Archive for the ‘Professional speakers’ Category

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.

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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

Don’t Give Up, Give Back

November 6, 2012
    me
Lunching with two very successful businessmen last week was not just enjoyable but a valuable lesson for living a life that matters.

As a professional speaker in Houston, one of the key points I talk about in my presentations on outstanding  job performance is the importance of perseverance. Too many people give up too soon on their goals and dreams. At the first sign of obstacles they quit. End result? A life of regrets and mediocrity.

The three of us talked about what we would like written on our epitaph. Far from being macabre it was food for thought particularly as I had just attended a funeral that morning. Reading the deceased’s bio, it struck me that she didn’t leave a legacy of anything. Do you know what you would like to be remembered for when you’re pushing up daises?
john

John Carloss

John Carloss is the CEO of Venetian Blind & Floor & Carpet One in Houston. He’s also a Vietnam vet and a passionate advocate for our troops past and present. When he read my blog about Jeff Weiss and how he overcame adversity, he arranged this lunch specifically to meet him.

Part of John’s story began when he left an Ivy League education at Vanderbilt to join the army because he felt guilty that the only kids being drafted were poor. At age 20 he buried four of his platoon in Vietnam, was severely wounded during two tours there and spent seven years in the army ending as a captain in the Green Berets. It was in the military that he learned about the servant leadership style he practices in business today.
 
His passion for this country is equaled only by his sense of fairness – he wants everyone to get what they deserve. Fast forward forty something years of hard work, four daughters with college educations and a costly divorce that left him with nothing but his business – and a determination to come back and give back.
 
And come back he did. Despite the recession his company recently celebrated 60 years in business and received the 2012 Pinnacle Award of Excellence from the Better Business Bureau of Greater Houston. 5% of all sales at VBFC go to charities of the customer’s choice.
 
Greatly disturbed by the young people coming back from Iraq traumatized and wounded, and all the suicides, divorces, homelessness and unemployment, John founded Operation American Heroes in 2008 to help returning military with emotional, financial and physical support. Check it out:  http://www.operationamericanheroes.com/about_operation_american_heroes.html 
 
John’s life is one of passion, perseverance and compassion. Read his whole story HERE  On his epitaph he wants it to read: “He gave a damn!” My epitaph? “She spread joy”.
 
What’s YOUR legacy? Are you making a difference? Are you doing vs just thinking?
 
Living on purpose can change our world one life at a time.
Give back, don’t give up.

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…

Five Top Tips For Starting A Successful Business

October 9, 2012
As a professional speaker on workplace performance, I’m always looking for helpful hints to share. These tips by Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Airlines fame, apply to anyone working as a manager today.
  

richard
LinkedIn is a business that started in a living room, much like Virgin began in a basement, I thought my first blog on the site should be about how to simply start a successful business. Here are five top tips I’ve picked up over the years.

 1. Listen more than you talk

 We have two ears and one mouth, using them in proportion is not a bad idea! To be a good leader you have to be a great listener. Brilliant ideas can spring from the most unlikely places, so you should always keep your ears open for some shrewd advice. This can mean following online comments as closely as board meeting notes, or asking the frontline staff for their opinions as often as the CEOs. Get out there, listen to people, draw people out and learn from them.

 2. Keep it simple

 You have to do something radically different to stand out in business. But nobody ever said different has to be complex. There are thousands of simple business solutions to problems out there, just waiting to be solved by the next big thing in business. Maintain a focus upon innovation, but don’t try to reinvent the wheel. A simple change for the better is far more effective than five complicated changes for the worse.

3. Take pride in your work

Last week I enjoyed my favorite night of the year, the Virgin Stars of the Year Awards, where we celebrated some of those people who have gone the extra mile for us around the Virgin world. With so many different companies, nationalities and personalities represented under one roof, it was interesting to see what qualities they all have in common. One was pride in their work, and in the company they represent. Remember your staff are your biggest brand advocates, and focusing on helping them take pride will shine through in how they treat your customers.

4. Have fun, success will follow

If you aren’t having fun, you are doing it wrong. If you feel like getting up in the morning to work on your business is a chore, then it’s time to try something else. If you are having a good time, there is a far greater chance a positive, innovative atmosphere will be nurtured and your business will flourish. A smile and a joke can go a long way, so be quick to see the lighter side of life.

5. Rip it up and start again

If you are an entrepreneur and your first venture isn’t a success, welcome to the club! Every successful business person has experienced a few failures along the way – the important thing is how you learn from them. Don’t allow yourself to get disheartened by a setback or two, instead dust yourself off and work out what went wrong. Then you can find the positives, analyze where you can improve, rip it up and start again.