We were going through some photos here at the office and found this fun photo of Brad with General Byers at a military conference in St. Louis.

What I love about this photo is that it proves that some of the most powerful people in the military are able to have — and demonstrate a sense of humor. Thanks General Byers. It was a total honor to work with your team.

Brad with General Byers

Looking for a motivational speaker or military speaker for your event? Contact me here.

I recently got back from Scott Air Force Base in Missouri.  I was totally pleased to learn that the commander was interested in creating greater resiliency for his Airmen.   So my job was to do just that…but in a very funny way of course.   We had a blast… Thanks Scott!  Thanks Col. Hornachek!


Brad with Colonel Hornachek

Looking for a motivational speaker or military speaker for your event? Contact me here.

I was a motivational speaker at an Air Force event a while back.  If anybody deserves a visit from a humorist, it had to be that group.  Check out this very cool, very makes-me-feel-awesome letter from one of the folks in the audience:


I am sure that you dont remember me but we met two years ago at the Air Force Sergeants Association conference in Orlando, Florida.  Since your presentation I have been looking for that “little bit of magic” in everday life.
I was asked tonight about my thoughts about deployment and what others might be thinking or feeling about the location that they are in and the location that we are in (thank God we are in a less dangerous location).

I thought about the little bit of magic that you talked about when you gave your motivational presentation.  If I can get that person to say “How cool is that” where we are then I am doing ok.

I have longed to get a “squeeker” out of a childs toy and have fun with the people that I am deployed with.

I know that this is lame and I dont blame you if you dont want to answer… you have any little tidbits of wisdom that I can use on my folks to get them to smile.  I have been working with them for about 2 months now (give or take a week), and I think they might be getting a little tired of my bad jokes (but I still get a sad smile and a head shake so I am not giving up).

I dont care if they think “Hey the Shirt (slang for 1st Sergeant) is goofy”…… I live for Goofy.

You may never know (althought I hope you do) how much of a difference you have made on the many lives that you touched that August day in 2007.   I can not say THANK YOU enough.

Please keep up the good work and thank you again for your support of our fighting men and women. I am just a crusty old reservist that has more grey hair than sense but if I can help make a person smile then I can retire a happy man.

YOU ROCK!!!!!!!!


Tony… you made my day. And … it’s you who rock.  (Ok..we both rock.)   I’m absolutely floored.  Thanks so very much for taking the time and trouble to reach out to me.   I work for hundreds of audiences a year, and in this goofy motivational speaker job, you just never know if anybody is really listening.  So hearing from you was like a tonic.  And now I don’t even need the gin.

I think that Tony is asking the right question:  how can I make this job more bearable and fun for my team?  The answers aren’t always obvious, even to me — and I think about this stuff a bunch.  But the very fact that Tony is thinking about it makes him a better manager, a better leader, and a better friend.  He’s the kind of guy we’d all like to work for… the kind of leader who is trying to make things better for the rest of us.

Hey Military audiences!  (And corporate groups… I’m not picky.)  If YOU need a motivational speaker or humorist or keynote speaker or…. if you need a laugh and a solid connection to what you are trying to accomplish at work… I hope you’ll pick me.  Contact me here.   Visit my main site here.

Brad Montgomery
Air Force Speaker, Fan of the Military, Squeaker!

PS.  I sent Tony and his guys a whole pile of stuff.  (And a regrettably short letter about humor in the mitary… something I honestly don’t know enough about.)  Guess what was in the box?   : )

Killed in a good way.  In a “Holy Cow That Speaker Rocked” way.  As in “I have never loved my job more than when I was there with that group from the Department of Defense” way.  Mr. Charlie Williams & Commander Dan Seep

Specifically, I was working with the DCMA – Defense Contractors Management Agency.  I was hired by a Mr. Charlie Williams, their director and a nice man who hired me twice for contracting events for the Air Force.  (Mr. Williams recently changed jobs.)

I always love speaking, but speaking for the military is especially exciting and meaningful.  Especially because we’re at war, and because their job could not be more serious.  Sure, I enjoy working for corporate groups and associations, and those folks are good people.  But their mission is never quite as life-and-death as my military audiences. 

My corporate audiences are stressed out about meeting sales quotas, selling widgets, and their newsoftware.   Military audiences are stressed out because they were just deployed in Iraq or Afghanistan, (or about to be) and are supporting their peers who are there right now.  I don’t mean to dismiss anybody’s career or problems, but let’s face it, our friends in the military are in an especially unique work situation.

By looking at the front of USA Today we can easily forget about Iraq and Afghanistan.  But when you walk into a room full of DOD / DCMA folks, you don’t need a reminder.  These are good folks with a serious job.  

So, what was it like? What did we do?  The first thing I did was to (politely) poke fun at nearly everything they did.  I poked fun at how the top “brass” was in the front row, about how they had just sat through HOURS of PowerPoint (which they complicated by calling “Briefing Slides.”)  I teased them about their unending acronyms, the crazy soap stocked in our hotel rooms, and even about their long (and somehow undescriptive) job titles.  (What does an Industrial Specialist do anyhow?)

In my experience as a humorist and business speaker, the groups that are the quickest to laugh are the groups that need it most.  This group really needed a break;  they were extremely fast to catch on to theCheck out Her Shoplifting Tag!humor. 

It is always gratifying to take a group from stressed to “ready to work.”  It is always fun to fun to give them tools to use have and use their senses of humor.  And of course it’s a total blast to make any group laugh until they cry.  But to do this for a group of hardworking cilvilian and military folks who need it most just makes you feel like you’re the luckiest guy with the coolest job ever. 

I’ve heard the words, “I’m honored to be part of your team.”  Heck, I’ve even said them.  But in this case, I couldn’t mean it more.

Hey Mr. Williams:  thanks so much for bringing me in.  It was great to work for you once.  It’s MORE than three times cooler to work for you three times.    And to the good folks at DCMA … you rock!  Keep your chin up, keep the fun-meter on high, and keep up the good work. Your mission is too important to not treat yourself right.

Brad Montgomery
Military Speaker, Fan of the DCMA, Honored to be Part Your Event

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!

Yes, if you are Air Force Sergeant David Bamburg. (Or, as he calls himself: MSgt (Ret) “Super Dave” Bamburg) I spoke about a year ago to the Air Force Sergeant’s Association and was amazed and honored to be in front of this terrific group.  (Hey!  The Air Force needs speakers too… and given our state of war, probably more than the rest of us.)
(See that post here.)

As part of my motivational speech, I had a joke relating to how we need to sometimes actively do things to make our lives fun. I talked about “Getting On Board” and also “Riding the Pony.” It was a metaphor. A joke.

My new friend Sergeant Bamburg was in the audience and he has taken that joke to Air Force : ride the ponyheart.He has clearly “gotten on board.” He has sent me photos of him riding a pony outside of a store (the 1¢ machine pony) and now check out his latest letter and photo.

The fun never dies. We recently had our AFSA Division convention in Las Vegas, NV. I couldn’t resist bringing along a friends stick

Brad — The fun never dies. We recently had our AFSA Division convention in Las Vegas, NV. I couldn’t resist bringing along a friends stick pony. Yes, they even allowed it on the plane. The photo is of our chapter’s NCO nominee, MSgt Bryan Dean, and one of the 11th Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, CMSgt air force pony(ret) Dave Campanale. I tried to get Bryan to hold the pony and we he refused, the Chief grabbed it from me and said he’d do it. “How Cool is That” What was even better is the pony made horse sounds when you pressed its ear. — DAVID A. BAMBURG, GS-05, USAF

He gets it. He is having fun, because he is MAKING his life fun. He is doing wacky stuff, and the result can be seen in the smile on his face. What are you doing to Get On Board? What are YOU doing to actively create fun?

Thanks David. Ride that pony!

Looking for a military speaker or a motivational speaker for your military event? I hope you’ll consider me.

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As I write this post, I’m sitting in United seat 7F on the way back from speaking for the Senior Acquisition Leaders event in Atlanta, Georgia.

What can I say? Where to start?

They flattered me with a standing ovation. Which, coming from these hardened career military folks was flattering. Apparently they thought it went well. And I’m glad. Very glad.

But what really stood out for me was what a special time I had. I was absolutely thrilled to be part of the event. There is something special about working for the military. I’ve done it a few times before, and it is always special. And this speech and that crowd absolutely touched me.

I love speaking to corporate groups… they are good people, hard workers, and I’m convinced that they really need a message of lightness and fun. But working for the military is a whole different beast because they are passionate about their jobs. Passionate. They have a call to serve, and their amazing attitudes are infectious.

Take for example Lt. General Donald Hoffman. He told me minutes before my program that, “They don’t pay us for us not to have a good time.” General Hoffman is a fun, upbeat leader who strongly believes that we need to take ourselves less seriously — especially perhaps those people in such serious jobs as the Air Force.

“Don’t get me wrong,” General Hoffman continued, “This is a serious job. We make planes, drop bombs and kill people. We’re not all fun and games. And we’re not in this to make people laugh.” But he went on to say that if you are that stereo-typical all-serious military guy you burn out, your people burn out, and you never get the results you are after.

I loved how he made the distinction between having a sense of humor and being funny. I totally agree: you don’t have to make jokes and tease people in order to lighten the workplace. Humor in the workplace doesn’t always mean (and sometimes should NOT mean) laughing or making others laugh. But it always means being about to take yourself a bit lesseriously. It means having and using a sense of humor yourself.

Wow. Humor in the military? Humor in leadership? Humor during a time of war? You bet, if you believe this general. And the most wonderful thing is that his attitude and leadership strategy is obviously working — just look at the three stars on his shoulder.

General Hoffman… it was an honor to speak to your group. Thank so much for including me.


(Follow the Air Force’s Lead… book Brad to be YOUR funny motivational speaker.)

Brad Montgomery
Military Speaker, Humor in the Workplace (Warplace?) Expert, Fan of The Air Force

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