I recently worked in San Diego, California for a group of teachers from the Department of starbase department of DefenseDefense called STARBASE.  It was a cool group of educators tasked with getting “at risk” kids fired up about math and science.   It’s not a military group, but these “schools” are mainly on military bases, so there are plenty of retired military folks there as well as civilian teachers.

My awesome meeting planner, Cindy, just wrote the kindest note.  Check it out:

I wanted to thank the National Speakers Bureau for suggesting Brad Montgomery for the 2009 STARBASE Professional Development Conference and let you know what a fantastic performance he gave.

Brad arrived mid-morning for his afternoon performance and spent some time visiting with myself and the attendees during lunch and breaks.  We had no idea that he would be able to incorporate the information he gathered so quickly into his afternoon performance.  Nor did I anticipate just how “on target” he would be with his comedy and message.

His ideals on attitude were in complete alignment with the conference goals which included increasing the teachers’ awareness of attitude and relationships toward the good of the STARBASE program.  The information and skills he shared during the conference provided the participants with the skills to make real changes in both their professional and personal lives.

Again, I express our thanks.  Brad’s presentation was greatly appreciated and thoroughly enjoyed by all.  It was a great way to end the conference with a positive attitude. He truly knocked this one out of the park!

Cyndy M.
Alexandria, Virginia

Aw Shucks.   That’s so cool.  Thanks Cindy.

Are you looking for an education speaker to fire up your educators and teachers?  Go to the contact page now.



This amazing story about good humor (and good grace) from one of my motivational speaker friends, Barbara Glanz.

In short, the story is about how civilian travelers voluntarily gave up their first class seats to the soldiers flying on board a commercial airliner. It’s hard not to feel good about it.

Check out this excerpt:

…Another young lady was seated in that row, and he img_mil_lgwas able to hear a bit of their conversation. The young man told her that he had just finished a tour in Iraq, was coming home on leave, and then would go back in several weeks.

As they were talking, a woman who had been seated in First Class, came back to the young man’s row, introduced herself, and asked him for his Boarding Pass. A bit puzzled, he handed it to her, at which point she, in turn, handed hers to him. She said, “I would like to trade seats with you.”

The young man immediately responded, “Oh, no, Ma’am, I couldn’t do that.”

She smiled a huge smile and said, “Oh, yes, you can, Soldier. It’s an order!”

So, as everyone around wiped teary eyes, the young man reached up for his backpack and went up to sit in First Class.

Read the entire story here.

What’s my point? We all have it in us to create happiness. And the amazing thing about creating happiness for others is that we end up happier ourselves. Sure, those soldiers felt great to be upgraded and recognized. But the individuals who traded seats with them — I imagine — felt as good or better. They knew they had been kind, and then knew they made a difference.

When you go out of your way to create joy or humor, and when you consciously make the people around you happier, the unavoidable result is more happiness for yourself.

In other words, it doesn’t matter how selfless you are, you end up getting as much as you give. Magic. And it’s very, very cool.

Next time you’re having a crappy day, GIVE some happiness. Buy the stranger behind you a cup of coffee at Starbucks. Anonymously send a drink to a young couple in a restaurant. Or make a point to give somebody who never expected it a compliment. “I like your shoes,” goes farther than you probably think. (With some people, it goes REALLY far.)

Want to be happier? Then make somebody else happy. I guarantee it will work.

Need a speaker to talk about happiness as it relates to life and work? Want military motivational speaker? (And I don’t even need first class!) Contact me here.

Brad Montgomery
Funny Keynote Speaker, Happiness Expert, Lover of First Class

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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?   : )

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!

Do YOU think humor has a place in business? I sure do. Check out this excerpt form a humor newsletter from Humorist Roz Trieber.

“Research demonstrates there is a significant correlation between humor and leadership effectiveness (Priest and Swain, 2002). Organizational culture, in the military and elsewhere, supports the use of humor by leaders in appropriate ways. The United States Army leadership manual describes, “Having a good sense of humor” as a valuable character trait for leaders (Department of Army, 1983). It was found that cadets at the United States Military Academy who use humor as a coping strategy were less likely to quit or make mistakes. In addition, humor employed by managers and leaders achieve three specific ends: 1) stress reduction in the workplace, 2) helping employees understand management concerns by enhancing communication patterns, and 3) motivating followers (Davis and Kleiner, 1989). Good leaders who use good-natured jest put others at ease. Those who cannot laugh or joke about their imperfections or personal failings are correlated with other characteristics of “bad leaders,” A majority of good leaders are shown to have quick wit, see the point of jokes, maintain group morale through extraverted humor vs. mean spirited humor, have infectious laughs, and tell humorous satires in dialect (Priest and Swain, 2002).

What this really means is that there is improved communication with less misunderstanding, and increased desire to come to work, and an increase in creativity and productivity (Decker and Rotondo, 2001). In summary, humor in the workplace promotes physical and mental health, fosters mental flexibility, and acts as a social lubricant (Morreall, 1983). ”

Thanks Roz. Awesome Work.