Archive for the ‘Motivational speaker’ Category

Boston Strong: Good Wins Gold

April 16, 2014
LOOKING FOR THE GOOD Boston Marathon bombing man on ground

One year after the Boston marathon bombing stories of resilience, courage and inspiration emerge from survivors and spectators.
One such story comes from a fifty-something-year-old woman who held the hand of an injured victim until help arrived ignoring the gaping hole in her own leg.
A week later Amanda North questioned her passion and purpose in life realizing that it could end at any given minute. Quitting her lucrative job in the tech industry after 30 years she started a business combining her love of travel, culture and social change selling home decor from artisans in developing countries.
The online for-profit company Artisan Connect is the first of its kind providing consumers with tasteful global art while keeping cultural tradition alive and prospering for people that need it most.

Chris Long AEI Speakers

Chris Long is VP of the Boston speakers bureau AEI Speakers (agency for motivational speakers like me) His wife was supposed to be at the finish line last year supporting friends. It was her habit of many years.

By some miracle of circumstances she was unable to be there.
In hindsight Chris says he and his family now have “a profound appreciation for health, family, country & most of all our community. While I wish I could say I acted boldly and started chasing a life long dream, my reality is one where we just stop and smell the roses. Then we talk about how awesome they are today. We look at life as more of a gift, time to be cherished. Because marathon bombing or not, it goes by so fast and can be fleeting.”

Words to live by.
Next time you’re freaked out about paying taxes, dealing with your boss, sitting in traffic or having a bad hair day, remember Boston.
Things could be a lot worse. Think of all the good you have and give thanks. Hug someone. Pat a cat. Smell a rose.
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Want More Happiness? Try This.

August 22, 2013
 

happyness
        Jaden & Will Smith:     
     “Pursuit of Happyness”

Two funerals and a birthday in one week and I’m questioning life.

 Every August 20th I take an introspective look at what’s happened in the past year and ask myself:      Am I happy? 

 The answer is yes – most of the time (computer problems can kinda lead to a hissy fit) 

What about you? 

In doing research for a motivational speech, I read that one of the top 5 regrets of the dying is not spending enough time with friends and family. Studies show that time spent with friends & family makes a big difference in how happy we feel in general – even for introverts.

Harvard happiness expert Daniel Gilbert explains:
“We are happy when we have family, we are happy when we have friends and almost all the other things we think make us happy are actually just ways of getting more family and friends.”

A 72 year study of 268 men discovered that men who were thriving at age 65 had been close to a brother or sister when younger. It concluded that “the only things that really matters in life are your relationships to other people.”

 In other research it was found that relationships and how we help others were important factors in living long, happy lives. People that helped friends & neighbors tended to live to a ripe old age. 

lion
Furry friend
Leo the Lion
 
As I sit in contemplation on my birthday Number ??? I realize the reason I’m happy most of the time is because I’m blessed with wonderful people around me. Even though my real family is 12,000 miles away Down Under, the friends I’ve made here in Houston ARE my family. 

Color me happy and grateful.

Are You Headed For Prison?

April 18, 2013

                      cell                

The Boston Marathon bombings have shaken
each of us to our core and left us wondering where it will all end….
Once again fear is at the forefront of the news.
 
As a motivational speaker for business groups at meetings and conferences, I talk alot about being fearless – taking risks to succeed at work and be happy in life. Fear can make us a prisoner of our imagination.
 
Terrorists are yellow-bellied cowards filled with hate and fear of anyone not like them. Chances are you don’t know one.
 
North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un is trying to prove himself using provocative nuclear and missile actions. Odds are you’ll never meet him.

Know-It-All Dictator Boss
doesn’t leave room for disagreements out of a sense of personal insecurity, arrogance, or both. The loyalty of the few cronies he or she has is built on fear, and so it isn’t authentic friendship. You may be familiar with this one.
 
I believe people’s insecurities show up as aggression, shyness, controversy, aloofness, arrogance, bullying, incessant chatter, rudeness, and otherwise unwanted traits.

At the essence of this defense mechanism behavior is the fear of not being good enough. The common result? Isolation, emotional instability, unhappiness.

The first step to solving a problem is to admit it exists. Do you see any of these traits in anyone you know? Errr, yes….especially if you take a look in the mirror.

Don’t let fear build walls around your ability to live, laugh, love and be happy.

Love like you’ve never been hurt, dance like there’s nobody watching, yada yada yada…

Why Professional Admins Are Like This Cat

April 2, 2013

April 21 – 27th is Administrative Professionals  Week. cat  

Employers everywhere will take their office administrators to lunch and/or give them a gift to make them feel happy about their work and appreciated for what they do.  Admins are usually women and they’re usually at the bottom of the proverbial pecking order in the corporate world.
 
As a Houston based motivational speaker  that travels across the country, I’ve given many inspirational speeches at appreciation events to thousands of professional administrators and they all share a common thread: they are very organized.
 
They can find a needle in a haystack ‘coz they filed it. They know where everything is and when stuff is supposed to happen. They often have multiple bosses which means multiple headaches.
 
Every single manager I’ve met describes admins as “the backbone of the business”.
 
It takes courage to be all things to all people the way admins have to perform on a daily basis. Kinda sorta like mothers. Perhaps that’s why admins are usually women?

It takes backbone to be disciplined, efficient and organized.

A-a-a-n-d …..sitting on a huge horse is not for fraidy cats. 

Fearless.
Courageous.
Meeeow!

Facing Your Fear Factor

March 27, 2013

What’s your biggest fear?                                man afraid                                                                        According to numerous studies the #1 fear of most people is public speaking. Is that you?

It used to be me.

Having been in the entertainment business as a pianist for many years, when I transitioned over to become a motivational speaker people said “that must have been easy for you because you’ve worked on a stage all your life”.

Not so much.

The truth is I had a fear of microphones. Since I played piano without singing, there was no need for a microphone when I worked. For 20+ years it was easy to talk to people from behind the piano. BUT………without the piano was like being without my blankie.     The piano was my crutch.

One day a friend took me to a Toastmasters meeting. Toastmasters is an international club that teaches people how to give speeches. For me this was big time scary stuff. How not to look like an idiot in front of a group of strangers without my blankie?

Much to my surprise I got hooked on the whole process of speaking in public and like anything else, the more I spoke the calmer my nerves. Don’t get me wrong, twelve years later I still get nervous before giving an inspirational speech on moving through fear to success, but nowadays that gives me the edge to do a great job.

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

Whatever you’re afraid of, it’s probably not as bad as you imagine. We tend to exaggerate perceptions to the worst possible scenario. Most of our anxieties are over things that never happen.

Facing your fear is half the battle. Doing something about it is the other half. Whether it’s learning new technology, tackling an exercise program or signing up for online dating. Like Nike says: Just do it.

Gimme that microphone!

Rhoda’s Rules For Dying and Why You Need to Know

March 14, 2013

You’ve heard the news. actress Valerie Harper aka Rhoda Morganstern on the Mary Tyler Moore show has been diagnosed with a terminal rare form of brain Imagecancer and may have only three months to live.

What would YOU do? How would you act if you knew your days were numbered? Would you begin crossing things off your bucket list?

1. Find the positive. Instead of bemoaning her lot asking why me? Valerie has found the joy in her situation. Yes, that’s right. Joy. She has been overwhelmingly touched by the outpouring of love and support from thousands of people everywhere. In her own words: “I want to tell people how supportive and loving and exciting it is to feel this in the here and now and that’s it.  This is the joy of it.  If I was gone you’d be having memorials.  This way we can share back and forth.”

2. Move through fear. As a professional motivational speaker I get to speak to all kinds of groups about being fearless: from professional admins, healthcare workers & nurses, to HR directors, corporate employees, and small business owners.  I talk about taking risks and one small step towards a personal or professional goal i.e. make more money, change careers, take up a hobby, get healthy, make new friends. It’s about overcoming fear and self doubt and adopting an attitude of  ‘I can’ –  learning new ways of working and living to be happy. Valerie Harper decided to go public with her illness because I want people to be less scared.” I want them to know the new realm of cancer: that you can die with cancer but not of it.” Valerie Harper & Mary Tyler Moore

3. Never lose hope. I recently spoke to the American Heart Association at their Go Red For Women fundraiser in Montana and the common thread among survivors that spoke before me and the audience that contributed generously was: hope. There’s always hope of a cure, a new opportunity for success, meeting your soul mate, losing the weight, winning The Voice (OK, you need some singing talent for that one) Valerie Harper’s  doctor said her cancer is  incurable “so far’” and she said “I love that, not a shred, but a possibility.  We all need to live in infinite possibility.”

Take Rhoda’s advice and live fully NOW. Quit waiting for the kids to graduate, social security to kick in, the dream job fairy to wave her wand. DO something!

Live like you were dying…….because you are.

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!

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