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Joel Zeff

Joel Zeff

Dynamic speaker & improvisational humorist

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Fee Range: $10,000-$19,999

Joel Zeff’s hilarious interactive exercises illustrate his central message: That organizations and individuals should CELEBRATE every day successes to increase collaboration, productivity, passion and innovation.

Joel uses a unique blend of improvisational and traditional comedy for his event entertainment. His comedy is hilarious, interactive and perfect for any corporate audience. The same dynamic energy and audience interaction that make his keynotes so engaging, works perfectly as pure entertainment.

Joel can also customize his entertainment performances to include key managers and audience members. His entertainment is perfect for after-dinner, entertaining employees and spicing up conferences. Want to add more power to the entertainment? Joel can include some of his key messages to the performance.

Here is what one of our many satisfied clients told us: “Our [participants] thought you were the funniest man alive.”

Are you ready for the next level of corporate event entertainment? How about music? Check. We have an accomplished piano player who opened a comedy show on the Las Vegas strip. How about talented comedic performers? Check. The show involves four performers (including one musical director on piano) with extensive commercial, television and film credits. How about costumes and props? Check. Oh, we can bring funny wigs.

The show involves customized improvisational skits, music, audience interaction, costumes and video. The cast includes some of the best improvisers and comedians in the business. The show is original, interactive, hilarious and customized for any corporate audience.

The material comes from the audience, organization, event, theme, and location. That information is used as the material for the improvisational sketches and songs. The piano player accompanies the group. The audience gets involved in some of the skits that happen on stage and in the audience. It is clean, fun, hilarious, customized and perfect for any corporate or association event.

The Tao of Ta-Da: Watch What Happens When Work Becomes Play

In this hilarious interactive keynote, Joel invites members of the audience to participate in improvisational exercises to help illustrate the central message: That organizations and individuals should CELEBRATE every day successes to increase collaboration, productivity, passion and innovation.

Joel’s presentations focus on the following:

Seven Lessons Learned:

  1. Learn to celebrate work and create a positive environment.
  2. Learn to improve collaboration and teamwork and help all partners find success.
  3. Learn the three keys to leading change: be prepared; be focused; be open and flexible.
  4. Learn the key to success: staying in the game and keeping your passion.
  5. Learn to promote ownership and accountability.
  6. Learn to encourage innovation by creating opportunity.
  7. Learn to enhance communication.

1. Celebrate Work and Create a Positive Environment

● Encourage fun with positive support and a Ta-Da!

● Think about all of the people around you. Who deserves appreciation? When you go home from work, take a few minutes and think about the day. Tomorrow, give out the thanks and appreciation.

● Choose to be positive, passionate and energized. Don’t let change or something out of your control choose for you. Change will always choose frustration.

● Have fun. We are all in this together. Support each other. It is easier to take risks when we are supported in a positive manner.

● Do everything you can to reduce stress. Do everything you can to increase fun and passion.

● Think about what opportunities you need to be happy. Help others achieve their opportunity. You will be surprised how easy it is to receive and give those opportunities.

● Be present and in the moment with your customers, colleagues, partners and vendors.

2. Improving Collaboration and Teamwork

● Ask one question each day: What can I do to help the people around me be successful? Ask the question, answer the question and act on the question.

● What is your one line in the story? Help those around you tell their story.

● Don’t worry about who gets the credit. The less you worry about credit, the more you will receive.

● If you give someone opportunity and positive support, you will receive more from them. They will be more innovative, they will take more risks, they will produce more, and they will have more fun.

3. Leading Change

● Be prepared for change. Change is going to happen. Prepare for it.

● Be more focused. Focus on the task and change isn’t as scary.

● Be more open and flexible to change. Most change is out of our control. We only control how we react to change and what our attitude will be.

4. Staying in the Game

● Improvisation teaches us that anything is possible. The games allow you to make mistakes. The only thing you can’t do is quit. Once you give up, you fail.

● If you stay in the game, the guarantee is success. It might not be tomorrow or next month, but you will find success.

● To stay in the game, you may have to learn something new, work harder, try a different way, or get out of your comfort zone. It is hard. Staying in the game is also rewarding.

5. Promote Ownership and Responsibility

● You are the only who can make the choice to be passionate about what you do.

● If you provide the foundation for ownership, people care. If there is no ownership, nobody will care. The next step after caring is passion.

● You are responsible for your passion and happiness. We let other people determine our happiness, passion and energy. You need to be the one that makes that choice.

6. Encouraging Innovation

● Relax. Take five minutes each day and think. Don’t think about anything in particular. Just think. Each time you will come up with an idea.

● Don’t make up rules where rules do not exist; eliminating rules allows you to be more creative.

● Build on each other’s ideas and be open; let go of your ego in the creative process.

● Sometimes you have to take an idea and run with it.

● Don’t be afraid to make a mistake.

● Always reward the time and energy spent on innovation and not just the result.

7. Enhancing communication

● Give the right amount of details at the right time. Some people need more details than others. Be patient and in the moment and you will understand the amount of detail required.

● Communication is a partnership. Fifty percent of your job is to direct; the other half is where you must act on another’s direction.

● Be patient and positive.

● Great communication makes people feel comfortable, confident and in control.

● Listen and be in the moment.

● Sometimes you have to compromise. You can’t communicate the same way to everyone.

Make the Right Choice: Taking Ownership and Responsibility for your Happiness and Success

In Make the Right Choice, Joel shares his experience and insight on creativity, communication, teamwork, passion, and fun. With wit, a sharp observational eye, and playful irreverence, he discusses the choices we all encounter in our careers. We each have the ability to take initiative and make the right choice to live a more creative, passionate, effective, and productive life.

How do your employees and managers Make the Right Choice? We all must take ownership of our work environment and create a foundation of opportunity and positive support. We can choose to be patient, supportive, and more flexible to change. We can choose to have fun in the workplace and still be productive. Joel teaches us just how easy it is to make these choices.

He connects to his audience with humor that has them laughing so uncontrollably that their mascara runs, their cheeks hurt, and their bellies ache.

And he doesn’t do it alone. Volunteers from the audience join him on stage and play an integral role in an improvisation game in front of hundreds or thousands of people—something the audience members have never done. He expects nothing less than their success. He expects the volunteers to focus and work together as a team; communicate effectively; positively support each other; and take responsibility.

Joel makes his audience laugh so hard that they forget about the corporate nonsense of conference calls, “strategic deliverables,” PowerPoint presentations with upside-down triangles, or “paradigm shifts in a cross-functional organization.” Make the Right Choice is conversational, funny, and very informative. Yes, Joel will make you laugh, but he’ll also make you think. This presentation delivers a combination of inspiration, essential business knowledge, and significant ideas to help audience members reconnect with their own passion, creativity, and success.

Seven Lessons Learned:

  • Learn to celebrate work and create a positive environment.
  • Learn to improve teamwork and help all partners find success.
  • Learn the three keys to leading change: be prepared; be focused; be open and flexible.
  • Learn the key to success: staying in the game and keeping your passion.
  • Learn to promote ownership and accountability.
  • Learn to encourage innovation by creating opportunity.
  • Learn to enhance communication.
Make the Right Choice: Leading Teams during Change with Passion and Success

It’s hard to have fun and stay passionate at work during stressful times. Your employees build stress after each media report about economic challenges. Business today means surviving and thriving during a merger, layoff or the all encompassing “restructuring.” How do managers continue to motivate and energize employees during difficult times? Managers must help employees stay in the game; work in the moment; and take ownership of their happiness.

Joel leads the audience through a series of exercises that demonstrates how easy it is to continue working creatively, effectively and productively while dealing with change. This interactive and hilarious presentation will teach managers the importance of creating opportunity and giving positive support to their employees. Just as important, managers must allow employees to create ownership. Ownership and responsibility will allow the employee to care. And once the employee starts to care, the next step is passion.

Joel uses humor and improvisation to teach his audiences how important these simple choices are to success. During this keynote, audience members will laugh, have fun and be motivated, inspired and energized.

​The Tao of Teamwork: Chemistry, Trust, and Risk Taking

It’s hard to explain, but we all know what happens when a partnership or group has chemistry: it’s important in any relationship. When co-workers have fun together, they communicate better and connect on a deeper level. And when they connect, this creates trust, which enables individuals to take greater risks with the knowledge that they have their team behind them. In order for a company to innovate, it must manage risk well, and it can only do so through the prerequisite communication and teamwork. Joel’s interactive exercises train audience members to enjoy their work so they communicate better and ultimately, take more risks.

​The Tao of Change: Flexibility, Reaction, and Persistence

Change happens. We can either be open and flexible to it or let it steamroll us. Too many of our daily problems are not worth getting worked up about, but we react to these small events, and it impacts us negatively. We don’t always have control over our changing circumstances, but we do control our reactions. There’s only one reaction that’s not acceptable: quitting. You can’t quit. You may have to communicate your needs; you may have to try something new. But you can’t give up. Joel’s presentation reinforces this message through his dynamic interactive skits.

​The Tao of Innovation: Creativity, Risk Tolerance, and Problem Solving

Innovation isn’t a spontaneous occurrence. Innovation is often the result of individual creativity and initiative, as well as a tolerance for the risk that enables such change. Joel’s interactive presentation makes the argument that none of these can occur as effectively without the element of fun that enables risk. When coworkers have fun together, they are more likely to create ideas together, solve problems together and build great success together. Participants learn how to stay in the game, work in the moment, and help each other be successful by asking themselves a very important question: “How may I help the people around me become more successful?”

​The Tao of Leadership: Communication, Positivity, and Patience

A leader has to innovate (by tolerating risk and solving problems). A leader needs to know how to prepare for change (by controlling his or her reaction and never quitting). And a leader must communicate well (by creating a 50/50 communication partnership, giving details when necessary, and maintaining a positive and patient attitude). But first and foremost, a leader must set an example by having fun and enjoying one’s own work so that others can do the same. Joel’s interactive presentation will highlight this important lesson through concrete tips and tools.

​Not just an emcee, but a KEYNOTE EMCEE.

Joel is a sought after host and emcee for general sessions, awards night presentations, and other corporate events. Joel brings the same unique and powerful blend of humor, energy and business knowledge from his keynote presentations to his emcee clients.

Joel has presented at more than 1,500 events. Hundreds of clients have hired Joel to emcee their general session or awards program. He has also worked as a television host and commercial spokesperson. Add a couple of thousand comedy nightclub performances, and you can see why clients love Joel as their emcee.

Think of Joel as a Keynote Emcee. As an emcee, Joel uses his message, humor, and improvisation exercises (you can view those in the speaker demo) as mini-keynotes. Think of it as splitting up a powerful keynote into small modules spread out during the event. Some of the modules can be short (5 minutes) or a little longer (10 minutes). Each module can include a short business message, but nothing too extensive.

Don’t have time for the interactive games? Joel can act as a traditional emcee using his humor, wit and strong business knowledge to energize any corporate event with fun and laughter.

Joel brings a different perspective on the emcee experience. Using his messages and improvisation exercises, Joel delivers more in the same amount of time. Joel knows the emcee can engage, entertain, motivate, inspire and deliver powerful messages. So, the ROI increases tremendously. Yes, Joel can do all of the typical emcee duties. And frankly, that is quite easy. Joel brings more. The ability to add message, engage the audience with interactive experiences, and partner with the client to create a memorable event.

Everything Joel does is based on his foundation tools of humor and improvisation. Joel believes in the power of fun. To Joel, the improvisation games are the perfect form of comedic entertainment for a corporate environment. Comedy is a shared experience. Joel does not rely on stand-up comedy bits that may or may not work. The improvisation games are successful 100% of the time because the humor is based on three levels: the uniqueness of the game; watching your peers play the game; and Joel’s ability and interaction with the audience and volunteers.

​Award Presentations

For awards presentations, there are two goals: recognize and reward the award recipients and entertain/motivate the rest of the audience. During award programs, Joel’s humor comes from the moment, audience, surroundings, and everything that is happening. Joel customizes each emcee award experience with the client. Some clients ask Joel to emcee the entire event. Others want Joel to share duties with the CEO or other executive. Joel works with clients to determine how best to use his skills. Joel’s job is to do the heavy lifting and create a fun, energetic and memorable awards evening.

Joel connects to every audience. He understands how to set the tone for a memorable awards program or general session. He has a passion for business and the shared experience of fun. Simply put, Joel will help you create a memorable and powerful event.

​Entertainment: Watch What Happens When Work Becomes Play

Joel uses a unique blend of improvisational and traditional comedy for his event entertainment. His comedy is hilarious, interactive and perfect for any corporate audience. The same dynamic energy and audience interaction that make his keynotes so engaging, works perfectly as pure entertainment.

Joel can also customize his entertainment performances to include key managers and audience members. His entertainment is perfect for after-dinner, entertaining employees and spicing up conferences. Want to add more power to the entertainment? Joel can include some of his key messages to the performance.

Here is what one of our many satisfied clients told us: “Our [participants] thought you were the funniest man alive.”

Are you ready for the next level of corporate event entertainment? How about music? Check. We have an accomplished piano player who opened a comedy show on the Las Vegas strip. How about talented comedic performers? Check. The show involves four performers (including one musical director on piano) with extensive commercial, television and film credits. How about costumes and props? Check. Oh, we can bring funny wigs.

The show involves customized improvisational skits, music, audience interaction, costumes and video. The cast includes some of the best improvisers and comedians in the business. The show is original, interactive, hilarious and customized for any corporate audience.

The material comes from the audience, organization, event, theme, and location. That information is used as the material for the improvisational sketches and songs. The piano player accompanies the group. The audience gets involved in some of the skits that happen on stage and in the audience. It is clean, fun, hilarious, customized and perfect for any corporate or association event.

Capital One
Your keynote session was exceptionally relevant to the central themes of our meeting, and you managed to energize our participants around these topics through your dynamic delivery. Thank you for a fantastic session that sent our attendees back into their workplaces with fresh perspective and renewed passion.
Tech Titans Gala
We are beginning some debriefs with stakeholders on the gala and the comments about your work have been very, very positive. Words like "high-energy", "humorous", "entertaining" have all been used with the underlying theme from everyone that this year's program was one of the best because of what you brought to the stage and the classy way you worked with the presenters.
Humble ISD
I just had to again thank YOU for making our humble, I mean Humble Convocations truly the BEST we ever had in my 15 years here! You absolutely hit a grand slam not only from and energizing standpoint, but from a message standpoint. You simply nailed the kind of culture I have envisioned from the day I joined our district in 2001! Know that you have an admittedly not very humble #1 fan in Humble USA! You significantly made a huge difference for our family!
Midwest Energy Association
"We hired Joel for a women's conference - 400 women at a leadership conference. Joel was our closing keynote speaker and we could not have asked for anything better. He was absolutely hysterical and extremely engaging, all the while, driving home the leadership messages. As someone who hired Joel, he was very easy to work with. Additionally, I told him that he was sponsored by one of our companies - he mentioned them many times throughout his presentation and the sponsor loved every minute of it! We already hired Joel again for another conference and can't wait to see him again! Standing ovation!!"
MARS Petcare
Joel, Thank you for an amazing session with our group. I have heard nothing but AMAZING feedback and we will be sending out a feedback survey that I will share the results with you. My most favorite and consistent feedback was we cannot remember laughing like that in years. It felt good and we needed that. They also feel like all the barriers were broken and everyone is now seen as an equal member in the sales family. Thank you for helping us along on our journey of healing and kicking off the year! I look forward to seeing you again. Thank you again!
Blackbaud
I apologize for the delay, but I have been on the road the past 2 weeks. I wanted to personally reach out and thank you for the amazing presentation. I have had many people tell me how much they enjoyed your presentation. My manager said "I think he is the best speaker we have ever had". So, thank you! The energy your presentation evoked with our teams permeated the remainder of the event. I am so thrilled we found you and you could join us.
Citrix
We all agreed that you are the best motivational/leadership speaker we have had at our events.
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