Small Business RadioI was recently the guest of the Small Business Advisory radio network:  SBA Radio.  Very cool.  They wanted to learn about my Laugh-O-Nomics theory and how I — as a motivational speaker — connect humor, levity and lightheartedness to bottom line results.

I love being on the radio… it’s harder than it looks.  But it went well and I had a blast.  If you’re interested, you can hear what I did here.

Thanks SBA Radio!

Brad Montgomery
Small Business Radio Guest, Funny Motivational Speaker, Talk Show Groupie

PS. In something totally unrelated, I updated my main page about my magician & comedian offerings. Check it!  Or, interested in my corporate game show?  Got it updated too!

How To Be A Motivational Speaker Tips   Choosing a Topic

Here’s another one of my tips on how to be a motivational speaker. Today I talk about how to choose your topic. Questions? Leave them in a comment below and I’ll answer them in a video.

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How To Be a Motivational Speaker

Learn more about how to be a motivational speaker with my audio here.

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Prefer to read the text?

Hey, this is Brad Montgomery from BradMontgomery.com.  Alright, so here’s the continuing saga, “How to Be a Motivational Speaker.”  I promised you some tips, here comes another one.

One of the big questions I get all the time is what am I going to talk about, what could I possibly talk about?  Well, when you are picking the topic for your keynote, there’s a couple of things I want you to consider.

First, if you’re going to be a professional speaker, not only do you have to be good, but you have to be passionate about something.  So what is it that you are passionate about?  You’re going to be talking and researching and marketing and everything, make sure it’s a topic that you actually love, which is my way of saying, if you think you want to speak on leadership or change or some whatever, I’m saying that’s fine, unless you don’t have passion for it.  So, if you don’t, skip it, right now.

The other thing too is make sure it’s something you’re an expert in.  So, as you’re choosing your topic, what are you good at, what are you already an expert in right now?  So for example, if you work in a hospital and you’re a genius about what’s going on with healthcare, maybe that’s your niche.  Or if you know everything there is about energy or whatever or in my case, if you happen to know everything there is about humor at work, bingo, I’m your guy.  See, I have passion about that; I’m an expert in it, that’s why it’s good for me. What are you going to find that’s good for you?

So, to sum it up, when you’re becoming a motivational speaker, if you’re asking yourself how to be a motivational speaker and you’re wondering about your topic, first, find something you have passion in, second, find somewhere where you have some expertise.

Alright, Brad Montgomery, BradMontgomery.com.   More tips on how to be a motivational speaker soon.  Thanks.

Just ask her pop.     (Be patient;  I’ll tell you about my daughter in a second.)

A while back I saw my old friend and fellow Colorado speaker Steve Spangler tear up a group of claire.steve1100 teachers.  And by tear up I mean he was terrific… the audience loved him.

Steve and I have been friends since high school — which is fun partly because I’ve seen him grow from just a talented guy to a famous talented guy.

I stopped by to see one of his projects in person:  he invites teachers to come to his Science in the Rockies program where he teaches them science tips and tricks, all backed by curriculum they’ll incorporate in the classroom.  Sounds good to me.

But seeing the smiles on these teachers faces AS they learned was a good reminder of the importance of engaging an audience.  They weren’t sitting taking notes:  they were actively participating, laughing, talking to each other and to Steve.

It was a great reminder that people — even audiences — can multi-task.  You might incorrectly connect a silent audience staring at the presenter with an audience that gives a darn.  They might be deeply engaged…. or they might be quietly going over their shopping list in their heads.

Steve calls it “hands-on science.”  His audiences learn AND have fun.  (And you can bet your bottom dollar that because they are having fun, they retain more.)  But professional speakers of all types — motivational, funny, whatever! — can learn from this Colorado speaker.

Our audiences can and should be engaged.  They should be laughing.  They should be saying to their neighbor, “Hey!  That’s cool!”  And at least some of the time they should be actively playing with some cool toy or thing.  [Provided there is a concrete connection between the activity and the desired outcomes of the meeting planner.]

Why is engagement so important for speakers  — and meeting planners looking to hire a speaker?   Because, my friends, it’s 2009.  Audiences just won’t sit still like they used to.  In these days were clairesteve2distractions are plentiful (iPhones, Blackberries, wireless in convention hotels) and ROI needs to be extremely high, nobody can afford to plop a mediocre speaker in front of an audience who just barely cares enough to sit there.

Meeting planners demand results;  results demand engagement.

My point? If you need a speaker ask this question:  What specific activities will you do to physically engage my audience, and how to you plan to connect that engagement to what I’m trying to accomplish at the meeting.

Steve makes it work at his teacher boot camps;   good speakers make it work in the corporate and association world.

Now… my daughter. I brought my 12 year old along to see my friend in front of an audience.  Steve brought her up on stage to demonstrate to the teachers how they might teach a kid.  (Lucky Steve, I basically brought along a prop.)   The teachers had fun.  But my daughter had a BLAST!     (And best of all, Steve sent her home with an armload of goodies.)

She may not be the best scientist in Colorado… but by my eyes she’s the cutest.   (Even when Steve startled her with some electric current.)

Need an engaging funny motivational speaker?  Go to the contact page now.

Thanks Steve.  It was a great day.  [Note to readers:   don’t go to Steve’s store.  You’ll end up spending way too much time looking at all the cool stuff and you’ll end up buying stuff.   Seriously.  Don’t do it.]

Brad Montgomery
Father of a Scientist, Colorado Speaker, Fan of Steve Spangler

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Diabetes Speaker

I was flattered to speak at a diabetes forum in Canon City, Colorado recently.  I love my job as a speaker.  And I love being a Colorado Speaker because I live here.  (Yay, no airplanes today!)

But this one was personal:  my daughter has Type 1 Diabetes.  This is a big deal, requires constant vigilance, and is a huge part of our family’s life.  I don’t have diabetes myself, but because of my daughter our family has become experts in the management and lifestyle that is diabetes.

So speaking to a bunch of diabetics was very cool — and very personal.  I spend some time researching every audience.  But when it is as part of my life as diabetes, it’s easy to share my passion.

But what was fun for me was that I have almost no wisdom when it comes to staying upbeat in spite of the disease.  Or, more accurately, all of the wisdom I do have comes from my 12 year old diabetic.  I’m fabulously proud of her and her ability to adapt to this disease.  She is a rock star.  Sure, she is well aware that she has a health issue that makes her unique from her friends.  But here ability to shrug it off and just deal with it — without complaining….. much — is astounding to her mom and I.

When I asked her what I should tell this group of people dealing with diabetes, and what she would recommend they do to stay upbeat in spite of it all she blew me away.  She said, “Tell them that you pretty much have diabetes whether or not you like it.  And the only thing you CAN do about it is to take care of yourself.”   Such simplicity.  Such wisdom.  It ticked me off that she could be so articulate at 1/4 my age.

I was to speak to a bunch of folks are facing major life style changes.  They are going to have to give up (or severely limit) some of their favorite foods and find a way to like foods they’ve never met.  They are going to have to change the way they live — and I was tasked with helping them to make this transition with humor and grace.

So I took my daughter’s message… along with my own funny stories and humor … to this forum sponsored by St. stthomasmooreThomas Moore Hospital. And it went well.   The message was right on.  I only wish I could take credit for it.

Thanks Canon City!  And thanks Claire.  It was a blast.

Are you looking for a health care speaker for your organization?   Whether or not you need a diabetes speaker, I’d love to be your guy.  Go to the Contact Page now.

Brad Montgomery
Proud Father of a Diabetic, Diabetes Speaker, New Fan of St. Thomas Moore

Related:

Info about how this Health Care Speaker can help your group
See a video of Brad as a health care speaker here (from YouTube)
An article about being a diabetes speaker with my daughter
Another diabetes  article

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How To Be A Motivational Speaker

I just had a breakfast with fellow Colorado motivational speaker John Sileo. I thought it would be fun to ask him for a tip about how to be a motivational speaker. Check out the video tip (recorded with my phone.)

Check out the second video in this series  where I talk about choosing the right topic for your motivational speech.

be-a-speaker-labelwebLearn more about how to be a motivational speaker with my audio here.

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Mobile Post: Posted on-the-go by Brad Montgomery from my phone.

For those of you who prefer to read, or cannot see the video….here ya go!

Brad Montgomery: This is Brad Montgomery from BradMontgomery.com.  One of the questions that I get all the time is how to be a motivational speaker.  Well lucky for you we’ve got one of Colorado’s premiere motivational speakers with me.  He is holding the camera right now.  It is security expert and motivational speaker, John Sileo.  We are going to ask him how to be a motivational speaker and give us a top tip.  So we are going to switch this, watch this.  Quick move.  And say, “Hello, my name is John Sileo.”

John Sileo: Hello, my name is John Sileo.  What else do you want me to say?

Brad Montgomery: How do you get to be a motivational speaker?

John Sileo: You get to know Brad Montgomery.  That’s the honest truth.  If I had one thing to give to people it would be its all about the people you learn from.  It is not necessarily the people you network with it’s not that they’re getting you jobs.  It’s that they’re the ones that let you know you are doing a good job when you are doing a bad job.  Brad for me was the person who finally said, “You know what?  This part of how you’re speaking is crap.  And you need to be more yourself.”  Very honest feedback.  And that one on one coaching that you get, not that you pay for that you get from another speaker, from a close friend, a mentor.  That to me has made all the difference in the world and that is what has made my speaking career so much fun and decent.

Brad Montgomery: Rock on.  You want to learn how to be a motivational speaker?  We’ll see you at BradMontgomery.com.

banking speakerI just got back form Richmond, Indiana (near Indianapolis, Indiana) where I spoke to the entire staff of First Bank Richmond.  They have been going through some tough times lately— and not just the general strife all of the banking industry is enduring.  They just updated some huge systems, and the process has been good but painful.  This group needed to come together as a team, celebrate their successes, and celebrate their conversion to this new complex software system.

(Check out the bribe below!)

It was a a hoot….check out a 1 minute sample:

Here’s my bribe: Hey First Bank Richmond folks!!!   What are you going to DO differently at work (and/or at home) based on our time together on Veterans Day?

I’d love to hear how you plan to “create stories” for your customers.  Sure, you probably can’t create an awesome customer service story for EVERY person who walks into your bank, but certainly you could create one awesome experience per day?

Personally, I think creating one story per day is a bit lame.   Can you do two?  Three?  Five?

And most importantly, how are you going to make the creation of these customer service stories fun for YOU?  (Remember, if it’s fun you’ll do it.  If it isn’t, you probably won’t.)  What systems or processes or rewards can you put in place so that these stories become part of your First Bank Richmond culture?

Use the comment form below to share your ideas and I’ll send you a gift.  No, not a pony, but still fun.

Thanks kids!

Do you need an outside speaker to help get your bank — or other organization — to where it needs to be? Go to the contact page now.

Brad Montgomery
Banking Speaker, Motivational Speaker, Fan of First Bank Richmond

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Now we can blog on-the-go from our phones. Look for more speaking tips and tricks.

In the meantime you can check out the awesome speaking skills of my son presenting his science fair project.

– Posted by Brad Montgomery from my iPhone

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Years ago I did school assembly program called the Magic of Books.  It’s a motivational literacy program —

I use magic and comedy to demonstrate the cool things you can learn through reading.

I did at least 800 shows, and over 200 schools — nearly all of them in my home state of Colorado.  Recently, I donated the program to my kid’s school.  It was a hoot to have 2 of my kids in the audience, one of whom got up and did a magic trick on her own.  (My other kid was a “star” in a trick I did.)   To be honest, I thought this was the end of the story.

school assembly

Check out this video we did at one of the schools here in Colorado:

But then in a fluke, a school from a nearby district called and asked me to do it.  “Yes!” I said before thinking.  (The assemblies are fun, but to be brutally honest, my corporate groups pay better.  Hey!  Kids need new shoes!)  Then I noticed that I had a spring in my step the whole day;  I was THRILLED to have booked the show because I love doing it.  Love it.

Guess what?  I’m back!  No, I’m not a school assembly guy.  But I am a motivational speaker who occationally likes doing school assemblies.  Because I love them.

school assembly audienceI guess I could do it as an add-on to one of my corporate road trips.  But I’m assuming I’ll mostly do them here in Colorado in between speaking jobs.

Ok clients…don’t sweat it.  I’m not a kids performer.  But yeah, I love doing it and I’m gonna do maybe one school assembly per month.

Hey Colorado Schools?  Are you looking for a fun school assembly?   Offered by a guy who does it because of his passion?  Contact me here.

Yours,
Brad Montgomery
Occasional School Assembly Guy, Lover of School Assemblies, Believer in the Magic of Books

Related:
See the School Assembly program on Youtube.
More info on this School Assembly

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There is a guy named Chuck Mettler who knows how to follow his passion. He’s one of those fascinating guys who is always into something new.  If you say, “What have you been doing lately?” to most people, they’ll come up with something lame.

Mona-Lisa“Same old, same old, ya know?”

Chuck doesn’t know.  He is ALWAYS doing something new. Something cool.   Because this guy follows his passion.  And his passion is art.

Check out the latest pieces from chuck.  He makes these super cool art chairs and sells them to fans across the country. They are sturdy, functional, and creative.  But most of all, they look awesome.

What’s my point? I don’t care what you do, but find something — anything! — that helps you have and express your passion.  Bowling? Great.  Keeping a fish tank?  Wonderful.  Music?  You bet.  Remote control cars?  Why not?   I’m just saying that you should do something.   It’ll make you better.

Learn more about Chuck’s furniture art.

Cheers,
Brad Montgomery
Fan of Chuck Metter, Man of Passion, Lover of Cool Stuff

I dare you. Turn each guest’s visit to your hotel into a story.

This hotel is "fine."

Ok, for the rest of you, allow me to explain. I just spoke to a fine group of hoteliers in Las Vegas. LodgingHost Corporation had me come to Las Vegas to speak to their managers and administrators.

By now, you’d have to live on the far side of the moon to not know by now the hospitality industry is suffering. This economy is making it very hard, and this upcoming winter looks to be another horrible season. (Though there is much hope for Spring.)

We stayed at the Excalibur Casino. It was fine. The rooms were nice. The service was fine. Everything was fine. But as I said to the folks of LodgingHost, in this economy, “fine” is a failure. As Kevin, the president of LodgingHost told us all, “Customer service is everything.” I couldn’t agree more.

I’ve stayed in approximately 800 hotels. And I remember only a handful. And without exception, the ones I remember are the hotels where a somebody of the hotels where somebody created a story for me.

It’s that simple: when there was a story, I remembered it. Otherwise, the hotel was either lousy, or possibly even “fine.” “Fine” equals “forgettable.”

Check out the video, and pay attention to the bribe I offered the folks at LodgingHost.

LodgingHostFirst, the concept: As I told them in Las Vegas, it would be terrific, (but probably impossible) to create a memorable story for EVERY guest. But it IS possible to create a story for some of your guests.

Perhaps you could create one story for one guest every day? (Though my sense is that goal is WAY to lame. If you cannot “make the day” of several of your guests every day you just aren’t trying.)

I challenge you: come up with a technique to create stories for your guests. Maybe it’s hand delivering them a bottle of water. Or going out of your way to…. I don’t know what. But my guess is that you do. In fact, I KNOW that you have ideas how to create these superhero customer service stories.

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excalibur hallway

My Bribe: Be one of the first 12 people to leave a comment below about what you will (or are!) doing for your guests to create amazing customer service stories and I’ll send you a gift. Nothing huge, but I’ll make sure it’s cool.

Thanks LodgingHost. It was a total pleasure. I can’t wait to hear your stories.

Do you need a funny motivational speaker to speak to your organization about customer service? I’m your guy. Let’s talk about making your convention or meeting special. Go to the contact page.

Yours,
Brad Montgomery
Funny Customer Service Speaker, Las Vegas Speaker, And Fan of Creating Stories

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