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I just did my motivational humorist speaker thing for a wonderful group of retailers in Virginia.  I had a blast.  They just sent me the coolest letter.  

Our membership could not have been more delighted with Brad Montgomery. He was, in a word, wonderful. His message of being upbeat and making the most of difficult times was so appropriate for our audience…they are still raving about his performance, personality and how he managed to set the stage for our working weekend.

To be perfectly honest, I was a little anxious when he started…retailers get a little unnerved when people start talking about the challenges of a down economy. However, Brad (the consummate professional) worked right through it and had the audience eating out of his hands by the end of the evening.

As I told Brad, there were folks in the audience dealing with stores closing, personal health issues, family challenges and the like. He managed — in about 45 minutes — to get everyone in an upbeat mood and receptive to solving the opportunities we face.

As a matter of fact, his mantra for the evening (“How cool is that?”) was cited in several thank you notes and has been repeated often amongst those in attendance.

I would highly recommend Brad Montgomery to any group interested in a delightful performance that allows participants to forget their troubles and open their minds to possibilities.

Susan L. Milhoan
President and CEO
Retail Alliance
Norfolk, Virginia 

 

I’m blushing!  Susan and the gang…thanks so much for the kind words.  If you’re group has 1/2 as much fun as I did we’ll be fine. :)

Besides, we did this event in a beautiful resort near Norfolk. “Having” to work in such nice digs is a totally great benefit from this crazy job.

Brad Montgomery
Virginia Motivational Speaker, Retail Speaker, Fan of Resorts!

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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!

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.

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.)

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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