Archive for the ‘Conference speaker’ Category

Is this your idea of a whale of a good time?

March 5, 2013
                                                                  whale
No. The diver is not headless. His head is below the bubbles inside the wet suit and I wonder what he was thinking right at this moment? 
My guess is it had nothing to do with world peace, the price of gas or the latest on Jay Lenno.

During my motivational keynote speeches on being fearless and taking risks to experience more success and happiness in life, I talk about the worst day of my life when I was laid off from an office job living far away from my home town in Australia as a young woman. I was petrified. The country was in a recession and the economic outlook was as bleak as it’s been here in America for the past four years.
Go Red laughing side on
My first instinct was to call my parents 1,000 miles away.
george Halfway through dialing I realized they would just tell me to come home and I’d be right back where I started. My hopes and dreams of traveling the world, working on a professional stage and dating George Clooney would be dashed.
(OK, so one of those dreams was a fantasy)I hung up the phone and that pivotal moment changed my whole life. 

Long story short, I grabbed an opportunity to play the piano in a posh Sydney hotel with no experience, a repertoire of 50 songs (mostly Beatles) and a tummy full of nerves. And poof! A star was born (lol)

Last week on TV’s reality show The Biggest Loser, there was a man afraid of swimming because of all the unseen dangers lurking below the water. After shedding many pounds and gaining considerable confidence, the man decided to face his fear and go swimming in the ocean (with a guide in nearby boat). He emerged on shore a changed man.

LESSON: Let go fear of things you can’t control.
Whether it’s the economy, other people or big fish.

Take small steps towards things you CAN control to realize your dreams/goals:
Lose weight, change jobs, venture out, meet new people,
Take a class, join a club, learn a language,
Swim with sharks.

Have a whale of a good time.

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You & George Clooney: Heart Throb or Heart Stroke?

February 20, 2013

Go Red for Women Montana standing front audience smiling

The American Heart Association’s fundraiser in Montana was a day to remember. Who needs 50 Shades of Grey? This was 350 Shades of Red!

February is heart healthy month. Did you know heart disease/stroke is the #1 killer of women in America – more so than cancer?

Being the keynote speaker for the annual Go Red For Women Go Red for Women logoluncheon in Billings recently was a real eye opener. The audience ranged from late 20′s – 50′s working professionals in banking, healthcare and the oil industry. The eye opener was how young the survivors were that shared their story of having a stroke.

Thirty-something year-old’s with babies aren’t supposed to have strokes.

We talked about being fearless: using passion and fear as tools to live a more fulfilling successful life NOW vs someday in the future. I shared the story of the worst day of my life laid off from my office job and how scary it was for a young womanTheresa at piano blue sequin jkt croppedliving far away from home. After grabbing an opportunity to play piano in a hotel for two weeks with no experience, a limited repertoire and a tummy full of nerves, I discovered a passion for performance that motivated me to tour the world on a piano bench ending at the 2006 Olympics.       Olympic Rings small                     

The worst day of my life became the best thing
that ever happened.

The young women that survived the strokes now have a passion for life like never before. They learned a big lesson: Take care of yourself first so you can take care of others.
          
What makes your heart throb? (besides George Clooney) George Clooney
Is there a small business you want to start? A destination you’d love to explore? A class you’d like to take?
Have you taken a step towards it? If not, why not?

All things come to those who wait.

So does death.

 

“Theresa made our Go Red For Women Luncheon a HUGE success with her energetic enthusiasm & uplifting performance!  Our attendees left feeling inspired about taking risks to succeed and really happy they attended our event.”

– Nina Hernandez,  American Heart Association

Aha! For A Second, Change For A Lifetime

February 5, 2013
 
                                                 HADOA
I’m off to speak in Montana….
where I hear it’s a tad chilly.
OK. It’s freakin’ freezing!
Out with the faux fur.
 
February is national heart month and the American Heart Association is hosting a slew of Go Red For Women events across the country. I’m the luncheon speaker at the Billings chapter where 350 women are attending the fundraiser.
 
Did you know that heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women in the USA? (yes, more than cancer)
 
The half day event includes workshops on healthcare, exhibitors and survivors sharing their stories. Then it’s my turn….
 montanaThey hired me to supercharge the energy in the room and close the event on a positive note.
 
For 30 minutes the audience is going to forget their problems and focus on possibilities. For 30 minutes they’re going to be uplifted, entertained, inspired and educated. After 30 minutes they’re going to leave happy they attended and hopeful for the future.
 
Thirty minutes isn’t very long to plant seeds for a lifetime – but it only takes one aha! moment to be a game changer for one person.
 
Gotta be grateful for my life, my health and my gifts that I get to share in such awesome ways.
 
Look out Montana……you’re about to get a whole lot of hot stuff!

ARE YOU GAME?

January 29, 2013
sloane
Sloane Stephens

The Australian Open is over.                                           Some dreams were dashed,  others fulfilled.

For 19 year old Sloane Stephens a dream came true.

Can you possibly imagine what it would be like to not only meet your idol but compete against her on the same court while the world watched? What would be going on in your mind?

Mine would be mush with fear.

On the morning that Sloane Stephens was to play against the legendary Serena Williams, she woke up and said to herself: “I can do this”. That’s a bold and fearless attitude for such a young player. And she did. Sloane beat her idol and earned herself a place in the top 20 tennis players of the world. It didn’t matter she didn’t win the Australian Open. She won something more valuable: self confidence.

What’s devil angelYOUR dream? Have you got a bucket list of things you’d like to do? Is there a voice in your head saying why you’ll never accomplish any of them?

In a recent after dinner speech I told the story of how eighteen months ago I walked into the Memorial Park Tennis Center in Houston and asked if they had group lessons. I hadn’t stepped foot on a tennis court for 30 years and I was terrified of making a complete fool of myself…….especially since the other women in the class were all perky young girls of 25.

Do you know how annoying perky young girls are???  They run fast, they jump high, they don’t sweat, puff or pant. Aaaargh!Theresa tennis small!!                                           

Fast forward to now….I’m playing five times/week, having a ball (literally), meeting great new people, feeling vibrantly alive and energetic and those perky young girls are nowhere to be seen.
             
Watch out for negative self talk. It can cost you life’s most precious gift: Happiness.

Game, set, match.

Woman motivational speaker Theresa Behenna: Fail your way to Success!
    Kickoff conference speaker 
         Theresa Behenna

 PROFESSIONAL MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER THERESA BEHENNA     IS PERFECT FOR:

Conferences * After dinner

Women’s groups * Awards banquets

Association meetings

                                                                
Theresa@TheresaBehenna.com Tel: 713.627.7821  http://www.TheresaBehenna.com

New Norm for the New Year

January 23, 2013
 
From left: Craig Beskid Exec.Dir. EHCMA,
Mark Byrd Shell Oil, yours truly, Todd Monette LyondellBasell & John Parkinson PetroLogistics

Recently I spoke to a group of engineers that made up the East Harris County Manufacturers Association (EHCMA) at their annual awards banquet.

My topic: “Extraordinary is the New Norm!” covers the five principles it takes to be the best on the job in today’s economy:
1.   PASSION
      Engage & motivate  employees
2.  PERSEVERANCE
Overcome challenges & consistently deliver more value
3.  ATTITUDE
      Be willing to learn from each generation & stay likeable
4.  PEOPLE
      Develop a strong team culture through servant leadership
5.  FOCUS
      Keep goals in mind but be open to innovative ideas       

The challenge at this awards event? Keeping them awake after an open bar and steak dinner.  
 C’mon, we’re talking engineers here! 

They booked this Houston piano playing, funny speaker for three reasons:

  • liven up their meeting 
  • give ’em a message they can use  
  • make everyone feel glad they came
Mission accomplished – thanks to key audience members being great sports (Chevron guys rock & Dupont men rule!) Gotta luv ’em!
 
SINCE 2008 THE MEETINGS INDUSTRY has taken numerous kicks in the proverbial err, wallet. The AIG scandal was the final straw. Budgets tightened and professional speakers were canceled as organizations were scrutinized to justify the expense.snooze

Now people are tired of dry facts ‘n’ stats industry speakers that amount to one big snooze fest.
With the popularity of the Ted Talks and audiences demanding an EXPERIENCE versus simply attending, 2013 will herald major changes for meetings and conferences.
  • Got funny?  
  • Got content?  
  • Got a singing dog?
Extraordinary: The New Norm for the New Year.

 

New You for the New Year: Botox or Bacon?

January 21, 2013
gaga
Lady Gaga 

HOW FEARLESS ARE YOU?

Do you like trying new things? Meeting new people? Change?  

speaking ewiStepping outside our comfort zone to learn a new computer program, try a new hair style, give a presentation or going out solo, can be so scary it paralyzes any action.
 
 
 
 
 
No action =  No progress = Stuck.

As the after dinner speaker for Executive Women International last week, I told the story of when I was touring the world playing piano and how I had to constantly learn new music to stay employed…just like we all need to learn new ways of working to succeed in today’s economy.

The story ends with me playing Lady Gaga‘s song ‘Paparazzi’ – and yes, standing with foot up on the piano. Elegant? Not so much.
The pleg on piano
oint is we all need to emulate Lady Gaga’s FEARLESSNESS to be extraordinary to get the job/keep the job, get the client/keep the client in today’s competitive marketplace.

 
Mediocre = Unemployed.
 

Lady Gaga is constantly shocking people with outrageous costumes  (bacon dress pictured), edgy videos, new music, wild hair do’s and spectacular shows to stand out from the competition. She’s not afraid what people think.                                                                                                                     baby

What are YOU doing to rebrand, refresh & rejuvenate  this New Year?

It doesn’t need to involve botox or bacon (unless you want it to).
You don’t even ha
ve to see the whole picture (it could be overwhelming).
Just take that first baby step because after that,
I promise, it gets easier.

Bold. Courageous. FEARLESS. You were Born This Way.

Check out Theresa’s demo video!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=J9DSw_AHVyI

Trick or Treat?

October 30, 2012

  group
Halloween week seems to be all about kids, candy and costumes. Tradition says if you show up on the doorstep in costume you get candy. If you don’t bother to dress up then expect to do a trick and hope to get candy.

The majority take time to don a costume. After all that’s half the fun, right?

Pictures here were taken last Saturday night at an annual Beautiful Witches Ball hosted by a  fellow speaker Kathy Davis who goes all out to decorate her home to the enth degree and beyond for this event. She gives it 110%. And the result? People wore costumes that looked like they took a year to make and came from as far as Dallas to attend (we were in Houston).

Notcha average Walgreens event.                                                   

In my presentations on extraordinary work performance I talk about giving work 110% of your energy, focus and talent to keep the job/get the customer in today’s tough economy. With unemployment at an all time high and more companies competing for the same customer, competition is also at an all time high. Employees need to do more than just what is asked of them. Businesses need to exceed customer expectations in service and value.

Failure to do so is tricking your company/client.

Success is about treating your company/client with 110% of you.

Boo.

Teamwork that Works

October 23, 2012
 

Helping hands in the kitchen

In my speeches on extraordinary work performance I emphasize the importance of teams to achieve goals and deliver outstanding customer service…… 

 
Serving lunch to 500 of Houston’s homeless was a lesson in what makes up a good team. (It was also a kick-butt reminder to be grateful for all
I have!) 
Downtown Houston

Downtown Houston (Photo credit: telwink)

 
1. Show up
Reliability is severely underrated today.
People say they’ll do something but don’t follow through. It’s not just annoying, it’s weakness of character and ultimate failure for a team/organization. The leader at the homeless shelter said our team was the best of all groups that volunteered there because we had 100% team turnout 100% of the time resulting in 100% productivity.
 
 
2. Attitude
Success starts with having the right attitude.
One of our team members had to leave early. She was in the middle of our kitchen ‘chain gang’ serving bread. The woman next to her serving vegetable side dishes immediately took up the slack by taking on the bread duties. No complaints. Employees need the team attitude of  ‘all for one and one for all’ making the company goals a priority versus individual agendas. Whiners should be weeded out before they destroy team productivity and morale.
 
3. Appreciation
At one point in my presentations I talk about the power of praise.
I tell the story of how a few words of appreciation for a job well done made the world of difference to a disgruntled oil company employee. Business management guru Marcus Buckingham said people join companies but leave bosses and the #1 reason is they feel unappreciated. The team leader at the shelter was generous with his praise of our efforts (despite the sloppy mess I made scooping spaghetti) We worked hard. We left fulfilled.

Organizations need to cultivate a strong team culture.

Managers need to nurture team members.

Team members need to be willing to pull together for the sake of the company ‘coz without the company they don’t have jobs.

  

WHY FRANK SINATRA SHOULD BE PART OF YOUR HEALTH CARE PLAN

October 17, 2012


sinatra 

As a professional speaker that has played piano since the earth was cooling, I’m constantly amazed at the power of music and how it transforms people and events.

I was speaking to a group of healthcare professionals at their annual conference and told the story of when I was hired to perform a 60 minute musical program for Alzheimers patientsand their care givers. The audience age ranged from 40 to 75 years old.          

Hamburg Steinway D-274

Hamburg Steinway D-274 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some patients were in the advanced stages of the disease and couldn’t remember their own name. Caregivers were stressed out and close to compassionate fatigue. The energy in the room was heavy and somewhat sad. Within seconds of playing ‘New York, New York‘ it happened…

Blank stares became bright eyes. Droopy heads lifted up. Toes tapped and hands clapped in tempo. Patients with no memory sang along perfectly to the music. Worn out care givers became energized and animated. Suddenly the atmosphere was alive and vibrant.

And the best part? No pills needed.

As the kickoff speaker for that healthcare conference, and since I’m kinda funny and play piano during my presentations on workplace performance, the precedent was set for the whole event. Attendees left feeling happy.

Can you put a price on happy? Do you have a prescription for happy? If you’re a healthcare professional how do you define happy?

I’d be happy to hear your thoughts.

Doo-bee-doo-bee-doo…

The Unpopular Prescription for Good Health

September 6, 2012

As a frequent professional speaker and entertainer for healthcare events in Houston and around the country, I’m constantly amazed at how playing live music transforms people on the spot…

Today I delivered a 45 minute musical program for an Alzheimers group with ages ranging from 55 – 94 years old. Some shuffled in with walkers, others were wheeled in by care givers, while some walked slowly without assistance. They sat expectantly with blank stares looking straight ahead.

Within minutes of playing an empassioned version of  The Impossible Dream, I felt the energy in the room shift to a new level of alive.  After their enthusiastic applause, they sang along to Hello Dolly, shouted answers to musical trivia questions, clapped in tempo to Glen Miller’s In The Mood and ended up dancing to New York New York.  The mood contrast from beginning to end was like day and night!

The miracle is that some of these people can’t remember their own name, yet they knew every word to songs written 50 years ago. For 45 minutes this seniors group came alive with the vibrancy of their youth. Their eyes shone, their toes tapped and their smiles radiated complete well being.

No drugs. No worries.

What if doctors prescribed musical activities versus mind altering drugs for the vulnerable aging population ? What if the healthcare industry embraced alternative action to pharmeceuticals? Oh wait. That wouldn’t be FDA approved.  Silly me.

If you’re the Baby Boomer caregiver of an aging parent, consider an inexpensive way to put a smile on their face and a twinkle in their eye…

Music –  it’s what the doctor SHOULD have ordered.

View this video to see how you can help someone you love:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKDXuCE7LeQ&feature=share