Change? Laugh or Cry; Your Choice.
It isn’t always this easy, but it is (nearly) always this simple. When we as organizations or individuals deal with change there are two certainties. First, it’s going to be something new. Duh. Second, it’s going to happen whether we want it to or not.
Got a new organizational structure? Has has the shape, structure and content of your workforce changed? Or your uncertain about exactly how YOU will fit in with all these changes?
I’ve got a couple of thoughts about it for you, but they both start with the concept that it’s time to stop complaining, stop worrying, and start doing something that can help you. It’s time to start learning to laugh at change.
In my job as a motivational speaker I’m often asked to address the subject of change for my client’s audience. And my theory can be summed up quickly:
“Change? You might as well learn to laugh at it. It’s one of the few choices you have.” — Brad Montgomery
There’s an age-old law of humor and comedy, which goes something like:
Tragedy + Time = Funny
And it doesn’t take much thought to realize it’s true. That disaster family vacation in your teens? Hilarious! The time crazy Uncle Larry got his foot stuck in the chair and was howling in pain? Ha ha ha! The Thanksgiving dinner when the turkey was raw, the side dishes cold, and the in-laws psycho? Ooh, my sides hurt from laughing.
They were all lousy times. (Tragedy.) They were all a long time ago. (Time.) But now they are funny.
My suggestion is that all of the lousy things you are dealing with now are probably going to be funny if you let enough time pass. For some of you, that’s going to mean a LOT of time.
But my suggestion is simple: if it’s going to be funny later, why not (at least try to) see the “funny” in it now. See if you can shorten the “Time” variable in the equation from 20 years to 20 minutes.
Next time you are freaking out about something new at work, ask yourself if you’ll really care about this change in five years. Now go one teensy little step further and ask yourself if you think this change might be funny in a month or a week or a decade. If the answer is yes, you’re an idiot to dwell too hard on it.
It’s time to start laughing. Now.
Yes, it’s a simple concept. Which doesn’t mean it’s an easy concept. That new software package you’re sorting through IS a pain in the neck. The uncertainty of the merger IS a stress. The recent layoffs (or rapid growth) are difficult. But so what? Are you really going to let these things ruin your day? Your job? Your life?
Again, if the answer is yes, you’re a fool.
As a change motivational speaker, I teach my audiences this wildly simple concept, and then give them some simple — but seriously effective — techniques and strategies that they can start to implement right away.
The best way to deliver these messages of levity, humor and hope? Through generous doses of laughter.
If we make your group laugh — and laugh HARD — at some really funny and relevant discussions of change, they’ll listen. And because it is so much fun, it will help it stick. Making it funny helps with retention.
Looking for a change motivational speaker? You’ve found him. Contact us here and we’ll strategize the best way to get your folks laughing back their way to health.
Change Motivational Speaker, Funny Guy, Humor Strategist
We now present the fourth in a series of articles about:
How to work with your motivational keynote speaker to get the most from your conference investment
Looking for a motivational speaker for your event? Contact me here.
Motivational Speaker, Keynote Speaker, Loves to Multi-Task
For those folks who would rather read than watch, here is the video transcript:
Hey, it’s Brad Montgomery from bradmontgomery.com with another tip or suggestion on getting the most return on an investment from your motivational or inspirational speaker. Well today the plan is find a speaker who can do more than one thing for you. So that means can your speaker do multiple things for you at your single event?
So why is this important? Well I think it’s important for two reasons. One, I think it’s an easy way to get a huge increase in value with only a minimal increase in investment. So what do I mean? I’m talking about if you hire a speaker to do a keynote speech, what else can they do? Are they an MC? Can they be a Master of Ceremonies? Can they do entertainment after dinner?
One of the things I do is a little energy boost, game show segments to help boost the energy throughout the day. I’ve got a whole bunch of ideas about team building, doing lunches and dinners. I’ve got a million ideas because I’ve been at this so long, just kind of whole big back of tricks. So some of my favorite clients are the ones that say, “Brad, we’ve got you here; how can we get more out of you?” And the result is really fun.
So the first benefit is you save a lot of money ‘cause you’ve already got your speaker there, you’ve paid for the travel and the increase really is not that much. So in other words, if you have one speaker do two things you’re not paying twice as much. It’s like Costco.
Get The Most Out Of Brad While He’s Already At Your Event!
All right, but the other reason why this is such a great idea is once your motivational speaker or keynote speaker has connected with your audience and your audience has connected with them, it’s really cool to follow up with that connection and get the most out of that connection.
So what do I mean? Let me give you an example. If, for example, I work in the morning as your keynote speaker. Then we laugh and we’re going to make that audience just crack up and they’re going to start to know me and they’ll know how I think and how I feel and they’ll start to understand my sense of humor. Which means that if I come back an hour and a half later to introduce the next speaker or to head up some sort of team building experience or to even just do the like housekeeping notes, just deliver those boring items but in a really fun and upbeat way, what the audience thinks to themselves is, “Oh goodie, he’s back. This guy’s funny,” and it raises the energy in the room. And the reason the energy increase is important is ‘cause it makes sure that your people are ready to learn and ready to receive value from your meeting or your conference not just during the keynote speech, but all the way through. Pretty cool idea, huh?
The other advantage to using one speaker for multiple events is it saves time and it’s sort of a complex thought, so stick with me. As a motivational speaker one of the most important parts of my job is the first few minutes of any speech because that’s when the audience is sizing me up. That’s when I really need to make sure that they understand me and get me. And only after they understand me and trust me can I start to teach them. And if you think about it, that appeals to your common sense. It’s always that way no matter who you’re learning from. First you have to trust your teacher, and only then do you start to learn.
Well once we have invested that time and energy to get your audience to know me and trust me and like me, that means each additional time I’m in front of that audience we get to start way ahead. We don’t have to start back at the beginning; we can just start at the point after they already know me and trust me and they’re ready to laugh and learn. So it’s a really cool way to get a little bit of extra time. You get it?
So here’s a very specific example. If I give a keynote speech, the first 10 or 15 minutes really is getting them to know me and like me and trust me. But then if we follow it with a breakout session, we can start out the breakout session on minute one for some hard hitting, you know, techniques and ideas that they can implement right away ‘cause we don’t have to do that warm up. We can just say, “Hey, it’s good to have you here. I’m flattered that the room is full. Lets start.” And you can. You don’t have to do the blah, blah, blah. All right, I like the blah, blah, blah. Because that’s where the jokes are usually. But I know that you want return on your investment when you’re hiring a motivational speaker, and that’s why you’re looking at this video.
All right, I hope that was helpful. My name is Brad Montgomery, and I’d love to be part of your team and I’d love to be helping you to get a huge return on your speaker investment. So give us a call. You can find us at bradmontgomery.com. Or funnymotivationalspeakers.com. You can click the links down there. I don’t know where they are. You’ll find them. Have a great day.
How to Choose the Best Motivational Speaker
I just finished working for the State of Wyoming Department of Transportation or WYDOT, and I was struck with an epiphany when my meeting planner told me how he judges success for his professional speakers – the people that he hires. And here’s the deal, it was a surprise to me. What they hired me to do is the same thing that they hired every professional speaker that they work with to do which is first, to start with a motivational, inspirational keynote speech to open the convention. So, I did that on Tuesday’s afternoon and then on Wednesday, they asked me to return to do two different breakout sessions twice which was pretty cool.
I did Breakout Session A, two times and then I did, after lunch, Breakout Session B, two times. And by the way, as an aside, I really love it when my clients work hard to get more value and more return on their investment when they hire me and having me do multiple programs is a great idea. So, anyway, back to how you can tell if your motivational or inspirational speaker is any good.
The client told me that they judge success based on the attendance at the following day’s breakout sessions. So, that means they look in the room and the chairs are full, they know the speaker was well-received, and if the chairs are empty, they know that the speaker was horrible.
So, happily, today it was great. We had lines and the room was packed and, again, lines was a great sign. The client told me when he saw people lined up waiting for the breakout session to begin, he knew that he had chosen the right speaker which, of course, was very flattering. But, I had never thought about that as a barometer for success.
One of the things that I ask of my clients before the event is how do you judge success? And I think that’s a good question because sometimes they want me to make sure the audience is happy. Other meeting planners don’t care if the audience is happy, they want to make sure that their boss is happy, and if you think about it, that’s a pretty big difference.
Sometimes, I’m called in to deliver a message the audience doesn’t necessarily want to hear. So, theoretically, it’s quite possible that you could do a great job for the boss and the audience wouldn’t like you. Well, you know, and conversely, it’s important to know that if your job is to get the audience going and the audience happy and not the boss, well, that’s important to know. But, I had never once thought that my primary mission was to make sure that the room is full the next day for my returning breakout sessions. Pretty cool, huh?
So, if you’re looking for a motivational, inspirational speaker, I’d love to be your guy. If you’re looking for a speaker who can do a keynote and then come back and do some breakout sessions, I’d love to be your guy. And most of all, if you’d like to hire an inspirational speaker who can guarantee that the next day, people will choose to come to my breakout sessions as opposed to going to other ones, well, I’d love to be your guy too.
Wyoming Department of Transportation, thank you for hiring me. We had a great time in Cheyenne, Wyoming; loved being part of it. Thanks so much.
Looking for a motivational speaker for your event? Contact me here.
Inspirational Speaker, Very Popular Breakout Session Leader
Fan of the Wyoming Department of Transportation
No! You Want to be Positive….You Want to be Upbeat!
The science is clear that individuals can influence the dynamic of a group, or a team, or an organization. Scientists have created the following study: They add an individual to a team and then they measure the effect, and no surprise here, a positive upbeat person affects the team in a positive way. And a negative person influences the organization or team in a negative way. Again, not a shock. But here’s the interesting, and I think, sad part.
A negative person has a much greater impact on that team than a positive person. Well, this is interesting because it begs us to ask the following question of ourselves: What impact would we like to have on our organization or our team? I think it’s a cool question because even though it’s partly rhetorical, the process of answering that question helps us to live our life in a way that leads us to more happiness and more productivity.
So what do you want your impact on your team to be? If you want it to be negative and you are the person who goes in and is miserable and makes everybody around you miserable, well then, you’re an idiot and I can’t imagine anybody would really select that as their future, as their legacy.
I guess the other choice, besides being positive, the third choice, is to be neutral. In other words, you would select to go into your team and have absolutely no impact and again, who would choose that? Who would say to themselves, “Today I hope to make absolutely no difference to the people I work with and the people I work for.” Who would choose that? Seriously, who would choose that?
So that leaves the final choice, which is, “I would like to make a positive impact on the people I’m working with on my team, on my supervisors, on the people who report to me, on my clients, on my family; whatever the organization, I’d like to make a positive impact.” Kind of cool.
So what’s my suggestion to you? My suggestion to you is you ask that question. What do you want your legacy to be? What impact do you want to have on any given organization, be that your family, your soccer team, or your work team. My guess is you don’t want to be the negative loser who tries to bring everyone down. My guess is that having sort of a net neutral effect and that you make absolutely no difference to this team is not your choice either, and of course, that leaves the obvious solution, which is you want to be positive, you want to be upbeat, and you want to move the team forward. If that’s the case, that should help dictate the way you act. It should help dictate your mood, it should dictate your style of leadership and it should dictate your attitude, which of course ought to be positive.
If you’re looking for a motivational, inspirational speaker to come in to talk to your group about how to make sure people are making the right choices about being a positive influence on your team, I’d love to be your guy and I hope you’ll contact me.
Inspirational Speaker, Motivational Expert
“The kind of guy who makes a positive effect on my team.”
Laugh or Cry? Your Choice.
Hire a Certified Speaking Professional to Guarantee Your Success
Okay, maybe not guarantee but definitely improve the likelihood of your meeting being awesome.
What is a CSP? Certified Speaking Professionals have earned the highest designation awarded by the National Speakers Association.
To be a CSP is a big deal. You’ve got to do way more than just fill out a form. They pretty much examine your career, they look at the number of jobs you do per year to make sure that you’ve done a lot, they look at the amount of income that you have earned through speaking to make sure that you are working professional events, and then, here’s the killer, they call an alarming number of your clients to make sure that you were delivering excellence. When I earned my CSP I was told that fewer than 7% of professional speakers worldwide have earned their CSP.
What is the point? The point is is that when you’re hiring a motivational speaker you want the very best. And one easy litmus test that you could put up is to see if your prospective speaker has met the qualifications for this very straightforward designation. If they have, you know a lot about them. You know they’ve done a lot of work, you know they have a lot of experience, you know they’ve worked at a certain fee level which guarantees that they are not just working at the Optimist Club and the Lion’s Club, which by the way is important.
Just because somebody says that they’ve given a lot of speeches doesn’t mean they’ve given a lot of speeches in front of business audiences or audiences like yours. What else do you know? You know that somebody, at least one person, has checked up on the speaker to make sure that they’re not complete fluff – that it’s not just marketing. You know that this speaker has met a certain level of professional success.
Happily, I’ve earned my CSP. I’m proud of this! It took hours and hours of paperwork. My office went nuts for about six months trying to get this done. Plus, of course, it meant an absolute headache with arranging a database. But it was worth it to me because it is worth it to my clients.
Next time you’re considering hiring a speaker make sure your speaker has the initials CSP after their name.
Are you looking for a professional motivational speaker who also is a CSP, Certified Speaking Professional? I hope you will contact me here.
Motivational Speaker, Certified Speaking Professional, and proud of it!
We now present the third in a series of videos called…
Top Mistakes Made When Hiring a Motivational Speaker.
For those of you who would rather read than watch, here is the transcript:
This is Brad Montgomery, of www.bradmontgomery.com with the third in a series of top mistakes people make when choosing or hiring a motivational or inspirational speaker.
One of the mistakes people make is that they’re thinking we really need an energy boost for our convention or our meeting, so we want it to be funny. Okay. That’s a good idea. But the mistake is they end up hiring somebody who is very funny but has no relevance to business or government or whatever your association is. They don’t connect their humor to what they are trying to achieve with their organization. Huge mistake.
So, here’s the deal. If you want someone to be really, really funny—like comedian style—like really funny and you want a completely solid business message—if you want the message to be completely relevant with what you and your organization are trying to achieve—it is possible. You just have to make sure you’re asking the right questions and make sure you book the speaker who can deliver both. Like me. I can do both. I’m very proud of that.
I don’t mind telling you I started out as a comedian. I didn’t use to be able to do both. And then I’ve authored a couple books and worked for a few hundred clients and I’ve interviewed all these people. And I get the concept of really delivering the meat but at the same time making sure that they’re laughing all the way through.
So, if you’re looking to book a funny, motivational speaker, that’s a great idea. Just make sure that they’re not just funny. Make sure that they also have a complete, concrete tie-in to whatever it is you’re trying to communicate to your people.
I’d love to be part of your team. You can contact us through the web site at www.bradmontgomery.com . Give us a call and tell us what you’re trying to accomplish with your meeting or convention, and we’ll do our best to see if we can’t help you get there. Have a great day.
Looking for a motivational speaker for your event? Contact me here
As a motivational speaker, almost 9 out of 10 clients ask me to address change management. I’m honestly amazed at how many of my clients are freaked out about change. The change is real, and their pain is real. But the answer to their stress and unhappiness might be more simple than they think.
Check out two of my recent clients, both of whom are dealing with a ton of change.
- Hired a Change Management Consulting Firm
- Lots of analytics, measurements and surveys around prepping for change
- Work culture is toxic
- Huge exodus of people on all levels
- Profitability is down
- Focused on growth, profits and the future.
- Feels a positive work culture is crucial to success.
- Like Client 1, has had major changes in their technology, client base, and organizational structure. But they consider all of these things, “Challenges we are making progress on.”
- Has a VERY positive and well-loved work culture
- Profits are up
- Growth up
- Future is bright
Client 1 Is freaking out.
Client 2 has most of the same issues regarding change, but just considers constant adaption as part of their business.
So What is My Point?
What you focus on is where the power is! In order to stay relevant and profitable, every organization is going to have to adapt to changes in our markets, our technology, and even our employees. Change is just a given. You don’t have a choice regarding change, but you do have a choice in how you react to it. You can freak out. Or you can roll your sleeves up, get started, and move forward towards success.
Client 2’s focus is on epic culture, and epic customer experiences. That’s the focus. Yes, they have to constantly deal with sometimes HUGE changes, but for them it’s just part of their job.
The management at Client 1 is freaking out, and everybody on staff knows it. They feel unsettled and upset, and they are NOT doing well with productivity or profitability. They need to calm down, take a breath, and just get started with moving forward. I’m convinced that the very fact they are surveying and analyzing every person and every bit of their company is primarily telegraphing their anxiety to their staff.
It’s not easy, but it is simple. When it comes to change you either have to accept it as a constant part of your job, or … You need a new job.
Dealing with change is simple, but not easy. Do you want to get behind it? Or do you want it to happen to you?
Yes, I know I’ve over-simplified. Yes I know that sometimes you DO REALLY NEED a huge amount of study regarding workplace processes, structure and culture. But on the other hand, it isn’t THAT complicated. Change is the new constant, and if you let it freak you out you are not going to do well.
Take a breath, roll up your sleeves, and start chipping away at your new problems. Give into the fact that you’ll NEVER be “finished” with these problems. (If you ever do finish with these problems, you’ll be out of a job!) And see if you can find some joy in the phrase, “We’re working on it, and we feel like we are making progress.”
You can do this. You’ve got this. Now stop whining.
Brad Montgomery is a business and motivational speaker based in Denver, Colorado. He speaks to the people side of business. Call today to bring him in to speak to your group about change.