 for each spill, then went off to get his class snacks. While he was gone, you guessed it, another spill. But it was all mopped up when he got back by the mess maker who used the inside of his own ski parka so mom and dad wouldn’t have to pay.

What a great story. My point? Eh…. for today isn’t is just enough to laugh?

Brad Montgomery
Motivational Keynote Speaker, Humorist, Corporate Comedian, Skier, Fan of Anna The Banana

I have a wonderful young man on staff, Mr. Seth Plattner who is an all-star writer and a recent graduate from New York University. He’s been doing some other work for me, but I wanted to post this first ever GUEST blog from Seth.

It’s a great article… This guy is gonna end up in the magazine world, I just know it. (If the magazine world can recognize a good thing, they’ll snatch them up.) Here is his post unedited:

———

My mother has always said the best way to learn is to fail. Although I tend to agree with her, I still don’t necessarily enjoy the process because, let’s face it, rejection sucks. Nevertheless I would be amiss if I didn’t take my own recent experience with failure and rejection and take something worthwhile from it. Here’s my deal: I’m 23, recently graduated and doing my best to infiltrate the professional world. How’s that gone you ask? Not so well. And seems like I’m not alone…

Having attended a top tier university that boasted high numbers of post-graduation employment I never really worried about life after college. I assumed my degree and college experience would be enough to get me into a decent paying job that put me on the path to career success. As it turns out, graduation rolled around and I–along with most of my friends–were freaking out. Where were the job offers? The security? The reassurance that the transition from college to professional life would be seamless? We had the great degrees and tons of experience, but none of us had actual jobs to speak of, and to say we were unsettled is an understatement.

What followed were some difficult months of applications, interviews, schmoozing and, ultimately, nothing. If I even got called back for an interview, my tracks generally ended there; why I don’t know. There were a few jobs I figured I’d be a shoe in for, which quickly shattered my ego and taught me to be prepared for the worst when applying for jobs. I had friends that took positions only because they needed something, anything, that would get them money and experience. They were miserable and, at time, trapped in jobs they hated. Trying to move on was proving futile. The class of 2006 had unfortunately landed in one of the toughest job markets in years and we were feeling it. We all of a sudden had to question, what exactly was going on here?

It took some time, but I finally realized this: It’s just the way it is. We can blame it on the job market, we can blame it on the employers for not recognizing our talents, we can even blame ourselves if it comes down to it. But I had to come to terms with the fact that this was real life and you don’t always get the job. Everyone stumbles, everyone falls, everyone takes a few blows here and there. I just had to accept that and use it as motivation to move on. OK, so it wasn’t going to be as easy as I, as we, thought. I could do one of two things: a) shut down, whine about it and get no where or b) shut up and do it.

The best thing I learned, and what I say to everyone out there who has gone through similar experience is JUST. KEEP. GOING. There will be days when you could care less and all you want to do it eat cookie dough and watch Family Feud. Fine. Take a day off and recharge. But make sure you get back out there asap and keep the ball rolling. Keeping that momentum is critical in ensuring your success on the job hunt. When you stop and sink into that depression that can get us all you’re just making it that much harder to pick up where you left off. And hey! Laugh about it! So you went in for that copy writer job, the one you thought you were perfect for–the one they SAID you were perfect for–and you didn’t get it. Laugh it off. Their loss, right? The world is a crazy place and if you can’t take the bad and make it humorous then you’re just going store up all that negative energy and it will devour you.

The next step? JUST. KEEP. GOING. It’s not always easy, but, as my mother always says, it will all be alright. Trust me. It may not seem like it for a while, but there’s nothing better than getting to that point when it is alright and realizing you almost worried yourself to death for nothing! Perseverance is the key here, and if I can do it so can you. Rejection is just part of life; so deal with it, learn from it, laugh at it and, finally, leave it.

-Seth Plattner, Guest Writer
Check out Brad’s keynotes about how to JUST. Keep. Going. here.

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One of my readers just bought me something frothy!

latte

He liked the blog and bought me a latte. I loved the gesture, loved the coffee, and loved the idea.

So we made up a button to make the whole thing easier. Here’s my thought: I tend to write at Starbucks or another coffee place near my office called Carino. I spend a bunch of time here writing… And I love coffee.

Larry, one of my readers, appreciated something I had to say recently so much he took the time to send me a cup of coffee. (Via Paypal.) It was a gesture that meant a bunch to me.

If you are so inclined, you can do it too by clicking the button button below. Thanks so much, it was delicious. (I’m not shy… and I love coffee.)

Use this button to treat me to a latte!

Use this button to treat me and my wife to a latte!



Thanks Larry! Love the idea! Thanks-a-Latte!

Cheers!

Brad Montgomery
Humorist, Public Professional Speaker, Coffee Drinker

I’m just back from a meeting of the Colorado Speaker Association. (The Colorado chapter of the National Speakers Association. It is a great group of terrific emerging and professional speakers, and the meetings are always great. But today was amazing.

We listened to small business consultant Mark LeBlanc talk to us about growing our business, professional speaker mark leblancand it was just terrific. He mentioned so many valuable things, but one of my major take-aways was that a huge key in business growth is to demonstrate and promote the RESULTS of what we offer in our business. Sure, we solve problems for our clients. Sure we satisfy needs for our clients, but in order to truly excel, we need to demonstrate what results we will create.

After his presentation, a few fellow Colorado speakers and I chatted about what ‘results’ we deliver to our clients. Would you like to hear mine? G you asked…

As a really funny motivational speaker I give an audiences a lift and a break from their lives; a 45 to 90 minute vacation from themselves, their jobs, their problems and even the convention. And the result of this humor break is that my audiences are ready to learn, ready to get back to work, and ready to bring a sense of lightness and joy to that convention, to their jobs, and to their lives.   (Gosh… that’s pretty deep for a comedian, huh?)

My clients have already invested a ton in the convention or meeting (with the expenses of travel, food, hotel, lost work, etc) with the goal of creating change.  In my estimation,  they cannot afford NOT to have their folks ready to learn and move forward.  They cannot afford not to get their people ready to learn, ready to move forward, and ready to adapt reasonable changes.
Those are the results I offer: I get convention, corporate and association audiences ready to work with a renewed sense of humor, perspective, and joy.

And you thought I was just a laugh out loud funny motivational speaker? Nope. Just ask Mark LeBlanc.

     My point:  Jokes asside, knowing and promoting your VALUE and RESULTS is an excellent idea, and the exercise was well worth the investment.
Thanks kids. Thanks Mark.

Check out how I can provide those RESULTS to you and your group here.

Brad Montgomery
Motivational Humorist, Creator of Joy, and Colorado – Based Speaker

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In this episode, I interview Peggy from the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority in Denver, Colorado. She was one of the originators of their employee recognition awards using a Garden Gnome and I wanted to get the inside scoop of this practice and it’s results.

The bottom line is that outstanding employees are given the Garden Gnome to put on their desks. And then the Gnome travels to other desks every couple of months.

The result is super positive, very fun, and very funny. Looking to add some humor to your workplace and don’t know where to start? Then you’ll love this podcast.

More about my work with humor and the workplace, seminars and keynote speeches here.

Cheers!

Read a more detailed write up of the garden gnome here.

Brad Montgomery
Motivational Humorist Speaker, Humor In the Workplace Consultant, Fan of Gnomes

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