Find the various Brad Montgomery blog posts, which are linked with the “funny” tag and cover topics like interactive speaker, healthcare speaker, change management, & more.

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palliativeOk. That’s not funny. Yes it is. Well… it depends.

Humor is relative. (No, I don’t mean your relative is funny. I mean that what is funny to some people in some circumstances isn’t funny to others, and that’s OK.)

I recently spoke in Colorado for the Kaiser Permanente Palliative Care department. We had nurses, doctors, administrators, chaplains, and hospice partners… the whole team gathered for a day of celebration and a much needed dose of perspective—through humor.

This is hard-working team of health care professional who are constantly dealing with a difficult heavy job. And, judging by the laughter and volume from this particular group they really needed a break.

So we laughed. We joked about everything from what was served for lunch, to the party going on upstairs, to the fact that they had an off-site on a Saturday. But we also joked about the difficult and serious parts of their jobs. We even joked about death, hospice, and used a bit of black humor. (Maybe not black, but certainly kpvery dark brown.)

In my job as a comedian motivational speaker, I’ve found that the groups with the most grizzly occupations are the quickest ones to joke about stuff that makes most of us blanch. Cops, firemen, ER nurses, — and hospice and palliative care folks not only joke about stuff that many people would find “crosses the line” of good taste, they HAVE to joke about it. It helps keep them healthy.

Humor helps with stress. And folks super stressful jobs will often turn to gallows humor to help them stay sane.

So, after agreeing that the jokes would “stay in the room,” we went for it. And the laughter followed.

Often people complain about humor that is “in bad taste” without understanding that often that humor is “in good health.” I once worked for a bunch of intensive care nurses who finally put up a plaque outside of the ICU that said something like, ‘If you see us laughing please know that this is not evidence that we are taking the care of your loved ones less seriously. It’s our way of dealing with the stress that is inherent with this job. And in the end, our laughter helps us provide the care that your family deserves.” Brilliant. Beautiful.

Back to Kaiser: I was impressed with how quickly this group was to laugh. But as I lead them through some exercises to help them connect humor and levity to increasing their ability to provide care and to serve their folks — and how keeping themselves sane in the end serves their patients, I was amazed at how quickly they got to the point.

In other words, this audience didn’t just run through the humor in the workplace exercises and try to move on. They lingered. They enjoyed. And they went deep. I think I might have learned as much as they did. Scratch that…. I definitely learned from them.

Thanks Kaiser Palliative Care. It was my absolute pleasure.

Are you looking for a health care motivational speaker, or palliative care / hospice speaker? I’d love to be your speaker. Go to the contact page now.

Yours,
Brad Montgomery
Palliative Care Speaker, Hospice Speaker, and Fan if Kaiser Palliative Health

Related:
Hospice video on YouTube
Kaiser Health Care Speaker video on Youtube
Sex, Beer and Death : A blog being a speaker for another Hospice organization
Funny Health Care Speaker home on my main website.

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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.

excalibur-hallway

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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I came across this photo from 15 L-O-N-G years ago when I presented a session in corporate entertainment to a business group. We used the “Let’s Make A Deal” theme and the crowd loved it! Although I had just a *little* more hair then, my solid applications using humor in the workplace have more than made up for what’s missing (now) on top! That’s a sign of age…and wisdom, right?

Besides, would you rather have someone with more hair? After all, hair is so overrated!

Game shows are a terrific way to reach corporate and business audiences. Got some info you just GOTTA get across? Need to remind your team of the basics but know if you “lecture” them you’ll lose them faster than you can say, “This meeting sucks!” Then ask us about creating a game show just for you.

game-showWe’ll customize a program that is interactive, very funny, and tailored to you, your information and your organization. They’ll love it… which helps with retention.

My suggestion is for your next corporate event, to select someone (like me— okay, so I’m biased. If that upsets you get your own blog!) who has lots and lots of experience, proven principles and applications, no hair (again, that would be me) and has the ability to leave your organization with can-do changes. Sound good? Good.

What game shows would you say fit your workgroup? We’ve worked spoofs (that’s a wonderful word my lawyer taught me) of popular games shows from Let’s Make a Deal to Who Want’s to Be a Millionaire to Family Feud. Your organization. Your info. Your success.

Leave your comments, names withheld, of those game shows that you think fit your work group.

Ready to create some lasting change and think a game show is your ticket? Go to the contact page now.

Brad Montgomery

Corporate Game Show Host, Comedian, Serious About Having Fun At Work

 

I was a fish out of water … and into the cow pie. It was Green Acres meets Tony Robbins. It was City-Slickers-meets-Deepak-Chopra.

Okay, it was none of the above. But it was fun.

I recently returned from Kansas where I was offerle-cooptasked with being a motivational speaker for a bunch of farmers — all members of Offerle Coop. I’m pretty sure that I wasn’t what they expected — fast talking jokester with a message about enjoying life. But I can tell you this: by the end of the night everybody — including me — was pumped. It was a good time.

They were celebrating their 100 year anniversary as a Grain Coop and invited me to address the Kansas group after a big dinner.

I loved it for a million reasons. Ok, maybe not a million; how ’bout five:

• I enjoyed my drive in. It’s a beautiful part of the country, and because I’m a city kid, I really enjoyed looking at the feed lots JAMMED with cattle. (Check out the video.)

Motivational speaker

Why else did I love being a motivational speaker at this Kansas event? Here are the remaining four:

• This audience wasn’t jaded. They didn’t come in with that Los Angeles or NYC attitude that they’ve seen it all. They weren’t a push-over audience; but they were open to giving the speaker a shot. That’s refreshing.

• It was a fun event, and I was proud to be part of it. Members of the Coop drove in from the entire region to celebrate, to get a steak, to meet with neighbors… and to hear little ol’ me. I think I’m not letting the cat out of the bag to say that not a Offerle Kansas doesn’t have a ton of entertainment options. So just the fact that they were having some dude from Colorado was news in itself. And we were in Dodge City… a fun trip for anybody in in SW Kansas!

• We got to poke fun at the farmers. There I was, this chatty, fast-talking speaker from Colorado clearly out of my element. So I made fun of me and how they barely let me in the door because I’ve never seen a true soybean. And I made fun of some of the men — good, hard working guys who are way more of the strong and silent type than I am. (There’s a shock, huh?) They answered my good-natured questions with one word answers which I accidentally (??) misunderstood. The women howled. The men thought it was hilarious. And I had one of the best nights of the year.

• It was a return trip for me. I had worked with Duane from the Coop a couple times in the past… years ago. It’s flattering to work for anybody. But being invited back (three times!) is five times cooler. (I know, I know. It’s weird speaker math.)

Thanks Offerle! I had a blast. And yup, the steak was delicious.

Brad Montgomery
Kansas Motivational Speaker, Fan of Coops, Fan of Offerle

 

Ok.  So it has nothing to do with the rest of my work.  But I couldn’t stop laughing.

Duck out of water? Holy Rapper, Batman. Sometimes we just have to stick with our strengths. But if this group would have followed that advice we wouldn’t have this totally great example of accidental humor. I wonder if thing was funny to them? Are they able to laugh at it too?

“Stop! Hammer Time!” Oh….. my ribs hurt!

“Take off your robes!?” Oye. I can’t breathe!!!

Ok, I admit it.  I spent too much time on this very cute web page.   And my kids loved it.

If you’re looking for a funny and clever way to pass the time, click here.

If you’re looking for a motivational speaker to make sure your employees don’t spend too much time on web pages like that one, I hope you’ll consider hiring me. Contact Me.

Cheers, Happy, Ho!
Brad Montgomery, Speaker, Occasional Procrastinator, Fan of Reindeer

Ok.  So the timing is off.  But this video is great.  

This is funny.   I don’t care if you voted Republican or Democrat, you have to admire the clever folks who put this humorous video together.

Click this link for the video.

Notice that I’m famous.

In many ways, this video is like a great keynote speech:

  • Interactive
  • Unexpected
  • Relevant
  • Funny

Next time you present in front of a business audience, do you think you can use any of this principles?

The folks at MoveOn.org made me laugh.  And that says quite a lot.

Anybody need a motivational speaker?  I’d love to be your guy.  Contact me here.  (Good Timing Not Required.)

Cheers,

Brad Montgomery
Independent Voter, Motivational Keynote Speaker, Humorist, Fan of Clever Videos

Check out my Linkedin Profile

A while back I spoke at a huge Las Vegas conference for McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants.

I had a ball…. and let me tell you why.They took the time to coach me about their corporate culture… which helps me a great deal. And then, even better, I had a chance to visit with their executive chefs and General Managers before my keynote speech.

Better yet, I ate in one of their restaurants 3 days before my keynote speech.  I met the executive chef and the general manager.  They let me tour the kitchen and take photos.   (And they treated me and my pals great…yum!)

[ Actually, there is a cool story there too.  I was there with a few pals who happen to be professional speakers themselves…so some of the funniest ideas came from my humorist pals.  Colorado speaker and humor pal Steve Spangler took the photos.  It was a fun night.) ]

But best of all, I got to hear THE founders ( Mr. McCormicK and Mr. Schmick — yeah, I know, who knew they even existed!) address the audience for about an hour before I went on.

It was like a gift. A perfect storm of great info from the right people.  Now, I have to admit it; sometimes the info I get from my clients doesn’t lead anywhere. Sometimes it isn’t funny. And occasionally it is hard for me to really tailor what I do for their group. But in this case it was the total opposite. It was as though everything I said made it’s way into the presentation.Even the little details.

For example, when I was in the restaurant I ordered salmon that was cooked on a plank of Cedar wood. It was delicious. (The fish, not the plank.)  But when I retold the story, and showed (via PowerPoint) a photo of me trying to eat that silly plank, we got the audience rolling. Then I followed with jokes about the creativity about adding secret ingredients to their dishes…. like wood. Again… more humor.

eating the wooden plank

I showed photos of me stealing their stuff…and of me doing their dishes (from my visit to the restaurant that week.)   Trust me… it was funny.  Best of all…it was humor all for and about them.

What’s my point? I have two.

First: if you are looking for motivational speakers, have some long and hard conversations about tailoring and customizing. Your group — especially in this day of instant everything ‚ will be turned off if the speaker doesn’t “Get” them. Make sure your speaker does.  Professional speakers who tailor or customize the message for your audience will make that crucial “connection” in a meaningful and solid way.

Second: From my perspective as a humorist and speaker,

the tailoring is one of the absolute joys of my job. If I HAD to give the same cookie-cutter presentation every time I might shoot myself. The real fun is in making sure it is “just for them.”  Thanks McCormick & Schmick’s! I loved it.  Learn more about my keynote speaking here.

Do  you have an event where you need to motivate and fire up your troops?

Think a funny motivational speaker who can translate humor into business wisdom makes sense?  Me too.   Contact me here for info about bringing me to your event.

Brad Montgomery
Motivational Keynote Speaker, Humorist, Fan of Las Vegas, and Lover of Fish!

PS. Here is a bootleg video of me as speaking for them in Las Vegas, Nevada. Check out the customized jokes…they might not make sense to you, but to THEM they were fun. (And I had a blast.)

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What can I say? I think this video is is hilarious.   Spend two minutes and see if you agree

The front fell off!? I wish I would have thought of this sketch.

There. Now you’ve wasted 2 minutes. But hey, if you laughed, perhaps it was a killer investment. :)

Procrastination Station

 

What do you think?   Was this video worth two minutes away from your work?   (Comment and let me know what you think.)

Don Cooper is a fantastic speaker and wonderfully funny man. He recently was quoted in the National Speakers Association newsletter.

Check out this exerpt about the value of humorists:


“What’s a laugh worth?

Selling a topic like sales, marketing or customer service is relatively easy. Those subjects translate straight to the bottom line, so both corporate and association meeting planners instinctively recognize their value. Likewise topics such as leadership, team-building and time-management are readily valued.

But humor? All too often, it’s an afterthought for most meeting planners. “Why waste time on mindless entertainment when we can give our audience information they can really use?” is the unspoken question in the back of their minds.

Everyone knows that a meeting without humor is like a Twinkie without the cream filling. But meeting planners often don’t understand this. So you have to help them see the value of humor to their event. In other words, what a laugh is really worth. There are three keys to accomplishing this.

First, you need to fully understand and be able to articulate the benefits of a humorous presentation. It’s not merely a matter of entertainment. Humor can:

Lighten the mood of an event
Put people in a receptive state of mind
Reduce stress and tension
Increase attendees’ energy, alertness and enthusiasm
Create camaraderie
Lower the audience’s defenses
Generate goodwill toward the organization
Communicate or reinforce an organization’s message
Bridge gaps between management and employees
Leave the audience with lasting positive memories”

Don… you rock! Thanks for the great info.

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