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Joel Zeff

Joel Zeff

Dynamic speaker & improvisational humorist

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Fee Range: 10000-19999

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 Zeff creates energy. He is a dynamic speaker, improvisational humorist and author. His interactive performances invite members of the audience to participate in hilarious improvisational exercises that illustrate Joel’s central message: That organizations and individuals should CELEBRATE every day successes to increase collaboration, productivity, passion and innovation.

Since 1997, Joel has inspired audiences from Wells Fargo to Samsung to KPMG and even the IRS. Yes, the IRS. Joel is a masterful public speaker and a nationally renowned motivator, lifelong humorist and improvisational actor.

His career is a search for fun and passion. He quickly realized the importance of both at his first jobs delivering the hometown newspaper and cleaning up trash at a suburban movie theater.

He started his professional career as a newspaper journalist and public relations executive. In 1994, Joel went out on his own as corporate communications specialist. He helped clients with their employee communications, media relations, strategy and customer marketing. Throughout the consulting process, Joel realized his clients – many of them high-level technology and telecommunications firms – needed more than marketing and public relations strategy. Many of his clients’ employees were starving for fun, passion and new perspective on finding success.

At the time, Joel was having fun on the weekends as a comedian. Through friends, he discovered improvisational comedy. One of his clients (a large technology company) knew Joel performed comedy on the weekend. The client asked him to play some improvisational games before dinner for a group of high level executives. He brought a fellow comedian and a corporate speaking career was born.

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 and success.

As discussed in his book, Make the Right Choice, Joel believes that we all encounter choices in our careers. We always have the opportunity to make the right choice to live a more creative, passionate, and productive life. How do you “make the right choice”? You can choose to provide opportunity. You can choose to provide positive support. And along the way, you can choose to have fun. It’s really that simple. Joel teaches us just how easy it is to make these choices.

When he is not speaking, Joel expresses his creativity as an actor, writer and comedian. He started performing professionally in 1992. In Dallas, he was co-host of The Movie Zone on UPN 21. He has appeared in dozens of commercials for numerous clients, including the Dallas Cowboys, Harrah’s Casino, Mydiscountbroker.com, Time Warner Cable, Pizza Hut, McDonald’s, Eagle Country Markets, and Extraco Bank. He has appeared in hundreds of corporate videos and has appeared on shows from CNBC’s The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch to the Fox Network’s Fox and Friends Weekend. His articles have been featured in The Dallas Morning News, The Houston Chronicle, The Kansas City Star, among many other mainstream media outlets.

The TA DA of Teamwork: Succeeding During Change and Disruption

We are all improvising. We face challenges, disruption, change, and obstacles without a script or rehearsal. To find success, we need to work together, build trust, and create opportunity. During this session, Joel will discuss how the tenets of improvisation create successful teams during change and disruption. Joel has spent the past 30 years performing and teaching the lessons of improvisation. This interactive, engaging and hilarious session will focus on staying in the game; facing fear; building trust, and asking the important question, “How do I help the people around me be successful?” Joel will also bring his famous TA DA energy as he discusses the importance of opportunity, positive support, and active listening in collaboration. Yes, you will have fun and laugh during this session. You will also learn how to collaborate more successfully as a sales and marketing team, and navigate change. Are you ready for the TA DA?

This session will focus on:

  • Creating opportunity and positive support for your team.
  • Making the choice to “be in the moment.”
  • How to Stay in the Game when faced with challenges, change and disruption.
  • Thrive during change by making the choice to be prepared and open and flexible.
  • Fueling your passion and reducing stress.
The Spirit of TA DA: Watch What Happens When Work Becomes Play

How do your employees and managers embrace the Spirit of TA DA? 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.

In The Spirit of TA DA, 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.

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.” 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:

  1. Learn to celebrate work and create a positive environment.
  2. Learn to improve 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.
The TA DA of Change: Leading Teams during Change with Passion and Success

Change and disruption are constant. Your teams must navigate the chaos and disruption to find success. Too often, we become stressed, frustrated and impatient. Improvisation is finding success during that constant change, chaos and disruption. 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. Improvisation teaches us to embrace change. Joel will focus on the key choices that improvisation teaches us: be prepared for change; be open and flexible to change; be present and in the moment with change.

In improvisation, there is not script, no plan and no rehearsal. Joel focuses on the famous TA DA spirit of creating positive support and opportunity during change. 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.

Change happens. We can either be open and flexible to it or let it steamroll us. Most change is completely out of our control. We only control how we react to change. We choose our attitude. We choose to stay in the game. We chose to be positive and supportive.

The session will focus on:

  1. Embracing change and finding success.
  2. Creating opportunity to lead change.
  3. Being open and flexible to change; being prepared for change; being in the moment during change.
  4. Making the right choices to be an effective leader during change
  5. Asking the most important question of a leader: How do I help the people around me be successful?
THE SPIRIT OF TA-DA: A Virtual Experience of Fun, Energy, and Passion

Sometimes we just need to laugh, recharge and refuel. Joel’s session will bring the energy and fun. And hopefully, he will make you laugh.

Joel Is a national speaker, author, workplace expert, emcee, humorist and improvisational comedian. He has presented more than 2,000 keynotes to companies, organizations and associations. Thousands of audience members have joined him on stage to improvise, create and collaborate. The volunteers faced their fear, dealt with change, and found success.

During this virtual program, he will share the secrets that improvisation has taught him. We will explore dealing with change; facing your fears; creating opportunity and positive support for your team; staying in the game; being in the moment; and successful collaboration.

He focuses on the simple choices to increase passion, reduce stress, and overcome the challenges of change.

He also just wants you to laugh. Yes, we are virtual. We still need to laugh, connect, and have fun with our peers, friends and colleagues. Joel promises this will probably be the greatest virtual event you have ever attended or the most recent.

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.

​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.

EVENT EMCEE OR ENTERTAINER (COMEDIAN)

Joel uses a unique blend of improvisational and traditional comedy for his event entertainment. His comedy is clean, relevant, interactive, and suitable for any corporate audience. Joel uses the same dynamic energy and audience interaction for his entertainment performances as for his keynotes. Joel can also customize his presentation to include custom themes, key ideas, or specific products and personnel. His entertainment is ideal as a quick energy burst in between conference sessions, or after dinner to reinforce the key messages of the day.

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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