Why Organizations Hire Speakers Who Help Audiences Both LAUGH and LEARN
By Keynote Speaker and Human Behavior Expert Connie Podesta
People often ask me how I came to incorporate so much humor into my keynotes and I tell them that I trace it back to the fact that I came into a new high school when I was 14. I would always see the “popular” kids eating in the cafeteria and longed to be a part of that group. One day, one of the head cheerleaders asked me to a party at her house out of the blue. I was so surprised–and SO happy. Later that day I was changing clothes in the girls’ locker room and a bunch of girls walked in. They were talking about the party and someone mentioned my name. None of them knew who I was but one of them said “Oh, Sharon is in a few of her classes. She says Connie is so funny, she will have us laughing all night long.” I knew then that I hadn’t just been invited to a party; I had been hired for my first comedy gig!
Comedy is extremely powerful if used in the right way. It’s awesome when your audience is laughing – but it’s transformational when they are laughing because the message you offered landed in such a way that they thought – “Yes, that’s me!” I don’t use comedy just for the sake of a joke. No silly slides or cartoons. For me, the psychology piece is always there. My training and background are in the study of human behavior. What we know from that is that humor is a tremendous vehicle to really tackle some tough issues. It’s an ice-breaker for people to be more open to a story or message that hits home so they can see themselves adopting that strategy or idea. That’s a winning combo.
It’s also what meeting professionals often look for. They ask who can entertain as well as educate? Who can keep the energy high while delivering the message we’re looking for? Most don’t just rely on a website to tell them what they need to know about a speaker. They often just want to pick up the phone and have a real one-on-one conversation with that speaker. I know that’s what has worked so well for me all these years. Real straight talk between a speaker and conference chairperson where everything gets laid out on the table. Their job is to make sure there is a commitment from the speaker to deliver a powerful message, adopting the theme of their event, alongside game-changing strategies that people can take home and implement. Our job as speakers is to give them the answers they need, along with the collateral and references to back up those. It’s all about making their lives easier so that you can help them produce the best possible event, with the fewest possible headaches.When a speaker can help audiences laugh, learn, AND adopt transformational strategies? That’s conference magic. #HireAFunnySpeaker Click To TweetFor more than 25 years and having spoken to well over two million audience members, there isn’t much I haven’t seen as a keynote speaker. I love making people laugh, seeing that spark of recognition when they “get it”, and knowing they’ll walk away with something that can make a difference in their life. That’s why I do what I do. If there’s anything I can do to help you learn more about hiring a funny keynote speaker – or even being one, contact me today. I’m happy to connect.