Posts Tagged ‘Texas motivational speaker’

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

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

Your Olympic Best

August 8, 2012

Dale and police

Studies show the average employee wastes two hours a day on personal business like Facebook etc. That equals about three months of lost productivity per year, per person. Ouch!
 
As a motivational speaker on extraordinary Work Performance I explain how top performers go above and beyond what they’re asked to do by their bosses/clients to exceed expectations and succeed in today’s competitive market.
 
Extraordinary is the new norm in the 2012 workplace.
 
Extraordinary has always been the norm to win gold at the Olympics.
 
Pictured here holding the Olympic torch with police escort prior to the 2000 games Down Under, is my Aussie gal pal Dale Krieg Knappstein. Dale was a swimmer in the 1960 Olympics in Rome and here’s what she said last week during a speech she gave to an elementary school in Adelaide, South Australia:
 
“You have to be extraordinary to win.
  
7 billion people in the world                                     
19 days of competition
10,500 athletes
26 different sports
205 countries represented
302 gold medals

Out of all the people in the world the odds of getting the gold are almost an impossibility.

I came home from Rome without a medal. I felt I had failed my family and my country. Many years later I figured out that at the time, I was one of the top ten 100 meters freestyle swimmers in the world. That’s not bad! Now I’m older I realize that I didn’t fail. I gave it my best shot, others were just better.

Dale and Dawn
From right: Dale Krieg, top Australian athlete Dawn Fraser & coach Harry Gallagher

Today let’s celebrate the dedication and sacrifices needed to become an Olympian.

Then let’s celebrate all the people in this world who give it their best. Not just in sport but in every human endeavour.  We can’t all have gold, silver or bronze medals. (Hey – nothing wrong with silver and bronze!) but we can all give it our best and if we do, this world will be a better place.”

It sure sounds like the USA would be a better place if we all did our personal best at work.

Maybe then all the stuff at Walmart would be labeled

“Made in America”.

The Power of Passion

July 2, 2012

As a professional keynote speaker I’m used to being on a stage motivating people to be the best in their field by raising their work performance level. It’s cool, it’s fun, it’s fulfilling and I absolutely LOVE what I do. Put me on a stage in front of thousands of adults and I’m right at home.

BUT……… put me in front of 100  kids and I’m terrified.

Last week I walked my talk of stepping outside your comfort zone to be  successful  in today’s world….I was asked to speak to Landrum Middle School by the Brilliant Lecture Series who recently bought George Clooney to Houston to talk about his humanitarian work as well as his life (pant, pant, he’s so-o-o hot!)

The children, aged 10 – 13 years old, were mostly Hispanic from under-privileged homes. More scary. My entire Spanish vocabulary consists of: “Another margerita please”. How to connect with this group?

Anticipation is often worse than realization…

Since I’m an Aussie living in Houston I talk kinda sorta funny (although I think you all LISTEN funny). After asking if anyone had learnt about Australia I was amazed how much these  kids knew and how eager they were to participate in my presentation. When I played the piano to emphasize my point about doing whatever it takes to realize your dream, they were mesmerized – and I was relieved.

Music is a universal language and passion is a powerful tool to influence others. I am passionate about speaking, motivating,  inspiring and uplifting people and these delightful children totally got it.

What are YOU passionate about? Passion is contagious. People that are passionate about their work/product/life are more attractive to employers/buyers/everyone.

Passion pays.

Woo hoo!

Young workers, Old Dogs, New Tricks

June 5, 2012

Doing the Gaga thing!

Whassup with this piano-playing motivational speaker? Why is she standing up playing with her foot on the piano edge? Doesn’t she know there’s a seat?
 
Not very lady-like. Not a flattering photo. But there was a method to my madness and the 300+ staff and faculty of  Texas A & M Corpus Christi totally got it.
 
As the lunchtime keynoter for this great group at their Employee Development Conference, I was scheduled to speak right after the red velvet cake…
 
My topic is all about improving workplace performance and the speech title is “Learn from Lady Gaga: Extraordinary is the New Norm!”  One of the points is about the four generations in the workforce today and how each generation has the attitude they know it all. The A & M audience ages ranged from eighteen to sixty something years old and this SO hit a home run ‘coz they laughed at themselves a whole lot. Cool group.                      
 
To demonstrate how each generation needs to learn new ways of working to succeed in today’s economy, I told the story of how I had to learn new kinds of music to raise my performance level and stay employed when I was touring the world on a piano bench….in Germany I had to learn how to play the blues, in Japan I had to learn Spanish music (who knew?) and now today in America it’s all about Lady Gaga. That’s when I played the song ‘Paparazzi’ and stuck my leg up on the piano the way she does.
 
After the shock and laughter subsided the point sank into their minds at this unique university by the sea where employee education is just as important as student learning. Go Islanders! You rock!
 
 
Baby Boomers & Traditionalists need to stay current with new technology. Gen X & Y need better communication skills and improved work ethics.
 
What new ways of working have YOU implemented in the past year?
Keep up or get left behind.

Healthcare, Resilience and All That Jazz

May 15, 2012
 
 Speaking to the New Orleans Association of Health Underwriters  was cool on many levels…
NOAHU hosts an annual Benefits Expo for their members with  sponsors like United Healthcare, Blue Cross Blue Shield at exhibition booths providing all the latest in health care info. Industry speakers in the morning spouted stats ‘n’ facts relevant to this group and I learned some alarming news on obesity and Type 2 Diabetes in this country and how it will affect health care costs for us all moving forward.
 
Needless to say these folks are not happy campers in the Obama Care field.
 
But…
 
After my lunchtime keynote on “Learn from Lady Gaga: Extraordinary is the New Norm!”  they WERE happy campers feeling glad they attended the expo and leaving with new ideas & fresh motivation
(OMG! such shameless self promotion)
 
Cool Level # 1.
 
NOAHU’s President Rina Tikia & Treasurer Jennifer Toupes were two fine examples of New Orleans southern hospitality at its best. Monday night they took me and another speaker from Baltimore out to dinner at The Palace Cafe in the heart of downtown. I was amazed and delighted how crowded and lively the whole place was after the double whammy of Katrina followed by the BP spill. People were still coming in for dinner at 10 p.m. when we left! (Houston is such a snooze fest on Mondays – what about your city?)
 
Cool Level # 2.
 
I was taken on a whirlwind daytime tour by an old friend Marc Lenoir who has been working there for the past 8 years. Marc is from Belgium and drives like Batman in a BMW (ergo the word ‘whirlwind’) We drove throughout the city and surrounding areas at the speed of lightening but I was once again struck by the number of people I saw on Bourbon Street and around Jackson Square. Tourism is alive and well and once again thriving in New Orleans. Let the good times roll on!
 
Cool Level # 3.
 
From healthcare underwriters & major companies to shopkeepers & small businesses, ‘Nawlins adds a new image to its renowned brand of jazz and food – RESILIENCE.
 
Your success depends on the ability to persevere through the storms of competitive  chaos and the spillover effect of economic turbulence.
 
 Oh When The Saints Come Marchin’ In…………Who Dat???

Guilty by Association

October 17, 2011
  
                                                                                                                                              ABWA speakers

Last Friday I was the lunchtime keynote speaker for one of the largest and oldest women’s associations in the country: The American Business Women’s Association (ABWA). The Katy chapter in Houston organized a one day conference with a great line up of speakers pictured here from left: Eleese Lester, Michelle Scism, chapter President Francie

Lockwood, Tina Gandy national ABWA President, guess who in blue? and Stephanie DeWagoneer.

Having spoken to numerous ABWA chapters over the years, it was a delightful surprise to be recognized by numerous attendees and in particular, Tina Gandy. Tina was in the audience ten years ago when I spoke at an ABWA symposium in Bryan, College Station. Tina and her twin sister Lina have a very successful marketing & graphics design company called TwinzCo. Ten years ago Tina was a self-described shy violet who ran from attention and was terrified of speaking in public.

Fast forward to now…

Tina Gandy just stepped into the role of National President of ABWA with thousands of members across the country. She gave an impassioned 40 minute presentation on how membership in this association has boosted her self confidence and contributed greatly to her success as a business woman through networking opportunities and educational programs. Powerful testimonial from a former wallflower!

As a professional speaker I am a member of the  National Speakers Association -Houston chapter (www.nsaHouston.org)  It was the smartest thing I ever did when I began speaking in the 90’s as it cut at least five years off my learning curve through its educational and mentoring programs. The second smartest thing I ever did was to form a mastermind group of peers within NSA. We met once a month to brainstorm challenges, speech topics, marketing ideas and trends in the speaking industry. Priceless!

By associating with more experienced colleagues, my level of competence on the platform improved dramatically. They challenged me, they encouraged me, they held me accountable.  

Who are YOU aligning with for professional or personal development?

Be careful. Be picky. Remember: you’re guilty by association.