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Speaker Family – a Fable

The Speaker Family – A Fable

Once upon a time, Jacob Speaker and Martha Keynote met and fell in love. On their wedding day, they agreed to take each other’s name and thus became known as Mr. and Mrs. Keynote Speaker. They were blessed with many wonderful children. Those who met the parents for the first time asked the question. “Why did you give your children such unique names?”

Daddy looks at each of his seven kids who bear names that could have come from a truly hyperbolic Speakers Bureau – Cherished, Healthcare, Inspirational, Motivational, Marketing, Humorous and Positive. “Strange first names maybe but ideal for a Keynote Speaker,” he chuckles.

Mommy Speaker gazes with admiration at the man whom she sometimes thinks is a cross between Zig Ziglar and Norman Vincent Peale – though neither as old or as dead she likes to joke – as Daddy Keynote Speaker continues with his explanation.

“In one sense, those names are a bit of marketing strategy and branding. Each of the names – Cherished, Healthcare, Inspirational, Motivational, Marketing, Humorous and Positive Keynote Speaker says something about those kids and about their personal brand. I get a kick when I hear the eldest kids introduce themselves as Cherished Keynote Speaker or Healthcare Keynote Speaker. It brings a smile to the face of the person they are addressing and what better gift can you provide someone than a smile. To me those kids are Cherished and Healthcare Keynote Speaker and the name says it all. I associate the words cherished and healthcare with Mother Teresa who gave everything to help so many of the poorest of the poor in the slums of Calcutta. An interesting point about this great lady was she initially joined the Sisters of Loreto and trained in Dublin, Ireland before she went to India.”

“Those Irish are everywhere, Pops,” cried Humorous Keynote Speaker. Motivational and Marketing nodded in agreement.

“Aye, my young friend, they make an impact. But let’s get back to the kids’ names. I love to hear Inspirational Keynote Speaker and Motivational Keynote Speaker introduce themselves. Sure, people look at them a little funny and say ‘I didn’t ask you what you do, but it would be funny if your name was Inspirational or Motivational.’

Then when the kids say, ‘But our name IS Inspirational Keynote Speaker and Motivational Keynote Speaker,’ the person doesn’t laugh. I’ve never understood that. But the names Inspirational and Motivational do reinforce their sense of well being and I’m glad of that. Those kids bring a message everywhere they go simply by saying their name. It’s a bit like that Inspirational and Motivational Irish guy – the singer ….”

“Who? Van Morrison?”

“No! He is a great artist, but hardly motivational and inspirational. I mean the inspirational rock star, funny glasses, spy plane name…”

“Ah, you mean Bono from U2.”

“Those Irish are everywhere, Pops,” cried Humorous Keynote Speaker. This time Marketing and Healthcare Speaker concurred.

“Aye, my young friend and let me tell you that when that IrishmanSpeaks on Africa and the relief of poverty and aids, he is like my two speaker children – Inspirational and Motivational Keynote Speaker. My children – any children – can learn from that man and wake up each morning to say ‘It’s a beautiful day.’ And the other kids. Well Positive Speaker is, I guess you could say a handy name.”

“You mean like Charles Handy, the Irish keynote business speaker and author who wrote The Age of Unreason and Famous Blue Raincoat.”

“Wha?” said Cherished Speaker. “Famous Blue Raincoat is a song by Leonard Cohen!”

“Oops. It should be The Empty Raincoat, but when that IrishmanSpeaks he is a very innovative thought provoking keynote speaker, just like my wonderful child Positive Keynote Speaker.”

“Those Irish are everywhere, Pops,” cried Humorous Keynote Speaker. (Editor’s note: Daddy Speaker had final editorial control over this fable. He would like to make it quite clear that Humorous Keynote Speaker was NOT actually crying when he made these comments. This is basically a stylistic device by the author.)

Daddy Speaker continued. “Humorous and Marketing Keynote Speaker are the young ‘uns. Sometimes I think I mis-named Marketing and Humorous Keynote Speaker because quite often Humorous Speaker is all marketing and branding, while Marketing Keynote Speaker likes to do nothing more than be humorous and entertaining, but he loves the concept of customer service.”

“Pops, bet you can’t think of any Irish speaker reference for Humorous and Marketing.”

“Oh, I don’t know about that, my child. There’s an IrishmanSpeaks out there who positions himself as ‘James Joyce meets Tom Peters,’ offering Substance with Humor. He’s spoken all over the world – Helsinki, Madrid, London, Toronto, Dublin, Glasgow. They say he is like an “Irish Dilbert.  – Well, I think that is enough about the kids. What do you think Mommy Speaker?”

“Tell them about the dream, Honey. Tell them about the dream.”

“Ha! My lovely wife, you sound a bit like Mahalia Jackson. You know she is reputed to have reminded Martin Luther King to add “I have a dream” to his Washington speech. It was not in his original draft, although he had used it previously – most notably at Cobo Hall Detroit the previous June 23rd. I think I should stop. Sounds as if I’m preaching now, but like Dr. King, I have a dream.”

“What is it Pops? What is it?” chirped Healthcare, Humorous and Business Keynote Speaker.

“I have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American family dream. I have a dream that someday I will say to someone ‘I am the father of Cherished, Healthcare, Inspirational, Motivational, Business, Humorous and Positive Keynote Speaker’ and that person, not knowing our story will respond – ‘That is pretty pompous.’ I will respond – ‘No, I’m just a proud Daddy Speaker of seven wonderful Keynote Speaker children – Cherished, Healthcare, Inspirational, Motivational, Marketing, Humorous and Positive who do appreciate that there are certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness and they treat those around them in that manner. That is my dream.”

“Pops, you’re the best,” Cherished, Healthcare, Inspirational, Motivational, Marketing, Humorous and Positive Keynote Speaker gushed in unison. Mommy speaker nodded and searched the mystic chords of her memory to when she gave birth to her children and thought “Indeed, these kids are the better angels of our nature.”

“Time for bed kids – Night Cherished, Night Healthcare, Night Inspirational, Night Motivational, Night Marketing, Night Humorous, Night Positive and goodnight Mommy Speaker.”

“Night Pops,” they all cried in unison. “Night Pops.”

And the Keynote Speaker family slept soundly.