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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My pal Tim Gard just submitted this to a newsletter! Great job Tim.

(The following is an excerpt from an aricle in the NSA Humor Peg newsletter.

So how do you sell the value of humor to a client? Why would someone pay for a humorist vs. a content speaker?

“I (Tim Gard) wrote an article a couple of years ago about the difference between an entertainer and a speaker. The first thing you have to have in mind is which of those you are going to be. Either one is okay, you just need to pick one and go with it. When people contact me, it is not necessarily to have me be a humorist. I’m contacted when they need someone to kill at 7am, or close out a conference on a high note. Most businesses that hire me want take-home value, very clean humor, and they want their folks to be energized. The bottom line is you have to find what the audience’s pain is and how to solve it with humor. ”

Nicely said Tim!

Humor and Grief & Loss

I just returned from a funeral where I experienced first hand how even a tiny dose of humor can make a huge step towards healing and health. Smiles and laughter CAN make things better.

During the funeral service for a wonderful woman who died WAY too early. The entire “audience” of 300 found themselves somewhere between sadness and total utter sobbing. (Me… I was balling.)

When the son of the woman who died spoke about his mom he made a joke. Not a huge joke. Just a small joke about his brother in law. And in a snap he flipped this audience from crying to laughing. He popped the stress balloon. With this tiny bit of humor he gave us a a much needed break from our grief. It was such a small gesture with a huge impact. What a gift. (And on a personal note I was amazed that he could be so generous in the face of his personal loss. It was wonderful.)

But it was later that night that humor delivered even more healing. We sat together and shared pasta and more wine than we probably should have. The stories about the mom — the woman we buried that day — flowed…. and flowed. Laughter and smiles were way more prevalent than tears. Yup, the tears were still there. But the laughter helped us all manage them.

I have no idea what time will bring… but I’m certain that liberal doses of humor and gladness will help us get through such sad and difficult times. Humor cannot erase our grief… it can’t make things “All Better” like our mommies did when we were little kids. But encouraging and welcoming humor into our lives will help us to at least begin to heal.

Now pass the wine.

Not at my house. But recenlty I learned that the spoken word CAN be “Family Friendly!”

When I was younger (and not yet a motivational speaker– heck, I wasn’t even a fireman which was my first goal) I spent a great deal of time in a little house in Silver Plume, Colorado. There was no T.V. up there to distract me and my sister and brother. Instead, we found entertainment in four or five Bill Cosby comedy albums my mom and dad bought. We laughed tons and tons as we listened to the albums over and over again. We could have recited the entire albums– and probably did.

Years later, to my delight, my dad gave me the very albums that had been such an escape many years ago. After some trial and error, I finally figured out how to hook up the record player to my computer and copy these albums onto CD so they would last — with the same scratches and grooves for many, many years to come.

The best surprise I got out of doing this though was that my kids love these comedy albums just as much as I did as a kid. We can listen to it together and they love it! I love the comedy recordings now as much as ever for three reasons. 1. They are old friends and listening to them is like a hug from a friend you thought you lost. 2. They are hilarious! Cosby’s stuff really holds up. And 3. It’s a hoot to listen to them with my kids. It is really special to be able to share humor like this across the generations.

Even after all the years of being a comedian, I never thought it was truly possible to have family-appropriate humor that would really be enjoyed by everyone. Of course I had done many shows aimed toward the family that included magic, but Cosby serves as such a great example of how the spoken word alone can be very funny to audiences of all ages without being inappropriate. (Can you imagine encouraging your six year old kid to listen to Chris Rock?) Family Friendly comedy? How Cool is That?!

[Yup… I have a family friendly corporate comedian and magician show too! Learn more here.)

… no…. under the bed.

Often we don’t have to look very far to find humor in action. (At least not at my house.)

My wife Kim and I were putting our little kids to sleep. They are afraid of the monsters that might be around, and as I watched from the doorway asked Kim to close the doors to the closet and the bathroom. (Apparently monsters are unable to operate doornobs.)

“Do you want me to look under the bed?” she asked them?

Of course they did. So she bends down to look under the bed and says, “Ok Frank and Larry: they know you are here and they are scared so just stay where you are or you’re gonna freak them out. Ok? Ok.”

My kids eyes got really big REALLY fast. But I cracked up. I mean cracked up.

The kids … probably prompted by me … cracked up too. It was a great end of the day for them.

I loved it and have told the story several times since… including here.

Wanna know the funniest part? Kim doesn’t think she was particularly funny night… and she thinks the fact that I DO think it was hilarious is (further) evidence that I’m a wacko. Which of course, just made it funnier for me. So be it.

My point? You don’t have to hunt far for humor. Just pay attention and you’ll find very funny people who may (or may not) be trying to be hilarious. Without much of a fuss you should be find plenty of humor anywhere you look for it. (Especially if you look under the bed.)

It’s a Ten ….. Food folks fun freely.

It is one thing to speak to a group for 45 minutes (or an hour, or 90 minutes, or even a half day) and to teach them about the power of laughter, motivational humor, and just generally how to lighten up.

But it is another (sometimes much harder) thing to actually get people to do it. For them to actually change their behavior, their outlooks and their attitudes based on what I tell them.

I give my audiences a bunch of ideas about how they can take laughter with them (and how they can use it to help make their lives better.) But to be honest, I’m always unsure of how much they actually take with them. I wonder sometimes if they get it.

So, imagine how cool it was to get an email from a group of folks at the Quality Assurance Association (a bunch of food folks) with a great photo taken of a bunch of their members at dinner.

motivational humor in restaurants!

Apparently they did get it! What a blast.

Check out the letter and the photo:

Brad,

You really made a hit with our members. They kept quoting you all week,especially with “Incredible” and “ride the pony”. Some even wore their red noses to dinner. I have pictures of our group at dinner holding up 10 on napkins for our waitress who was asked to give us 16 individual checks!
I also have a sign we found at the lab we visited that everyone thought you could use in your program. I’ll fax to you if you send me your fax. I really enjoyed watching Joe Kelly , sitting opposite me in the meeting , go from no expression to actually laughing a few times. He looked like a stick in the mud most of the time.

Your motivation and humor helped a ton.. You are great and I had so many people ask how I found you.

Take care,

Ann Thompson”

(PS. They are holding up signs that say “10.” This is a very cool idea created by my mentor, Dr. Earl Reum (http://www.earlreum.com ) where you hold up a sign Olympic-Judge style after a co-worker does something cool, a new-hire finishes a first product, your spouse makes a great dinner, etc. You get the idea. It’s awewsome. Thanks Earl!)

Being a motivational humorist speaker rocks! I love my job!

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