My new friend George Walther recently spoke in my home town of Denver, Colorado for the Colorado region of the National Speakers Association. He arranged for me to be there and to coach him on his presentation. He flattered me with a very kind note. What do you think? Do I need to buy him a beer?
To my not-so-sure-they-can-be-funny speaking colleagues:
Hire Brad. He’s a little nuts, and that’s what some of us “straights” need to loosen up. It absolutely amazes me that he can watch my damn-good-already keynote once, and just throw out a half dozen goofy ideas that will make it a solid 15% better the next time I deliver it.
And then, I can build in his input and send it to him for a peek, thinking he might put me on his calendar for a thorough brush-up in a week or so. But, an hour later he shoots it back. He’s added wacky ideas that are totally fun and I can see myself doing. Plus, he gives me great staging tips.
It doesn’t take him long, and he doesn’t say much. Because he has this uncanny ability to know just the right word to be funny. When he shot back further suggestions to improve my talk, he even suggested “one single word” that will get a great laugh. “Braces.” That’s all, just adding that one word to one of the already very funny bits he had already inspired me to put in. I can’t wait to use it.
I think that’s a big part of what Brad does. He makes you, the speaker, feel like it’s going to be such fun to say “braces” at just the right moment. And since you feel good, the audience gets that and they want to feel good with you.
Remember that story about the guy who charges a hundred bucks to fix someone’s car and he just taps it once and the customer can’t understand how it could cost so much for just a tap? The mechanic says the tap costs a buck but the “knowing where to tap” costs 99 bucks. Brad knows where to tap.
My advice is to try to wangle a deal where you can pay him by the word. Because he’s not going to give you paragraphs of funny stories; he’s going to give you just a word here and there on top of a funny idea, and you’ll have the audience thinking you’re brilliant.
I was inducted into the CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame way back in 1989, and I ain’t found a funnier resource than Brad ever since. Or before.
Call me if you want to know more about the brilliance you’ll be hiring by asking Brad for his help.
George Walther (never wore braces)
Thanks George. Ok, now I’ll buy that beer I promised.
If you’re looking for a funny motivational speaker for your organization, I’d LOVE to be your guy. Go to the contact page
And if you’re a pro speaker looking for coaching on how to be funnier (or a business speaker preparing for a big presentation) I’d love to help you too!