Top Humorous Keynote Speakers – #111

Humorous Keynote SpeakersTop Humorous Keynote Speakers

I’m James Taylor, and you’re listening to the SpeakersU podcast, a show for aspiring and professional speakers. This episode is with my co-host, Maria Franzoni. Enjoy the episode. Our guest this week is a pioneer in human-based training and has spoken at over two and a half 1000 mainstage events from Texas to Tasmania. He is also the author of four books and markets his own line of stress Buster products worldwide. He is a speaker who teaches people to be more resilient and resourceful and coaches businesses on how to enhance productivity and employee enthusiasm through the use of humor. Please welcome to This Week in events. Mr. Tim Gard. -Top Humorous Keynote Speakers


In this episode:

  • Humorous VS Comedian
  • Speaking To International
  • Delivering Punchlines
  • Find Humor In Anything
  • Use Of Props
  • How To Handle Interpreters
  • Good Dose Of Humor
  • Tip of the Week


Artificial Intelligence Generated Transcript

Below is a machine-generated transcript and therefore the transcript may contain errors.

Humorous Keynote Speakers

Top Humorous Keynote Speakers

I’m James Taylor, keynote speaker, and speaker business coach and this is the SpeakersU Podcast. If you enjoy listening to conversations that will help you launch and grow your speaking business faster than your thought possible, then you’ve come to the right place. Each week we discuss marketing strategies, sales techniques, as well as ideas to increase the profitability of your speaking business and develop your craft. You’ll find show notes for today’s episode as well as free speaker business training at 

James Taylor  0:00  

I’m James Taylor, and you’re listening to the SpeakersU podcast, a show for aspiring and professional speakers. This episode is with my co-host, Maria Franzoni. Enjoy the episode. Our guest this week is a pioneer in human-based training and has spoken at over two and a half 1000 mainstage events from Texas to Tasmania. He is also the author of four books and markets his own line of stress Buster products worldwide. He is a speaker who teaches people to be more resilient and resourceful and coaches businesses on how to enhance productivity and employee enthusiasm through the use of humor. Please welcome to This Week in events. Mr. Tim Gard. -Top Humorous Keynote Speakers

Maria Franzoni  0:46  

Hello, Tim. Hello, hello. Hello. How are you? How are you all the way from Phoenix? Oh, and when I talk about

Tim Gard  0:54  

Portland, Portland, Oregon, it’s been really good. It’s been tough. You know, it COVID I find myself now. Every day I wake up I’m finding more and more of these. And it just gets really depressing after a while there, as you might know, gray hairs.

Maria Franzoni  1:12  

I love it. Fantastic. Loads of gray hairs. Absolutely. So you’ve actually, sorry, go ahead. I was gonna say to you, I’m I wanted to because we’ve introduced you as a humorist. And I think you might have demonstrated a bit of that already, actually. But what’s the difference between the humorous and the comedian.

Humorous VS Comedian

Tim Gard  1:35  

So most comedians are, can be put, they put people down, it’s a, you know, it’s something where they’re not afraid to insult people to be caustic. And it’s all done to get a laugh, whatever they can do to get a laugh, humorous, are more about, we never want to diminish anyone with humor, we want to enhance but never diminish. And that, you know, we may find humor in pain, but we don’t cause pain with the humor. So humorous is a real positive term, I think to use it because like, for me, my material is totally clean, non-caustic, very positive. And I think the distinction is really important today, because in business, you know if you go to a comedy show, you don’t know what they’re, you know, they’re gonna say the language, the jokes, you never know what they’re gonna say. But you know, it’s going to be outrageous, probably filthy, it’ll be you know, there’ll be a lot of things you may not want to hear at work, it’s different. At home, you can walk away in a comedy club, you can not go but at work if you walk away, it’s called quitting. So what we want to be able to do is, is to use humor in a positive way that doesn’t create a hostile work environment, and humorous, I think, concentrate on that more than a comedian.

Maria Franzoni  2:56  

I like that. I like the fact that it’s positive. And I also like the fact that there’s no swearing I quite like, I mean, I have a potty mouth in private. But in business, we say potty mouth here in the UK. But in business, I think it’s important to be respectful because you can really upset people with bad language.

Tim Gard  3:13  

And I mean, the whole thing is that we want to create, you know, we want our customers to like us people do business with those they like. Humor helps make us more likable, or relatable, more connected, it’s the fastest way to connect with people. Someone you want to lead someone you want to a vendor, a co-worker, a supervisor, used properly, it can be highly effective. And it’s a skill just like any other.

James Taylor  3:39  

So, Tim, you speak to obviously you’re, you’re based in Portland, you speak all of the USB, you speak all internationally as well. And obviously, because we’re all virtual now, we’re speaking to very international audiences. So you’ve got people from different backgrounds, different cultures. How can you be funny, when your audience is very international because as Brits, we use puns a lot. And that just doesn’t really fly so much when we’re speaking outside of the UK. So any advice on how to be funny when you’re speaking to international audiences?

Speaking To International

Tim Gard  4:09  

Yes. The first thing is you got to do your homework, you’ve got to be able to research. For instance, one of the first international events I did was in Singapore. I found out you know, the British background, they like money, Python, you know, I found out what they find funny or not funny. And the big stumbling block was they didn’t like to laugh at themselves, you know, the self effacing humor, and I had to I showed them that. You may not want to do that. But Americans, UK, Australians are able to laugh at themselves. And if you want to work in a business world with them, you need to understand the concept. So the first one is, do your homework, find out the terminology. I mean, find out what mistakes people have made. It’s easy to Google now and finds out where somebody made terrible mistakes. I was talking the day in I one of the first times I had an entirely British audience, the lady that was on the head have me had a story about and please forgive my terminology here but she had a story her whole thing was about a fanny pack, not knowing that it had a very different meaning there than it does here and then nobody laughed and she kept working to get harder and harder and she just kept really hitting it and couldn’t figure out what was going on in this audience went from this nervous like hey, to finally they realize and it was a train wreck and they were in hysterics and she’s talking about having the jammer husband’s wallet in her fanny pack at some point and they lost it. Now she didn’t do her homework. And as a result I don’t know how happy the client was, so your homework is second. Puns in slang just don’t work in humor internationally. The in Australia a guy I followed talks about rooting for your audience not knowing that meant to have sex in Australia and and so he did you know the the slang the the puns to play on words doesn’t work. We have to treat all of our audiences now as if they’re international because we don’t know. You know, if you’re doing a virtual event, it’s going to be seen internationally whether you anticipate you know, whether you believe it or not. And the bottom line with all of it is do your homework, stay away from slang, realize that the bottom line with things is that is that you need to test your material in advance. Graham Davis, one of our friends, I did a story at UK NSA in the PSA, I guess and told a story about asking the flight attendant for Kane, as a joke, not knowing that in the UK Tang is unknown. It’s a breakfast drink. It’s like you, but it’s like I said and I asked a flight attendant, everybody asked for coke or a drink? And I said do you have Tang and waited for the laughter and the only one laughing was Graham, you know so. So it’s using common terms. A cubicle in the US is a cubicle in the UK is a cubicle in Australia. So the cube crab is one of the props that I use. This is a cubicle crab. You have crabby people that you work with, and you go across the top of the cubicle with this, it’s like, Are we being a little crabby today? That works no matter where you are. And they’ll find it. I mean, I’ve used this all over the world, people find it funny and relatable. So a lot of it is just, you know, a lot of my humorous friends don’t like to go internationally because there’s times when people just don’t laugh. And I’ve explained to them that when people don’t laugh, then it’s just content. Yeah, yeah.

James Taylor  7:44  

So how do you do so when you’re speaking in front of a live in-person, audience, you’re getting that immediate feedback? You can, you know, you get a sense of the timing, if you need to pause a little bit more. When you’re in zoom land or virtual, how are you? How are you doing that? How can you tell if a joke is landed, or line or a kind of funny thing is landed? Oh, no.

Delivering Punchlines

Tim Gard  8:05  

So you’ve got to know you’ve got to trust your material. If it worked before, I mean, we always want to be doing new material. But if the material works before, then it will also work I believe virtually, you have to be able to give the audience time to laugh, and appreciate it. Because if you don’t, you’re actually teaching them not to laugh, if you don’t give them time. And it’s a little more awkward in zoom world where you say something. And we’re normally there’s hysterical laughter there’s just dead air. Knowing that people are laughing, you may not be able to see them and judge me just how long to do that. I think that’s based on experience. The second thing would be to try new material with your friends, your family mastermind groups at work, whatever it is, try and see if you know if eight out of 10 people laugh, chances are it’s gonna work virtually. So you’ve got to trust your material, train your audience. You’ve got to be able to not get hung up on the fact that you can’t hear them. And, you know, I’ve studied radio, I’ve strayed from radio humor, you know, before TV existed in vaudeville, I looked at what they did with highly effective use of props of visual things. And that’s what I’ve concentrated on.

Maria Franzoni  9:23  

Fantastic but here’s a challenge for you, Tim. But okay, can you find humor in anything? I mean, you know, we’re in a pandemic, Can you really joke about something as serious as that?

Find Humor In Anything

Tim Gard  9:35  

So you know, Carol Burnett, I’m not sure who got tributed with the saying but comedy can be tragedy plus time. You know, years ago, I was at a conference and somebody had asked the Chicken Soup for the Soul people why they don’t do chicken soup for the 911 soul. And they said, Is it too soon? And he said it will always be too soon. So I you know, I think it’s really important that the time Timing is critical. I mean, at the very beginning, of course not, depending on the audience and the context about how you want to do it. I think there is, there’s been quite a bit of humor that comes out about it. I had recently forgotten my mask when and, but I had all my props with me and I had this new one of my new props with me and had walked into a store and the guy says, You forgot your mask and, and so I came back in. Wearing this guy didn’t say a word, he just let me shop and leaves. That, to me is the funniest part about this. So I think it’s a matter of the timing, especially, these are called don’t bug my glasses. You know, all these people are working at home, your families won’t leave you alone, you know, they’re always bothering you. These don’t bug me. If you put these on, your family will leave you alone, if only for a few minutes. And they’re great for eyestrain, too. So they’re there things like this that we can do. But think about this, you do it first for yourself, to refresh and renew yourself. If you find it funny, then share it with other people. See how they can find it funny. But be very aware of the fact that it can still be a very serious subject, and it touches all of our lives. It’s just a matter of timing. And I don’t use a lot of COVID-19 humor yet. I imagine I will. So

Maria Franzoni  11:41  

I think the mask one’s a safe one. I think that’s actually quite fun. I can see that working. So I can see that. Really. And I love the fact that you have props, and is that appropriate for anybody to use props, or does it have to be part of your personality?

Use Of Props

Tim Gard  11:55  

Um, I think it is I you know if you’re quoting a newspaper, and you just quote the newspaper, that’s one thing, but if you pick up a newspaper while you’re doing it, neuro-linguistic it helps tie that it is showing the factuality if you walk into, say, a hospital and you will look for somebody in charge, you look for somebody with a clipboard, if they have a clipboard, chances are they’re in charge, our brains do this naturally. So if we can, you know, so many of us learn more visually, or, you know, some people are auditory and I know there’s all this, all this research about it. But the bottom line is in my audience some are going to be more visual, and some are going to be more auditory. So I try to use both. And I try to mix it up as much as I can. But I do believe anybody, literally, anybody can do it. I will tell you these years ago, a speaker’s coach, when I first started, told me, Tim, if you ever want to be successful, dump the props and dump the humor. He said, If you want to be a successful keynote, er, and when I get nervous, you know, my mouth gets going and, and he’s a very famous speaker with a huge background in theater. And I said, so in the play Hamlet, when he’s got the skull in his hand, and he says, alas, poor Yorick, I knew him. Well, her ratio, you think it works better with the skull or without the skull? And he said You don’t need this skull? I said, No. Which, which one, which one works better? So the props, if it adds to use it, if it distracts from, don’t, -Top Humorous Keynote Speakers

James Taylor  13:31  

I think also on that it’s, especially when you speak to audiences that were if we’re if you and I both speak in English, and English isn’t the first language sometimes the audience approach can actually kind of reality, they can, they can create a really strong foundation for what you’re saying, as well. I remember seeing a completely different speaker, but an opera singer, a great opera singer, called Bryn Terfel is a great bass singer. And he was singing, some, I think, was like a comedy like a Mozart comedy. And I didn’t understand the language, I think, I don’t know if it was singing in German, or what they were singing, but I had no idea. But before he started singing, he said, basically, this is a song. This is an aria, and it’s about this guy. And he’s trying to do lots of women. And, you know, it’s basically kind of thinking about all the women that he’s been dating over the years. And so Brin does the opposite, he brings out a little black book. And as he is seeing this opera language, I have no idea what the language was. He’s kind of talking is kind of like seeing like, through the little, the little black book about his lady friends that he’s going through. And it was fantastic. And I think of all the opera singers I’ve seen, he’s an incredible singer. But it also made it just create an impact with the audience as well. So I love the fact that you’re kind of doing that I think, I think it really strengthens the message if done. If done well. It doesn’t demean to demean your messages -Top Humorous Keynote Speakers

Tim Gard  14:53  

in the brain. We have these mirror neurons that you know, if you smell a certain smell, it may take you back to your mother’s kitchen. years ago or a certain song takes you to a dance that you went to with the with a favorite date, the same way these props is that if you’ve got them on your desk or around you, and, you know, during my program, they’re very funny I give them out, you know, I don’t can’t do it virtually can’t quite get them to the camera. But in my live alliances, I hand these things out with the thought that when sitting on their desk, they’re going to look at that mirror neuron is going to connect to laughter, and it will make them smile. And this is something that we need, you know, people this is resilience, it helps build resilience, to replace negativity with the positive things. And the more positive reinforcement, it helps people deal with it. This is a seat saver, I don’t know how well you’d be able to see it, it spilled ice cream. to us it looks like a spoon was spilled ice cream. When I worked for the federal government, my boss always wanted me to save her a seat, and at the meetings, people would want to sit there and say it was saved. And so I came up with this, and I would put it on the chair and people would see it, laugh and not sit there. Problem solved. The prop then becomes a marketing tool with my name on it. And I’ll send it to customers now and say save me a seat at your next zoom meeting or at your next conference and sit on their desk. And they will think of me hopefully when it’s time to bring in speakers. Fantastic. -Top Humorous Keynote Speakers

James Taylor  16:27  

I’m sure we’ve got a lot of people joining us just now. There might be some questions here, as it comes through whether you’ve been using humor in speeches or please leave your questions. I’m also interested, people are joining us just now. Any stories maybe of audiences, that’d be particularly challenging kind of using humor, maybe different types of job titles or types of association. So. So, Tim, I’m guessing How do you tailor your humor for different groups? Do you do different things for accountants versus teachers? Or how does it work? -Top Humorous Keynote Speakers

Tim Gard  16:59  

There’s a core program that then I add in specific things that they will identify as stressors to help them find their pain. I spoke for a group of animal control officers, dog catchers, and I got him these. And I don’t know-how -Top Humorous Keynote Speakers

Maria Franzoni  17:20  

I want one of those,

Tim Gard  17:23  

I will send you one. They went ballistic for them. So it’s the first rule is you can’t you know, as a speaker is don’t say something stupid, should really be the first rule. So if you don’t want to say to him, I can solve all your problems, or I know what you know, it’s Tink and gives them ways that they can find their pain and solve it. And if I can do it with humor and tailor it with humor, it’s more effective. group I, I spoke with national eligibility workers, they have policy changes all the time. This is Mental Floss, you can take the old policy, and you just floss it out like this. And it is when a new policy comes on instead of getting angry, they anticipate everybody doing this makes them smile changes the dynamics and I believe it really does change the mindset. And it’s long lasting. It’s not just for the time of the program. So every event is tailored to them. I would say maybe 10-20% sometimes I’ve had groups where they’ve wanted more than we’ve really designed. I did a thing for a company that wanted me to cook Hello Fresh meals with my wife as a part of the program. So Sophie and I cook the meals and then I would say what Tim’s doing on stage and I go over and do something about stress and we go back and cook and I just loved it I had the best time with it. So we introduced the concept of a husband and wife when they’re cooking together. They ask each other to tell each other jokes and try to get the first one to be to make the other one laugh and have to do a chore. We have six cats at home so the chore for me was to clean litter boxes for a week which is a monumental task. But you know we had fun with it in the tailoring and I think that those challenges make us better speakers Don’t you think game totally. -Top Humorous Keynote Speakers

James Taylor  19:21  

What does everyone else think? Maria, what comments and questions are we getting just now from the audience?

Maria Franzoni  19:26  

No. Let me let you into something here Tim. He always says to me one of the comments because he doesn’t want to put any glasses on you see the glasses I can see so we’ve had quite a few nice comments. An anonymous Facebook user has said Tim God is amazing, which is lovely. tamales tell us enhanced but never diminish a class act or welcome use of World of the word class like that. Tom again loses face to such an important cultural difference to understand. Groups just said he’s come back again. He had to go off his back, that’s fine. Welcome back, Greg. Bob, who is even more fun when you have Have an interpreter like I found out in Iran. Oh my goodness, interpreters. How do you handle interpreters?

How To Handle Interpreters

Tim Gard  20:06  

I had, I spoke in Germany, and I learned the first five minutes of my program of Deutsch in German, and the poor interpreter. I come out good and Todd forgets it. And I’m speaking in German, he’s used to interpreting and, and he just sees that it was like, he’s speaking German, you know? And, and then I had another one where he was laughing so hard. And all he could say was, this man is very funny, you know, he couldn’t be funny. Very funny. And so Bob’s right. He and I have talked about this, where you go out in advance, and I’ll work with interpreters in advance so that they’re able to understand the program. And we don’t just surprise them. The sign language interpreters, I’ll work with them because sometimes I try to speak slowly. But as you’re speaking, if you I tell the story about when I mowed lawns, the title was chlorophyll growth control and domiciled maintenance, part-time subterranean excavation engineering, I mowed lawns and I dug ditches, and this poor lady was trying to sign this and, and I thought probably should have cleared that with her in advance. But so yeah, I think the interpreters, they’ll also tell you, you know, just be aware of sometimes they’ll tell you something’s not funny when, when it really is. It’s just we can’t go on that one person. I think we have to be aware of the fact too, I forgot this story. I forgot. In Australia, you know, you both know, I say bummer. When something goes wrong. You put your hand here, you say bummer. And do this. Let the little things go. And if something good happens, you go Whoo. and celebrate the moment. Well, this gentleman friend of mine in Australia said Tim, we don’t say bummer. We say Oh, bugger. And I said okay, so I came out in front of 500 people and said you have a problem. Oh, bugger, and did not know that it’s not just a slang word in Australia, it has a very negative connotation. And, and so I’m very cautious about letting anybody let me insert slang into my programs, whether it be the interpreter or whatever, we just have to really be aware of the fact they may not do it maliciously. But we’re the ones that live with that on Vimeo and Facebook for the rest of our lives. -Top Humorous Keynote Speakers

Maria Franzoni  22:24  

Absolutely. A couple more comments here. So, Bob, again, brilliant advice on props, and Kersey grid. And this has given me such great ideas of what props I can use to illustrate the stories I tell which are lovely. Irving Nugent is saying I agree a prop can be so powerful when strategically used and Tom Morley neuroscience, what are the deeper results of this bit of fun? So the brain of humor, I suppose, is asking?

Good Dose Of Humor

Tim Gard  22:50  

Well, I think now, especially in everybody’s getting their jabs, but I think they also need a good dose of humor, to help people refresh and renew themselves, and to be able to call on it when we’re really in tough times. And for the other comments, you know about how we use it. We can also sell them. I market and sell my props to us. I use it to market myself. You know, when I first started, I had a picture of my pride and joy. It’s a bottle of pride in a bottle of joy. People liked it, I put it on my business card. I can’t believe I don’t have one right here. But put it on my business card. People wanted more. So I came up with this. This is a picture of my kids to baby billy goats, our kids. And so people wanted these, the major they want those. And then I came up with this. And this is a major credit card there. You know, when you check into a hotel, they say What’s your name? Do you have a reservation? Do you have a major credit card? Well, on the front, it says this is a major credit card. Oh, here sorry. This is a major credit card. My production engineer John is reminding me that I’m not at home doing this. This is the great thing about having a printer. So this is a major credit card 1-800-865-9939. That’s my international calling number that works for a lot of different countries. And they’ll ask if you have some other form of ID and if you turn it over on the back, it says here is some other form of identification. Now, do they laugh every time they see this when I check in the hotel? No. I don’t care. I can’t wait to check-in. You know one of the first times I went to use it I went to check on this young man. I go to his time guard checking in. What’s your name? Still Tim guard? Give a reservation? Yes, I do. I’m going to need to see a major credit card and it’s like I got one. I was hoping you’d ask because I got one look at it and I don’t know what to do and am used to asking for help. Whenever something like this happens. It’s one o’clock in the morning all alone. And it’s like this, this port. This port is like showing it to people that aren’t there, you know? And he goes, Sir, he said I didn’t know what to do. And I said if it were me, I mean this is just me, but if it were me I wouldn’t Ask for some other form of identification and, and he said, Do you have some other form of identity? Whoo, you know, and show it to him. Now, this is my business card. That’s my phone number. Websites on the back of my website, I sell these six for $5. My customers buy my business card for about $1 in the hopes they can show it to other people and get a laugh. I think that’s good marketing. -Top Humorous Keynote Speakers

Maria Franzoni  25:26  

Absolutely. I mean, absolutely genius. I wrote about the kids because my sister’s got goats. Like I say, these are my sister’s kids who need to send a care package? I’ll send a care package off. Oh, that’s fantastic. So Bob, who is saying I love every time, is still funny after all these years? Oh, do you still use your policy book? -Top Humorous Keynote Speakers

Policy Book

Tim Gard  25:46  

I do. Again, I used to work for the federal government. And people used to always say we can’t do something because it’s our, our policy. So I came up with, this policy manual. On the front, it says my policy manual, it’s about the size of a passport, passport, I grant you the power to serve me. And on the back where my picture is you can actually paste your picture over mine. And it just says me. So without you, when you show it to people, if your pictures are on it. It’s instant verification that you wrote this book. So they don’t have anything in writing. And so I wrote some of these are pre-written, some of them are blank, you know, some of them are blank like this so that you can fill them in as you need. But one of the first times I went to use it was to check into a hotel, and they said, all we have left is I believe it was in Australia, all we have left are smoking rooms. And I said to them, I don’t, I don’t have any cigarettes. I mean, sorry, I just sent me cigarettes, and I thought I’d connect the guy. The guy says, sir, you don’t have to smoke. And I said no, RJ Reynolds 16.2 clearly states, you know, if you’re in a smoking room, you have to smoke, couldn’t get him to laugh. And so he said, I said, Do you have any non-smoking sweets? Yes, sir. We do $150 more per night. I know, I can’t pass that cost on to my customer. So I said, Can you upgrade me to a non-smoking suite at no additional cost? I said no. Our policy is we don’t upgrade based on smoking preference. So I already had this in here. So I’ve been on my policy manual and I read if I request and reserve a non-smoking room at any hotel on that property, then gives my nonsmoking room away to another guest prior to my arrival, then said hotels required by law to upgrade me to a non-smoking sweet at no additional costs, no exceptions. And I handed it to the person and they read it. And they’re telling the other clerk it’s right there. You know, he’s not it’s, it’s right there. And this, this lady looks at me and says Sir, you need to talk to the manager. I’ve had that one too many times. So I opened up my policy manual and read them. policy manual 3,000.1 Once I’ve verbalized my policy to any employee at any level, I’m then forbidden by policy to repeat said policy verbally in writing to anyone else, no exceptions. I ended up sleeping in the presidential suite that night, they photocopied this and had me initial it. You know? And if somebody tells me No, I can actually turn right to Yes, it’s right there. And, and I’ll show you one more. This is the ultimate in the policy. If somebody tells you something you disagree with, I pull out my charts and graphs. You just need charts and graphs. If you have charts and graphs, you can do anything. So I say you want me to be satisfied? Yes, I do. Well, if I don’t get my way, I may be only 10% satisfied. If I get my way. I can’t be 100% satisfied, which in the quarterly chart over here is clearly best for me. And I’ve had people look at me and go Well, that makes sense, Mr. Guard. So I market what I sell I mean people buy these. I may often get them for everybody. And then I’ll write policies specifically for those organizations that then they can continue on using for the rest of the year. So it’s, -Top Humorous Keynote Speakers

Maria Franzoni  29:04  

I love it. I love it. I love it. I love it. You know what you’ve made my day. I’ve had a very tiring week, and I feel energized and you’ve just made me so happy to be better than chocolate. How cool is that?

Tim Gard  29:17  

It’s just fun. It’s just yeah, maybe I need some chocolate props. That will be what will be next I will get WD going there. Yeah.

James Taylor  29:25  

So Tim, where is for people that are listening to us now think we’d booked him we’d bring him into our next conference. Our next virtual event. Where should people go to learn more about you and your different programs and things you’ve got going on just now.

Top Humorous Keynote Speakers

Tim Gard  29:39  

So it’s Tim my email is one word. My website is just and you can also call my 100 number from my major credit card if you will. But they can contact me like that. I’d love to be able to work for you. The virtual programs have worked out really well, better, better than I anticipated. It just takes more work, more planning, more personalization. But I see future events coming up. I got booked for my first in-person event on April 24, in Montana where I’m from. So I’m excited about that. And yeah, I just have so much fun with this, and I and I know my audiences do. Well, -Top Humorous Keynote Speakers

James Taylor  30:30  

Thank you. Thank you so much for coming. And just taking a bit of time today. Good to see you both make everybody laugh. 

I’m James Taylor, keynote speaker, and speaker business coach and this is the SpeakersU podcast. If you enjoy listening to conversations that will help you launch and grow your speaking business as fast as new thought possible, then you’ve come to the right place. Each week we discuss marketing strategies, sales techniques, as well as ideas to increase the profitability of your speaking business and develop your craft. You’ll find show notes for today’s episode as well as free speaker business training at speakers This week’s episode is sponsored by SpeakersU the online community for international speakers. SpeakersU helped you launch, grow and monetize your speaking business faster than you thought possible. If you want to share your message as a highly paid speaker, then SpeakersU will teach you how to just go to to access their free speaker business training.

-Top Humorous Keynote Speakers

Maria Franzoni  31:26  

We have around a bit with him, but I couldn’t start. It’s great. It’s fantastic. Didn’t want to like to just take typing. Maybe we should get Tim. Tim back again, type in, and let us leave a comment if you think we should bring. We’ve got some nice comments. I know you can’t see. But we’ve got some Thank you. No, thanks so much, Tim. Just awesome. a smiley face here. Yeah, this lovely, lovely, wonderful, wonderful, right. So we’ll briefly talk about something a little bit serious, shall we, but it relates, in fact, to selling and I love. I’ve never heard of a speaker selling his business cards. I just I just phenomenal. -Top Humorous Keynote Speakers

James Taylor  32:01  

Now we are switching things up a little bit because we’re on episode 26. Now I think

Maria Franzoni  32:06  

I don’t care No.

Tip of the Week

James Taylor  32:08  

And frankly, we were doing this tool of the week thing. And frankly, we spent all the money or the budget on our tools of the week. So we said we can’t use any more tools. We bought everything we can, everything has packages coming to design. And apart from getting a sponsor. So we’ve decided instead of the tool of the week, we’re going to try something new, this is going to be Tip of the Week. So our tips this week relate to selling your speaking so Maria, did you want to go fast with your tip of the week? -Top Humorous Keynote Speakers

Maria Franzoni  32:37  

Actually, no, I want to go second, because my tip relates nicely to your tip. So I would like you to give me the intro.

James Taylor  32:44  

So Tim was talking about visual props there. So my tip of the week when it comes to selling is little visual profit, which is going to be the cheapest sales tool you’ll probably ever use. And one of the things I talked to speakers and I say How is your speaking selling your speaking going in this? I’m not really getting much business in, I said, how many sales calls have you done this week or today. And it goes kind of quiet. So if you’re like me, if you don’t particularly love doing sales calls and outbound calls, then this is my little chore. And I suggest you get them their paper clips. And just get yourself I don’t know 2030 paper clips. And what I’d like you to do is every week or set a number for yourself is over the course of a day every I want you to make it connect for someone else not to be a hardcore sales call, we just connected me with a bureau partner or client knew what was in the past or perhaps a new prospect. Every time you made that call. And it has to be a call. You take one of those paper clips, and you move them from one little thing into the other. And by the end of the day, you’ll have you’ll know exactly how many sales calls you’ve made. And it’s a very good visual reminder if you’re maybe slacking a little bit on doing your outreach. So that’s my tip of the week, paperclip sales paper clips. -Top Humorous Keynote Speakers

Maria Franzoni  34:01  

Fantastic. And actually might relate to that. And I’m sure that everybody knows this, but maybe you haven’t done it for a while. And it’s a really good activity to do. And it’s something that I’ve always done whenever I’ve been selling, work out what your conversion rate is. So if you’ve got a target that you want to achieve for the year, you want a certain amount of income and you’ve got an A fee, you know what your fee is going to be. And then you can divide that and work out how many bookings you need. But how many inquiries do you need? What is your conversion rate? How many inquiries Do you convert? If you’re trying to get 40 bookings for the year and you only convert half of your inquiries, you’re going to have to get 80 inquiries. So that gives you a number to work towards. But take it one step further. How many calls as you’re suggesting outreach calls, or, you know, communications or conversations do you actually need to have to get one inquiry so When I first joined the speaker’s bureau, which was 23 years ago today, today is kind of congratulations. Happy anniversary. -Top Humorous Keynote Speakers

Thank you to my very first speaker bureau on April Fool’s Day. Yeah, I know. And actually, that just really sums up my career really doesn’t that April Fool’s Day in the speaking Well, I didn’t know what the conversion rate would be. So I actually asked when I joined and I said, What should I be aiming for? How many? I said, How many nodes do I need to do to get a yes?” And so that I knew what that was? Actually, it hasn’t changed that much over the years. Even though it’s gotten more competitive, it hasn’t changed. Because I think what happens is you get better. You get better. So. So 23 years ago, there’s a lot less competition. But yeah, so that has to. So that’s what I would say is if you want to get 40 gigs, and you have a 50% conversion rate, that means you to get eight inquiries, and how many times how many calls you have to make, you probably have to make 10 calls, or 10 communications have 10 conversations for every one inquiry. So you can work that out, then you know how many paper clips you need per day per week? And you and I agree that the most important thing in this is consistency. -Top Humorous Keynote Speakers

James Taylor  36:14   

Yep. Absolutely. Yep.

Maria Franzoni  36:17  

The most successful people consistently work hard.

James Taylor  36:20  

Yeah, it’s funny. I mean, I was having a conversation the other day with something else about the most successful people in a completely different field. And so what’s the thing that they all do? And he just said, it’s consistency is like every day just kind of doing that doing those, those can number as well. And it’s not. I’m sure there’s lots of really cool, fancy kinds of marketing, hacks, all that kind of stuff. It’s not the core stuff, but it’s the stuff that does the business and definitely consistency. You’re totally right on that Maria. -Top Humorous Keynote Speakers

Maria Franzoni  36:50  

Fantastic. Well, this weekend, I will be consistently eating chocolate. Good. What will you be doing?

James Taylor  36:57  

I don’t know. Actually, maybe we’ll get some so maybe I’m going to do a little bit of walking this weekend. I’ve done it. I did two gigs today. So. So I’m on yesterday. Sorry. So I think I need to chill out this weekend. Maybe I need to bite the ears off the chocolate bunny rabbit or something this weekend. So maybe that’s what I’ll do. I

Maria Franzoni  37:14  

I know you’ve been working really hard. I know. We’re both tired. So it’s nice to have some time off. So we just want to say thank you very much, everybody. 

James Taylor  37:21  

You can subscribe to the SpeakersU podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts while you’re there. leave us a review. I really appreciate it. I’m James Taylor, and you’ve been listening to the SpeakersU podcast.

-Top Humorous Keynote Speakers