My most recent client was Craneware. Craneware is a:

…leading supplier of business intelligence and revenue cycle software that provides clients with chargemaster management software and products designed to optimize legitimate reimbursements and assist in managing the revenue cycle through better information, workflow, pricing strategy, capture of lost revenue and best practice modeling.

I barely know what this means, and this is after 3 conference calls, some study and spending a day with them. (Ok, so I’m teasing….they sell software solutions to hospitals and medical providers.)

Imagine this for a tough audience:    A group that as been HAMMERED with content and powerpoint for two days.  They know they will be working into the night — if you count the teamwork exercise and the company dinner.      Then imagine that they know there is a speaker at 2 pm  (nap time!) but they haven’t been told that the speaker will be fun, professional, or (gasp!) funny.   All they know is that they have to show up.  

Tough crowd.  But seeing them start at a DEAD stop and then move forward until — at the end of the keynote — that room was buzzing with energy and laughter was worth the trip to Arizona. (Ok, the check was nice too.) But we had a great time in Phoenix, Arizona.

 

Thanks Craneware.  If you’re looking for a motivational business speaker to pick up your troops at any time of the day…. even nap time…. I’d love to be your guy.

Brad

Many of my pals have reported that just hanging out downtown and near the Pepsi Center has lead to a ton of cool and funny stuff to see and laugh at.  My dad did just that and wrote me this funny email.  

This week, I’m glad I live in Colorado. My Dad’s letter follows:

For those of you who decided to leave town for the DNC, you missed a fine time in Downtown Denver yesterday (Sunday). Nancy and I rode our bikes to the Art Museum for a look-see, then had a salad on the museum patio, watching ex-Governor Romer, the Mayors of Newark, Denver, and lord-knows-where-else talk about education. Big crowd, reporters and big men in black suits. I asked one of the suits if he was “security”. No, sir, he said. I wondered why so many in black suits, to which he replied, “There are mayors here from all over the country.” Oh, I said, and you are here to keep them safe?” “Yes,” he said.

Then we walked our bikes through Civic Center Park, jammed with vendors, people, including Am. Indians doing a dance, and a couple of kids holding a sign that said they were “Pro-Protests.” I said, “me too,” and they laughed.

The atmosphere was festive, and though we saw no parade, it felt like a parade and who doesn’t like those?

We wondered how we’d cross 15th street, heading for the 16th street mall, but as luck would have it there were several hundred people, some with bull horns, protesting the war right in the middle of the street, blocking both lanes. Horns honking, but no one really angry, and we managed to walk across the usually busy street with no problem, just in time to see a phalanx of battle rigged police heading for the crowd. They had no shields, but all manner of weapons, some of which I’d never seen before. All were holstered, and I saw only one tommy gun. The crowd quickly and quietly dispersed, and we continued to 16th street–just in time to avoid about 15 mounted police trotting down the way.

The police who dispersed the crowd, then walked back towards us and got into vans (red, white, black) with dark glass windows and drove off. There were also a couple of other vans(?) which had running boards on the sides and in the rear, on which about 10 policemen were hanging, ready, I suppose, to charge any big-disturbance. I’ve never see so many police in one spot before. My guess is that they were all pumped with adrenaline, but everything was peaceful.

On the 16th street mall, we saw several men on bikes wearing shirts saying, “Medic”. One told us they were ready to treat most anything from diabetes to heat stroke.

Nancy’s neighbor works downtown and will try to keep his law firm going during the convention. The firm was visited by Secret Service (or somesuchfolk) and told that there would be strict requirements for going in and out of the building, that snipers would be on the roof, and to report to them anything and anyone which looked like it (or they) didn’t belong there.

By the way, we heard a black suit at the art museum tell his guards that if anyone even looked like they had a big purse or backpack to send up a flare.

Although we intended to see the museum, have lunch, and take only a quick look, we stayed all afternoon. Great fun. Bikes were the way to do it.

Hope it stays calm.

Dad

One of my best pals just received a Psy.D. Congrations Doctor! She wanted a new email address to reflect here new psychologist expertise. She had a brilliant idea: she asked her pals to help brainstorm clever, funny email addresses. The results are hilarious and clever (note how they use both the before the “@” and after the “@”.

My pal chose the winners:
[email protected]
[email protected]
shrink-rap.com

Other killer ideas:

[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected] (police code for crazy people)

[email protected]gotskillz.com
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]

[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]&Cop.com (My pal is married to a cop.)
[email protected]&Cop.com

So. Here’s my question: next time you pick an email, can you add a bit of humor to your email address? Can you be clever?

If you had no rules at your work, (hey! you gotta dream!) what’s your best ideal email address?

Do you think you boss would go for it?

Comment!

The military Uncle Sam that is!

I’m not gonna get into whether or not the current war is a great idea or not. But, one thing is certain: our men and women in the military are worthy of the utmost respect. They sacrifice a lot for their families — and us — and place themselves (often) in harm’s way for our country’s freedom. In a time of economic disparity and political uncertainties for our military, I cannot think of an audience who needs a bit of a “humor reminder” more than military audiences.

Here’s a photo of me working on stage in front of an Air Force audience doing an audience participation bit with an officer. We all really had a lot of fun doing this interactive session and I hope to be able to join them another time to help lighten things up again.

I’ve spoken to several military audiences— and I love them. I’ve been able to share humor with them, understand their lives a little better and become educated as well. These folks work hard at a job that couldn’t be more serious. You might think that military audiences are harder for humorists like me. Not so. They are actually one of my most favorite audiences to speak to. They are appreciative and responsive. And best of all, they need what I have to offer. (And don’t we all feel good when what we do is not only appreciated but needed?)

Have you ever had to address a difficult audience? How did you do it? Or, have you ever been the difficult audience? What did you think of the speaker?

Can you guess what my least favorite audience is? Comment away!

If you write the funniest caption for this photo, you can win a free copy of my book:
Humor Us: America’s Funniest Humorists On the Power of Laughter

Leave your submission below in the comment field, and if you’re one of the top two chosen submissions, we’ll send you a book. (Humor Me: America’s Funniest Humorists On the Power of Laughter.) (You’ll get the electronic version of the book.)

Here are some caption ideas submitted by other readers to help get your creative juices going. Have fun!

– – All we need are 132 gallons of ice cream, a bucket of chocolate, and 1339 cherries and it’s Banana Splits for the whole neighborhood!

– – What I’d give for a steak!

– – Potassium? Not a problem.

– – Whadda YOU looking at?

Submit your captions below as a comment.

Why is this caption writing relevant to you? Caption writing is a great exercise to loosen up your creativity skills. I’ve done this at the beginning of meetings with a few different photos and the result is a fun, relaxing, team-building exercise. Remember the rules: there is no such thing as a bad caption or idea. Write them all down, and celebrate the VOLUME of captions more than the QUALITY.

Need to kick start a meeting? Try this exercise and see the energy and creativity get a boost even before you start.

Learn more about my work as a motivational keynote speaker here.

Cheers,

Brad Montgomery
Motivational Keynote Speaker, Humorist, Caption Writer,

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