Using Humor to Better Deal with Change.

Today I was a humorous motivational speaker for Marsh in Des Moines, Iowa. What a hoot. It was a great group, and it struck me that this was a text book situation for an excellent use of somebody like me — an excellent use of a comedian motivational speaker.

The morning of this off-site meeting was filled with important information; valuable high content. Boring high content. This is the type of information that there meeting needed to have (state of the company, upcoming new products and company changes, new technologies to be introduced soon, etc). It was important info, but not necessarily exciting info. Tons of charts, graphs, numbers, and powerpoint slides.

So, right between two of these important (and dry) presentations they put me in to prop their folks up, to respectfully poke fun at the company and the products, and to help remind their folks that they are:
1. Important
2. Doing good work
3. Appreciated by the higher-ups.

It was a blast…. we got that group of 120 employees, staff and managers laughing, participating, and generally smiling until their faces hurt.

How do I know it was a success? Many reasons. First, the meeting planner is sending my information to other meeting planners at Marsh. Second, the “boss” or top guy at the meeting told me that this was the exact type of energy they needed. And finally — and for me, best of all — several folks from the audience came up to thank me, telling me that it was great to smile and laugh.

I was impressed with Marsh. Some managers might consider it a risk to bring in a comedy-club funny comedian motivational speaker during an offsite meeting. But they were convinced that, given the huge investment they were already making on the meeting that NOT having somebody help remind them that their work is meaningful, important, and sometimes VERY funny was an even bigger risk.

Thank Marsh. What a blast!