Is she a funny motivational speaker? Jane Herlong who is an inspirational and motivational speaker join me for today’s live interview. Jane has been speaking since she was a young woman, she’s paid her dues, and now she’s at the top of her career. I was lucky to get an hour with her.
Change a good speaker but she’s also a very funny lady. She knows how to get people laughing through the power of story. She calls her self a southern humorist and we spent some time trying to define this concept. What is the Southern humorist? It turns out the definition is pretty hard to nail down. But Jane clearly uses her strong southern accent together with stories that take place in the world south to put together stories that would make any audience laugh. She is a funny motivational speaker!
Jane paid her speaking dues through the pageant program but ended up doing hundreds of programs for school children. Elementary schools high schools and middle schools. We talked about the fact that these audiences are not forgiving at all and you better bring it if you want to hold that audience. Both of us cut our teeth working for schools and agreed that having those hundreds of repetition was really valuable as we moved to adult audiences. Yes the material is totally different but there still something hopeful about all of those repetitions.
Audiences Change. Meeting Planners Worry
Jane and I talked about the changing nature of our audiences. We both worry about accidentally offending any of our audiences. She told a couple of stories with funny punchlines that she says are a little bit dicey now. Occasionally she will use them in front of an audience she is rocking but often will hold back.
Jane and I talked at length about our meeting planners. We talked about how difficult it is to be a meeting planner and how much skin they have in the game. When they book us they are terrified we will screw something up. As you become a more experienced motivational speaker you’re a little bit more tuned into this intense pressure of the meeting planners face.
One example of how we can really calm and soothe our meeting planners it’s just understand how nervous they are about our travel plans. If we don’t show up to a meeting they have a problem. No motivational keynote speaker. This is not a small concern it’s something that makes them very tense.
Postcards from a Keynote Speaker
Jane talked about another motivational speaker who has somebody from the hotel slip a postcard under the meeting planners door that just says “I am here!” I joked that probably a text would work just as well. But the bottom line is just a reminder that our clients have huge concerns over our ability to hold the audience, to keep the audiences attention, and to deliver a relevant and helpful message. But in the end little things like just being kind, being flexible, being easy to work with, and actually getting to the Hotel on time or major stressors.
This was a treat for me. I have been a fan of June for a long time. I’ve loved hearing her sing. I loved hearing her tell stories. I loved watching her be inducted into the CPAE speaker Hall of Fame. But it was nice to get to spend an hour and pepper her with questions to get to know this very wonderful woman better.
Thanks Jane. It was a treat. Thanks for joining me.