Thursday, January 30, 2014

New Game, New Rules

Wednesday January 29th, 2014 – Brookfield, WI

   Today I started what I hope will be a long and productive journey as a “professional humorist” and not a “comedian”- even though comedian is how I ended up being billed. I had a booking in Brookfield, WI at the BMO Harris Training Center speaking for some Coldwell Banker realtors. They were having their yearly awards breakfast, and I was hired to close it out with some humor.

   Roy Scholtka is the owner, and I’ve been friends with his son Corey for years. Many years ago Roy asked me to speak to his realtors at a similar event, and I must have done at least a half way decent job or I don’t think he would have asked me back. I didn’t embarrass myself either time.

   I don’t know the first thing about the real estate business other than it’s been in the crapper for several years like a lot of businesses have been, but I do know that ALL businesses boil down to the people business so that’s the angle I took with my preparation. I wanted to be ready for this.

   The biggest reason was I didn’t want to let Roy down. He’s a super nice person, and has people skills that could be picked up from a weather satellite. He’s extremely likeable, and if I happened to looking for a home I would absolutely trust him or anyone he would recommend. He’s a pro.

   He has been in the game for forty years, and knows what he’s doing. Corey has said often that he wasn’t blessed with the people skills his father has, and that’s why he doesn’t want to work at the office when he obviously could. He’s choosing to play to his own skill set, and that’s smart.

   I told Corey I was making the transition from comedian to humorist, and he immediately talked to Roy about having me speak again. Roy called and offered me an opportunity to not only speak at his event but also have it recorded in a tremendous facility. That’s exactly what I needed to do.

   As a comedian, word of mouth bookings are very common. I’ve been getting booked that way since the ‘80s. I don’t think I’ve used a video to get work more than two or three times in all the years I’ve been at it, and even then it was for an outside venue rather than a comedy club show.

   That’s just how that business works - at least from my experience. The speaking game is totally different, and I’ve been paying attention to my speaking friends like Todd Hunt and Dale Irvin as they tell me I will absolutely need a video to get booked. New game, new rules. I’m fine with it.

   I’ll bet I was a comedian for at least ten years before I ever thought about making a video (back then they were TAPES – what a dinosaur I am) and I only did then because I got a package deal from a video guy that was there to record one of the other acts on the show. I said yes reluctantly.

   Recording my first time out today was the correct thing to do. I’m sure I’ll wince at what I did this morning a year from now, but I got some nice laughs and everyone was happy. I don’t have close to the polish of a Todd Hunt, and I doubt if I ever will. We’re going for different results.

   Todd has a message in his presentation, and it’s excellent. I have a long way to go, but both he and Eric Feinendegen will help me craft a product that will get work. Eric coached me on what I should look to present today, and I think it came off really well. It was a very positive first shot.

A sincere thank you to Coldwell Banker Homesale Realty for having me as a humorous speaker for their annual awards breakfast today.

I've known Roy Scholtka for years through his son Corey, and he's one of the most 'people skilled' people I've ever met. If I ever need a home in Southeastern WI his company is my first and only choice. You'll get treated royally as well.

No comments: