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I believe my job isn’t to be “good enough”. Or to earn evaluations that are high enough that nobody is unhappy. My job is to absolutely rock an audience in a way that everybody congratulates my client for picking the perfect speaker. The speaker that they’ll never forget. The speaker that will make next year’s speaker look bad by comparison.

It’s a great reminder that only we can control our own level of stress. And our own attitude towards a situation has a great deal to do with that.

Engaging in positivity and encouragement is proven to enhance both personal and business relationships. And happier people are more productive, more focused and ultimately more successful in all aspects of life.

motivational speaker

I’ll tell you this, I’m glad we used Brad. He was terrific. He interjected humor and levity into a presentation that was inspirational and fun and really had our people engaged.

motivational speaker

 

Hiring A Motivational Speaker | Don’t Be Fooled By an Edited Video

Given a good enough editor, I could make my grandmother look like a brilliant and funny motivational speaker.  Let’s face it, if Hollywood can make it look like movie stars are falling off buildings, a video editor can certainly make it look like an audience is really laughing, there are 100s of people in a hotel banquet room (instead of a single family in the living room) and that any given speaker can hold an audience for more than a sound bite.

Selected Posts from Brad’s Past

We found a few posts, videos and stories from Brad’s past, and thought it would be fun to re-publish them here.  So pour yourself a cup of coffee, put on some classic rock, and check out this classic blog post from a decade (ish) ago.  

 

When you are considering which motivational speaker to hire, look closely at the video.  Does it look like there is an actual audience, or was that edited in later?   Does the audience look match the look of the stage?   Is it real?

Are there long enough clips for you to tell whether your motivational speaker can hold an audience — and a thought — longer than for just a few seconds?   You should be able to see full unedited clips if you ask for them.

Also, check to make sure there are MANY videos available of your prospective motivational speaker.  In these days of $100 cameras and YouTube there ought to be several, if not hundreds of videos for you to preview.

So what’s my advice?

• Watch many videos.  Not just one.  Look for consistency.
• Look for unedited clips.  I’m for editing quick and breezy videos too… but I also know that savvy buyers will want to see unedited clips of me before a real crowd.  So I have a whole variety of videos.  Does your speaker?
•  Watch with a bit of skepticism.  Ask yourself if the audience you are seeing matches the stage and venue you are seeing.
• Avoid hiring from a “speaker video showcase.”   Inexperienced speakers will put together a video showcase.  This means that a bunch of novice motivational speakers will rent a room, rent a cameraman, and then fill the room with…. themselves! Then they take turns on stage.  And of course while in the audience they act very interested and very amused.  But it’s totally fake.  These videos are easy to spot…just look close and you’ll see them.

Are you looking for a motivational speaker for your meeting or your convention?  I’d love to be considered.  Contact us here, tell us what you need and what you’re trying to accomplish, and we’ll help make your event a huge success.

Brad Montgomery
Motivational Speaker, Star of Many YouTube Videos, Expert in Speaker Preview Videos

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Change? Laugh or Cry; Your Choice.

 

Selected Posts from Brad’s Past

We found a few posts, videos and stories from Brad’s past, and thought it would be fun to re-publish them here.  So pour yourself a cup of coffee, put on some classic rock, and check out this classic blog post from a decade (ish) ago.  

It isn’t always this easy, but it is (nearly) always this simple.  When we as organizations or individuals deal with change there are two certainties.  First, it’s going to be something new.  Duh.  Second, it’s going to happen whether we want it to or not.

Got a new organizational structure?  Has has the shape, structure and content of your workforce changed?   Or your uncertain about exactly how YOU will fit in with all these changes?

I’ve got a couple of thoughts about it for you, but they both start with the concept that it’s time to stop complaining, stop worrying, and start doing something that can help you.  It’s time to start learning to laugh at change.

In my job as a motivational speaker I’m often asked to address the subject of change for my client’s audience.  And my theory can be summed up quickly:

“Change?  You might as well learn to laugh at it.  It’s one of the few choices you have.”  —   Brad Montgomery

There’s an age-old law of humor and comedy, which goes something like:

Tragedy + Time = Funny

And it doesn’t take much thought to realize it’s true.  That disaster family vacation in your teens?  Hilarious!   The time crazy Uncle Larry got his foot stuck in the chair and was howling in pain?   Ha ha ha!  The Thanksgiving dinner when the turkey was raw, the side dishes cold, and the in-laws psycho?   Ooh, my sides hurt from laughing.

They were all lousy times.   (Tragedy.)   They were all a long time ago.  (Time.)  But now they are funny.

My suggestion is that all of the lousy things you are dealing with now are probably going to be funny if you let enough time pass.   For some of you, that’s going to mean a LOT of time.

But my suggestion is simple:   if it’s going to be funny later, why not (at least try to) see the “funny” in it now.  See if you can shorten the “Time” variable in the equation from 20 years to 20 minutes.

Next time you are freaking out about something new at work, ask yourself if you’ll really care about this change in five years.  Now go one teensy little step further and ask yourself if you think this change might be funny in a month or a week or a decade.   If the answer is yes, you’re an idiot to dwell too hard on it.

It’s time to start laughing.   Now.

Yes, it’s a simple concept.  Which doesn’t mean it’s an easy concept.  That new software package you’re sorting through IS a pain in the neck.  The uncertainty of the merger IS a stress.  The recent layoffs (or rapid growth) are difficult.   But so what?  Are you really going to let these things ruin your day?  Your job?  Your life?

Again, if the answer is yes, you’re a fool.

As a change motivational speaker, I teach my audiences this wildly simple concept, and then give them some simple — but seriously effective — techniques and strategies that they can start to implement right away.

The best way to deliver these messages of levity, humor and hope?   Through generous doses of laughter.

If we make your group laugh — and laugh HARD — at some really funny and relevant discussions of change, they’ll listen.   And because it is so much fun, it will help it stick.  Making it funny helps with retention.

Looking for a change motivational speaker?   You’ve found him.   Contact us here and we’ll strategize the best way to get your folks laughing back their way to health.

Brad Montgomery
Change Motivational Speaker, Funny Guy, Humor Strategist

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The second question I get from nearly every prospective client (after “How much do you charge?”) is “How do we know what YOU think is funny will be funny to us?”

There are several ways to ask the same question.  But almost all of them lead to this hidden question:   how do we know you won’t be offensive and inappropriate and ruin our event?

I love this question.  And unfortunately, we live in a land where anybody with a Yahoo.com account can have a website proclaiming that they are a Top Motivational Speaker! and use “comedy” and “humor.”

But in my experiences, these speakers aren’t experienced.  They aren’t genuinely funny.  And more times than you’d expect what little humor they do have is inappropriate.  And  if any of these things are true then they haven’t been working much, and they won’t be working much longer.

So…how do YOU know if your speaker is clean?  Safe?  Appropriate?   There are three ways to check.

1.  Check the videos online.  There should be MANY of them.   Are they funny?   Anything racy or edgy?  Any hints about something that would make you uncomfortable?   That’s what we call a hint.  You can bet that you see a fringe of something icky, there is MORE that has been edited out.

2.  Check with past clients.  Ask for and expect to receive as many references as you want to check.   Call them.   It’s so simple.  Just ask them if the humor was appropriate?  Was that motivational speaker actually funny?

3.  Have a conversation with your perspective motivational speaker.   Just ask them straight out, “Tell me about your theories of clean and appropriate humor?” and sit back and listen.  I could go on for HOURS on this topic.  In my over two decades speaking I have hundreds of stories.  During my years (18 plus years ago) in the comedy clubs I experimented with stuff I’d NEVER do now.  I’ve written about it.  Coached others on it.  And had to walk the walk on stage for thousands of programs.

Selected Posts from Brad’s Past

We found a few posts, videos and stories from Brad’s past, and thought it would be fun to re-publish them here.  So pour yourself a cup of coffee, put on some classic rock, and check out this classic blog post from a decade (ish) ago.  

 

If the speaker you are interviewing says something like, “Yeah, it’s clean,” and ends it there… perhaps that speaker doesn’t understand how important this issue is to you (and should be to them.)  Ask them a couple of more probing questions to learn more about their sense of clean comedy and then trust your gut.  (But check references and videos too!)

I’d love to be your motivational speaker.  I’m funny.  I’m experienced.  And I’m absolutely positive I understand how clean and unoffensive your professional speaker has to be.

Want to have that conversation with me?   Contact us and we’ll chat!

Looking for a funny motivational speaker?  I’d love to be your guy.   Call us today.

Brad Montgomery
Funny Motivational Speaker, Clean Comedian, Understander of Appropriate Humor

(Ok, that last one may be stretching it, but you understand.)

motivational speaker

 

Red.

Selected Posts from Brad’s Past

We found a few posts, videos and stories from Brad’s past, and thought it would be fun to re-publish them here.  So pour yourself a cup of coffee, put on some classic rock, and check out this classic blog post from a decade (ish) ago.  

 

motivational speaker

 

How to Choose the Best Motivational Speaker

I just finished working for the State of Wyoming Department of Transportation or WYDOT, and I was struck with an epiphany when my meeting planner told me how he judges success for his professional speakers – the people that he hires.  And here’s the deal, it was a surprise to me.  What they hired me to do is the same thing that they hired every professional speaker that they work with to do which is first, to start with a motivational, inspirational keynote speech to open the convention.  So, I did that on Tuesday’s afternoon and then on Wednesday, they asked me to return to do two different breakout sessions twice which was pretty cool.

Selected Posts from Brad’s Past

We found a few posts, videos and stories from Brad’s past, and thought it would be fun to re-publish them here.  So pour yourself a cup of coffee, put on some classic rock, and check out this classic blog post from a decade (ish) ago.  

 

How do you judge success for your professional speakers?

I did Breakout Session A, two times and then I did, after lunch, Breakout Session B, two times.  And by the way, as an aside, I really love it when my clients work hard to get more value and more return on their investment when they hire me and having me do multiple programs is a great idea.  So, anyway, back to how you can tell if your motivational or inspirational speaker is any good.

The client told me that they judge success based on the attendance at the following day’s breakout sessions.  So, that means they look in the room and the chairs are full, they know the speaker was well-received, and if the chairs are empty, they know that the speaker was horrible.

So, happily, today it was great.  We had lines and the room was packed and, again, lines was a great sign.  The client told me when he saw people lined up waiting for the breakout session to begin, he knew that he had chosen the right speaker which, of course, was very flattering.  But, I had never thought about that as a barometer for success.

One of the things that I ask of my clients before the event is how do you judge success?  And I think that’s a good question because sometimes they want me to make sure the audience is happy.  Other meeting planners don’t care if the audience is happy, they want to make sure that their boss is happy, and if you think about it, that’s a pretty big difference.

Sometimes, I’m called in to deliver a message the audience doesn’t necessarily want to hear.  So, theoretically, it’s quite possible that you could do a great job for the boss and the audience wouldn’t like you.  Well, you know, and conversely, it’s important to know that if your job is to get the audience going and the audience happy and not the boss, well, that’s important to know.  But, I had never once thought that my primary mission was to make sure that the room is full the next day for my returning breakout sessions.  Pretty cool, huh?

So, if you’re looking for a motivational, inspirational speaker, I’d love to be your guy.  If you’re looking for a speaker who can do a keynote and then come back and do some breakout sessions, I’d love to be your guy.  And most of all, if you’d like to hire an inspirational speaker who can guarantee that the next day, people will choose to come to my breakout sessions as opposed to going to other ones, well, I’d love to be your guy too.

Wyoming Department of Transportation, thank you for hiring me.  We had a great time in Cheyenne, Wyoming; loved being part of it.  Thanks so much.

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

Brad Montgomery
Inspirational Speaker, Very Popular Breakout Session Leader
Fan of the Wyoming Department of Transportation

Related articles:

Choosing the Best Motivational Speaker
How to Pick a Keynote Speaker