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School Assemblies: Sometimes.

Years ago I used to do a ton of elementary school assemblies. I was in my 20’s, and I combined being a magician with a literacy message to create my version of the Magic of Books.

As most of you know, not I’m primarily a motivational speaker for adults. But there are exceptions: check out this video:

Thanks kids. You absolutely made my day.

Looking for a motivational speaker or

Pick a speaker that will guarantee a return on your investment

school assembly provider? Contact me here.

For those of you who prefer to read, here is the transcript:

Hey it’s Brad Montgomery from BradMontgomery.com. I just finished doing the Rolling Creek Elementary School (it was a school assembly) in Elizabeth, Colorado. I’ve got to say, I don’t do that many, I used to do a zillion assemblies, hundreds a year, but now I do like maybe one every other month and I’ve got to say if I had more time, I’d do more, because oh they’re fun. I forgot how much fun those kids are. You know, I do way more magic for the kids then I do at my adult motivational programs, and the kids they just have this energy and this crazy buzz about them that is irresistible and honestly even the bad kids, the kids that are just borderline misbehaving, have such a great energy. They’re not misbehaving because they are bad kids, they’re just misbehaving because they’re excited and they’re jazzed and they’re laughing and whatever, and so that’s really cool.

So, the other thing that I thought was interesting is when I was doing this before, when I was doing it for a living, you know when I was doing hundreds a year, I was younger. I didn’t have kids. I didn’t know as much as I know now and now here I am with three kids. My youngest is in her last year of elementary school. I was a foster dad last year. I just feel like I totally get kids in a different way. I just cherish them and I don’t know, I just have a much greater sense of their deep need to be pushed to do amazing things, and it’s just special to be a part of it.

So, maybe that sounds cheesy, but I don’t care, because it’s true. I love all of my audiences. Honestly, I love my job, but there’s some audiences that are really cool and there was something really cool today about working for little kids who just haven’t had enough access to adults coming in and looking them in the eye and saying hey, this stuff is important, reading is important, you’re important. If you want to have as much power as you have potential for, if you want to be as good as you can be, it’s going to take reading, so get out there and start. It was cool and then, you know we did like a million magic tricks and I made them laugh and I clowned and it was whatever. It was a good day. The magic of books; that was fun.

Thanks very much Rolling Creek Elementary School, I was glad to be part of your team. If you’re looking for an elementary school assembly, this is a literacy assembly, I don’t do very many of them; I don’t have time on the calendar, but if you’re in Colorado definitely give us a call, we’ll see if we can make it work and yeah, thanks. Have a great day.

How I Ruined an Entire School District

Ok. Not exactly.

Farmington Schools recently hired me to motivate their administrators. We brought them together for one huge team-building, morale-building, humor in the workplace fiesta. Ok, seminar is the proper term, but hey, “fiesta” sounds like better marketing.

We did Laugh-O-Nomics: my session for folks who really wan to create lasting change in their work culture.

It went great: check out the reviews in this very short video:

Are you looking for a motivational speaker for your school district?  Want to inspire and motivate your staff, your classified staff or your administrators?  I’d love to be your guy.

The main take away for me:  I was struck with how important it is to these educators to make their job fun.  They were craving both tools and techniques for bringing levity and lightheartedness to the workplace AND permission to use them.   In other words, one of the biggest things I provided by being there was encouragement and permission to bring the concept “enjoying ourselves at school will help us with our mission as educators” to each of these fine educators.

Many of them new HOW to lighten up;   they just had forgotten how important it was both to them AND to the superintendent.

It was a great day in Colorado.  (Which was weird, because the school district was over the border in New Mexico!)

Learn more about this educators speaker here.

Yours,
Brad Montgomery
Education Speaker, New Mexico Speaker, Fan of Farmington!

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Realtors: I’ll meet you at the Lincoln Center!

Here is an invitation to the Women’s Realtors and Fort Collins Realtors event in February:

Howdy Folks! I’ll be your keynote speaker speaker for the Big Shin Dig on Feb 12th at the Lincoln Center in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Check out this video I made especially for you:

I’ve been a motivational humorist speaker here in Colorado for years, and absolutely pleased as punch to be part of your event. What can you expect? You can expect to laugh and have a great time. And because I’m a magician you can expect to see a magic trick or two. But most of all, you should expect to be reminded to take yourself less seriously — while still taking what you DO seriously.

You can learn more about me over at main site.

I look forward to being part of this event, laughing with you, and reminding each other in a very fun way to lighten up.

Questions or comments? You can contact me here.

Cheers!

Brad Montgomery
Colorado Motivational Speaker, Real Estate Speaker, Fan of Realtors

Being Part of Something Bigger than You

I am a proud member of the Mile High Magician’s Society.  We are a group of magicians — professional, amateurs, and simple magic fans — who meet regularly to celebrate, teach and perform magic. I’ve been a magician since I was a kid.  

But I my journey didn’t really start until my mom and dad brought me — after much begging and pleading — to the magic club that met at least 40 minutes from my home.   There I saw magicians of all shapes and sizes, of varying skill levels, and from very disparate backgrounds joining together to “magish.”  I was hooked.  

And still am. I was one of the many Colorado magicians who performed last night at a meeting of the club — and was reminded how much I like it. As I become more deeply involved in the professional speakers’ world, I’ve tended to let the magician side of me grow still.  

But after last night, I’m buzzed and hooked again. One of my favorite reasons for loving this magic club is that it makes me — as a magician — feel as though I’m part of something greater than myself.  Magicians have a rich and fabulous history.  But so too does our Colorado magician club.   And performing on the same stage (if you can call it that!) as magicians I’ve emulated, grown with, and performed with for years made me feel like I was part of something special.

My point?  Find  your passion, and then find a corresponding organization to join.  It’ll make you feel like you’re part of a rich tradition.  Are you a Magician? Then for crying out loud join a local club (Society of American Magicians or the International Brotherhood of Magicians.)  Or if you’re from Colorado, by all means contact me and I’ll hook you up with our club.

Check out some (admittedly amateur) footage of the show last night below —  you’ll see that we had fun.  You’ll see how casual it was, and that we enjoy each other.  And that we all love magic.

Cheers!
Brad Montgomery
Colorado Magician, Member of the MHMS, Part of Something Bigger

PS.  Here’s the video:

Aurora Mental Health: Howdy!

Howdy Folks!  I’ll be your keynote speaker speaker for the Big Shin Dig on May 19th at the Crown Plaza — DIA. Check out this video I made especially for you:

 

I’ve been a motivational humorist speaker here in Colorado for years, and absolutely pleased as punch to be part of your event in May. What can you expect?  You can expect to laugh and have a great time.  And because I’m a magician you can expect to see a magic trick or two. But most of all, you should expect to be reminded to take yourself less seriously — while still taking what you DO seriously. You can learn more about me over at https://www.bradmontgomery.com I look forward to being part of this event, laughing with you, and reminding each other in a very fun way to lighten up.  

Questions or comments?   You can contact me here.  

Cheers!

Brad Montgomery
Colorado Motivational Speaker, Fan of Aurora Mental Health

I Broke ALL of the Parenting Rules. (And it was fun!)

Check out this funny video where I break every rule in the book.  

Wearing skate shoes is a naughty nasty thing to do in a grocery store. And no, my kids and I didn’t play with them at any Denver, Colorado area Safeway’s or King Soopers. No. We didn’t.

I’ve wanted to try Heelys for some time, but was chicken. I was afraid that I’d be lousy at them. I was afraid I’d never use them and they would sit in my closet mocking me. I was afraid that even if I did wear them in public, I’d feel like too much of an idiot to actually “skate.”

But like so many things in my life recently, my kids influenced me. They looked like they were having fun… and I love playing with my kids… and … and … and…. hello Heelys!

I have used them. I learned them fairly quickly. I wear them a bunch. I notice that adults to gawk and gape when I skate, but (perhaps I’m a fool but) I think they admire me for having fun. I think they think, “That looks fun but I don’t know if I could ever do that in public.” I imagine that a few people must think, “Look at that rolling idiot!.” But I also imagine that more people think, “Cool… there’s another adult on those cool skate shoes.. I wish I had the guts to try that!”

And the cool bonus is that the skate shoes work right into my philosophy I share as a motivational speaker. Much of what I teach is mental / attitude. But I also talk about the importance of DOING things that help us ramp up the fun at work. I hate to mention the “P” word (play) but let’s face it, it makes sense. Of course the definition of “play” for a business audience is tricky, but the concept is solid.

There is NOTHING more playful than skating through a Wal-Mart. It is impossible to be bummed about the sale that didn’t happen, your over-full inbox crammed with emails, and the super-long To-Do list your fretting over. When you play, our stress goes down, our creativity goes up, and we are better able to tackle whatever comes at us.

My point? If you want to make your life — and your job — more fun, and if you believe that if you enjoy your work more you’ll be more productive, than you need to ACTIVELY search out activites that physically engage you in life. You need to find ways that appeal to you.

I’ve found one that works for me: Heelys. I don’t care if you buy these cool shoes or not, but if you don’t, I ask you this: What are you going to do today to actively ramp up the joy and fun in your life? Come on…. do something!

Brad Montgomery
Motivational Speaker, Parent, Heely Wearer, Rule Breaker

 

PS.  Seriously, do not wear these shoes in public.  It is against the rules.  Seriously.  Don’t do it.  Really.  I’m not kidding.

There Was This Principal, See, Who Went To School…

…and he learned how to be funny.

If you think humor is just for kids, shame on you.

Where most corporate types go wrong is in assuming that humor = jokes.  Or clown noses.  Or punchlines.  Fun can come in many different shapes, forms and places.

I recently returned from a motivational seminar on humor in the workplace for the Farmington Unified School District in New Mexico. (Actually, we met in Colorado…. just a few miles from their district across the border.)  I met principals and administrators who really liked the idea of “play” at work. I was able to help them find ways to transform their corporate humor culture and their funny bones in the process. However, as usual, the best humor at work ideas came from the audience.   

During the seminar, we looked at ways humor and levity could make any environment a little lighter — resulting in better productivity, morale, and retention. And, in a academic environment where things have to be very precise and “above the line”, it means that the administrators and leaders have to be more clever and more creative in finding the balance to make work and humor mesh.

Let’s face it, “starchy” leaders lead us to a lousy work environment. It is a leader’s job to set the “humor-meter” for their staffs and for the office. In the case of this New Mexico school district, they had NO trouble finding things to make them all smile.

* One of the principals did crossing guard duty (boring, right?) and decided to make up a game to goof off with his students. As you know, it doesn’t take much to get kids started anyway. So when a kid asked to cross the street, the crossing-guard-principal-man asked for their favorite color. The student replied, “Pink.” He tells them, “Ok, you can cross when the next pink car goes by.” Well, this creates much laughter and giggling because that’s only going to happen when the Mary Kay caravan comes through. Finally though, a pink car does come by and the kids do all they can to contain their squeals and giggles.

The next day, the same kid was asked the same question. What was their favorite color. Well the kids are smarter and have caught on AND they’re not willing to endure another flamingo parade, so he says his favorite color is…white. What does the principal do? He tells the kid “You can cross when 7 white cars go by.” The kids…crack…up.

The result? The kids had fun and bonded with their principal, plus it’s cool to see your principal dressed up in a orange safety vest, directing traffic.

But more importantly, the principal created levity that he enjoyed.  He turned the crossing guard duty to something he enjoyed:  it was a way for him to feel connected with his kids / end users / clients, it helped remind him why he chose education as an industry in the first place, and the smiles he earned in that safety vest helped him survive some of the icky parts of his job. 

My point?  Have fun at work. Not because you’ll get others to laugh or smile, or because you want them to listen closer – though these reasons ought to be good enough for anybody.    Have fun at work because it makes you better at your job.  These educators were better administrators because they actively made their work more lighthearted. That makes them better leaders, better managers and better educators. And in the end… isn’t that better for their students?

If you are educator, a school administrator or even a student, how do YOU make your fun at work? What was the most creative thing that you’ve ever done for a laugh. Care to share?

P.S. Thanks Farmington! I had a blast working with you in New Mexico!

Democratic National Convention Humor & Hoopla

Many of my pals have reported that just hanging out downtown and near the Pepsi Center has lead to a ton of cool and funny stuff to see and laugh at.  My dad did just that and wrote me this funny email.  

This week, I’m glad I live in Colorado. My Dad’s letter follows:

For those of you who decided to leave town for the DNC, you missed a fine time in Downtown Denver yesterday (Sunday). Nancy and I rode our bikes to the Art Museum for a look-see, then had a salad on the museum patio, watching ex-Governor Romer, the Mayors of Newark, Denver, and lord-knows-where-else talk about education. Big crowd, reporters and big men in black suits. I asked one of the suits if he was “security”. No, sir, he said. I wondered why so many in black suits, to which he replied, “There are mayors here from all over the country.” Oh, I said, and you are here to keep them safe?” “Yes,” he said.

Then we walked our bikes through Civic Center Park, jammed with vendors, people, including Am. Indians doing a dance, and a couple of kids holding a sign that said they were “Pro-Protests.” I said, “me too,” and they laughed.

The atmosphere was festive, and though we saw no parade, it felt like a parade and who doesn’t like those?

We wondered how we’d cross 15th street, heading for the 16th street mall, but as luck would have it there were several hundred people, some with bull horns, protesting the war right in the middle of the street, blocking both lanes. Horns honking, but no one really angry, and we managed to walk across the usually busy street with no problem, just in time to see a phalanx of battle rigged police heading for the crowd. They had no shields, but all manner of weapons, some of which I’d never seen before. All were holstered, and I saw only one tommy gun. The crowd quickly and quietly dispersed, and we continued to 16th street–just in time to avoid about 15 mounted police trotting down the way.

The police who dispersed the crowd, then walked back towards us and got into vans (red, white, black) with dark glass windows and drove off. There were also a couple of other vans(?) which had running boards on the sides and in the rear, on which about 10 policemen were hanging, ready, I suppose, to charge any big-disturbance. I’ve never see so many police in one spot before. My guess is that they were all pumped with adrenaline, but everything was peaceful.

On the 16th street mall, we saw several men on bikes wearing shirts saying, “Medic”. One told us they were ready to treat most anything from diabetes to heat stroke.

Nancy’s neighbor works downtown and will try to keep his law firm going during the convention. The firm was visited by Secret Service (or somesuchfolk) and told that there would be strict requirements for going in and out of the building, that snipers would be on the roof, and to report to them anything and anyone which looked like it (or they) didn’t belong there.

By the way, we heard a black suit at the art museum tell his guards that if anyone even looked like they had a big purse or backpack to send up a flare.

Although we intended to see the museum, have lunch, and take only a quick look, we stayed all afternoon. Great fun. Bikes were the way to do it.

Hope it stays calm.

Dad

Good Magician… good friend.

A good friend, and fellow Colorado magician Danny Archer was just profiled in the Society of American Magician’s magazine.

Danny is a good magician; and he has also invented many tricks for sale to other professional magicians. Besides that… he’s a good guy.

Congrats, Danny.

(Another cool connection: Colorado magician Lindsey Smith wrote the article about Danny. Lindsey also helped to edit my last book, Humor Us: America’s Funniest Humorists On the Power of Laughter.)
Learn More about my work as a corporate magician & speaker here.

Brad Montgomery
Corporate Magician, Stand Up Comedian,, and Fan of Danny Archer

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Stewart Title Rocked this Motivational Speaker!

Yesterday, I did my motivational humorist thing for the good folks at Stewart Title of Colorado Springs. It was a great group, and a fun group and a wonderful day.

One of the main reasons this group invited me to speak to them is that they needed (and I mean needed) to laugh. Over the past two years, they’ve had more changes in their management and leadership than they would have liked.

Add to that the recent woes that all title folks have experienced recently with the increase of interest rates resulting in layoffs and a general downturn in business, and what you get is a bunch of people doing good in difficult situations.

My mission? Come in and show them the “other side of the coin.” Show them that in spite of their genuine difficulties they’ve experienced, life —and their work — is still good. That a fun and humorous workplace is still available to them; and essential for them.

How did we do it? What did I talk about? In addition to all of the same tips and ideas I share with most groups about learning to take ourselves lightly while taking what we do seriously, we went straight at the pain. We joked about the turnover in presidents. We joked that the current President, David Dickard was probably temporary too. (David gave me his blessing to joke about him.) We joked about the multiple sales managers, the loss of business due to the interest rates, and we even joked about what we ate at the lunch 42 minutes ago. We joked about how the new software was more of a pain that they would like. We even… check this out… mentioned the layoffs. (You’d be amazed at how many clients with recent layoffs instruct me not to mention the layoffs… as though their staff might forget them?)
I had two choices: either avoid talking about the problems they have had and go for the “life is good” bit, or go straight at the recent problems and difficulties, shine a light on them, and try to live with ’em. We went for that second choice and I’m glad we did. Yup, things have been hard. Yup, the rates are up and that makes business harder. Yup, there have been layoffs. Yup, the leadership has shuffled more then they’d like. Yup, the new software package isn’t what they had hoped. “Now, what are we gonna do to 1) make sure that doesn’t happen again and 2) how are we going to try to stay sane (and happy!) in spite of the problems?”

One of my favorite parts of yesterday’s program was watching the difference in the group’s mood between where they were at the beginning of the keynote, to where they ended up. At the beginning, they were smiling, but still weary and guarded. At the end, at least from my perspective, they were just relaxed, “in the moment,” and in a much better (and louder) mood. Seeing the change in their body language, their faces, and even their volume was absolutely wonderful.

Hey Stewart Title of Colorado Springs! Favor? What was your “ah ha” from yesterday’s keynote speech? What did YOU take away with you? Can you comment below?

Brad Montgomery
Humorist, Motivational Keynote Speaker, Huge Fan of Stewart Title!

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