Posts Tagged ‘funny speaker’

Someone had dropped the ball, but Daniel scooped it up and saved the day with laser-like focus on my needs.

Funny Speaker loves pizza

People + Pizza = Good Times

I’d planned a get together to celebrate 20 years of producing interactive mysteries in Atlanta.  The event was to take place following the last murder mystery Bacchus Productions was producing. I invited over 30 people to attend the late night party and had booked a private room. Or so I thought.

When I arrived at the Buckhead Pizza Company, several cast members from days gone by were already there catching up at the bar. I asked the bartender about the private room and she contacted the manager. There was a problem. A group of 15 people were still using that room. Daniel, the general manager, told me they were expecting us but I wasn’t in the books for the private room. I do not take bad news well and started to fume.

Smelling smoke, Daniel focused on the problem and jumped into action. There was an outside space (covered and heated as it was mid-December) that would hold up to 60 people. It would give us more room and would actually be better for us. If I’d give him 10 minutes he would set the space and crank up the heaters. My expectations were not high but what could I do?

Daniel, Fibi our server and several other staff members went about setting the room. I had a double Oban (14 yr old single malt) while cast members calmed me down .

Within 10 minutes the space was ready for us and our group that was growing moved into the back space.

A shout out to Daniel Bridges, Fibi and the other staff members of  the Buckhead Pizza Company who tuned what could have been a disaster (in my head) into an amazing night that I will remember for years to come. Daniel is my SEE™ (Service Exceeding Expectations) Winner for the month of December.

Funny Speaker with BMT

20 years of producing mysteries in Atlanta – A partial representation of cast members.

There is not a better place to get together with a large group of friends and family than a good pizzeria serving cold beer (or in my case Oban single malt scotch)


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How do you grab market share in a down economy? Easy, “WOW” your customers.

When times are tough, one of the first things people cut back on is eating out. You’re competing with the same number of restaurants for a shrinking number of diners. Your competitive advantage is in the service you provide. The “customer experience” is more important than ever.

Creating a great customer experience is easy if you’ve embraced the Bada-Bing Philosophy. This is my own simple philosophy for providing great service. It’s like the Fish Philosophy but without the smell of dead mackerel.  The Bada-Bing incorporates one maxim, 2 steps and 3 simple tools.

THE MAXIM: “If you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong.” Now, I’m not saying, “If you’re not having fun, don’t do it,” because that’s quitting. I’m saying “find a way to make it fun”. No matter how boring or distasteful a task may be, there is always a way to make it more Fun. The 7 Dwarfs knew that; they whistled while they worked – even Grumpy.  But I understand he was heavily medicated. I’m not judging.

To make slinging omelets fun, one of the things I used to do when I was the only cook at the Elephant & Castle in the Village was to do a Play-by-Play.  You’ve done it; you take some mundane or repetitive activity and you raise it to the level of epic proportions. When I looked up and saw a long row of dupes, I wasn’t stressed; it became an Olympic event – and I did the Play-by-Play.

Funny Speaker Vinny Verelli worked here in 1979

The Elephant & Castle in Greenwich Village

“Vinny Verelli is now the U.S.’s last chance to get the gold medal. He takes a deep breath and … there’s the bell!  He quickly surveys the slips of paper hanging in front of him, scanning for any burgers hidden among the omelets. There’s one, there’s another. With blinding speed he’s got the two patties on the grill and turns his attention to the stove. Look at him go.”  This would go on and on until the tickets were whittled down to size. This was something I would do to keep a positive attitude, to manage the negative effects that can turn overworked into overstressed.

Of course having fun at work is a direct relation to management. If the overall environment is oppressive, it’s more difficult to have fun. Having fun is an attitude that can and should be taught and encouraged.

We can’t control all the things that happen to us, but we can control how we react to them. We hear that all the time. “We choose our attitude.”  It’s such a cliché. But it’s true. Abraham Lincoln said, “Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” I say make up your mind to be happy; make up your mind to have Fun.

The following quote is one of my favorites and has become an affirmation for how I approach the day: 
“I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.”  Groucho Marx

In my next post we’ll look at the 2 steps in the Bada-Bing.

Vinny Verelli is actually character actor Jonathan Schwartz with over 40 years of professional experience. Although he was a “frustrated” actor, he spent 15 years working in restaurants giving 100% and having fun. Vinny is a humorous motivational speaker and conference host. Vinny also has fun making cooking videos and Blogging at CookingWithVinny.com.

* When I worked at the Elephant & Castle in the late 70’s, early 80’s, they were known for omelets: 23 varieties. Today there are only 6 omelets on the menu.  The kitchen was so tiny I could flip burgers with one hand while flipping an omelet with the other.

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Funny Speaker Vinny Verelli's blog 1011

Muammar Gaddafi Duck

Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi entered the Libyan military academy in 1961, and graduated in 1966. Three short years later, he took over the government of Libya in a bloodless coup d’état.

At the time Gaddafi ceased power he was only a lieutenant. As dictator he made himself a Col. Which begs the question, during his 42 years as a dictator, why didn’t he make himself a General? And it’s my guess that he won’t be promoted in the after life.

Posted by Vinny Verelli
If You’re Not Having Fun, You’re Doing It Wrong. 

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The United States Postal Service announced Monday September 26 that it would for the first time be putting people who are still alive on postage stamps.  Had they listened to me in 2005 the USPS may not have been in such bad shape today. Here’s a clip from my 2005 keynote in Washington DC.  It’s obvious that some of my references are dated but then again, some people have a way of staying in the spotlight.

The USPS has taken all sorts of flack from all sorts of people for a long time. Yes, they don’t have the best business model and they loose billions every year, but there closest competitor delivers a letter for you for $16. I don’t care how efficient you are and how much you cut waste and workers benefits, you can’t make a lot of money delivery mail at 44¢ a letter.

Give your next event a real shot in the arm. With Vinny’s no-nonsense approach to motivation you can get motivated and still make lunch by one. http://motivatethis.net

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Nothing says, “Happy Birthday America,” more than Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. The 1812 Overture is the perennial favorite to close a fireworks displays world wide. But for a 4th of July celebration?  Couldn’t they find something by George M. Cohan?   I really think they should have ended on the Stars and Stripes which had a finale feel to it.

The whole day past with patriotic images and music. 50 service men and women held a gigantic American flag in the shape of the 48 contiguous states. It was magnificent!

Although a better music choice could have been made, I have to say it was a great finish.  And I guess they couldn’t play “Yankee Doodle Dandy” in a stadium in Georgia.

Here’s a video from last year’s fireworks display. This year they had the same ending but it was in the rain.
Looking for a humorous speaker, funny speaker, or MC for your next event? Go to http://funnyspeakerandemcee.com

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Is your desire to be liked, followed or connected, driving you to make some poor choices?

Do you say, “Yes” to all friend and connection requests? How many of your “friends” on facebook would you actually recognize if you saw on the street?  How many connections do you have on LinkedIn because you accepted a connection based on that person’s status with people you already knew? And when you accept that friendship or make that connection, do you know what/who you’re getting?

Recently I got a request to connect with someone on LinkedIn.  There was a very impressive list of people I knew who had already connected with this man. And yes, I do have friends who are well known and respected in the speaking industry.  Well, if this guy is good enough for this, CSP and that CPAE (designations of distinction from the National Speakers Association) he should be good enough for me.

But then I looked at his company name, “EF.” (I’m using “EF” instead of the actual name) Okay now I’m curious. I go to the person’s profile page and see that “EF”, “provides creative products and services so couple can discover and enjoy new experiences of erotic ecstasy.” That seems like an admirable goal.  But I couldn’t see many of the people who had connected to the CEO of this company having a real interest. Did they even look at his logo?

Looking at what groups a person belongs to can give you further insight into that persons interests.  This man was a member of: Adult Entertainment Group, Adult Industry Professionals and Fetish Anything and Everything! Are you still anxious to “connect” with this person?  Not that there is anything wrong with that. But do you want all of your business connections to know?

The Bada Bing Philosophy teaches us to take time to do the research. It only takes 45 seconds to see what a person does and what their interests are. Are they in line with your interests?  All I have to do is see that a potential friend on facebook is inspired by Brittany Spears, deal breaker.

Social Networking or Social Disease?

Posted by: Funny Motivational Speaker Vinny Verelli

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I realize now I forgot to post my second video with my impressions of the NSA UNconfernce in Atlanta, GA.  I also would be remiss if I did not mention the two women who’s brain-child this was. Although many people are involved with putting on an event like this, Gina Schreck and Neen James are to be commended for chairing this spectacular event.

The video is posted here along with my thoughts as I wrote them out.

The best part about any NSA event is the people you see.  Your old friends, the new ones you meet and walking around the halls are the NSA Legends.

We all have our role models, those people who we emulate.  The people who we see on the platform and you say to yourself, when I grow up I want to be just like them. Most professional speakers I know today became speakers because they saw someone somewhere giving a presentation and said to themselves, “I could do that!”

You often hear speakers compare themselves to more well known speakers. “I’m the Steve Spangler of Math. I take numbers and blow them up, exponentially.”

Me, I’m the Larry Wingett of Social networking. I call it Vinny’s Anti social networking” It’s not Facebook, it’s InYourFacebook, not linked in, it’s tapped out. And it’s MYSpace. Your space is over there somewhere.

So here are the greats of NSA walking those halls. And at the end of the day I look in the mirror and I realize I’m no Mark Sanborn. Even if I didn’t age another day, Mark will always look better and younger than me.

And forget about being Scott McKain.  That guy is so smooth, and a voice like fine cognac.  He did a session called, “What I know Now.”  And you figure Scott has got to know a lot, because they gave him an hour and a half. I could never be Scott McKain or even Scott Halford. But, I could be Scott Friedman.

Now there’s a role model for you.

The UNconference got it’s official start Friday night with the OPENING GENERAL SESSION:  Scott Ginsberg and Matt Church.  I’ve already said a lot about Scott, but one thing sticks out about his keynote. He said, “Are you smoking what you’re selling?” I had to think about that for a moment, was that a metaphor?  If so the answer is yes. If it’s not a metaphor the answer is … yes.

Matt Church also presented at the opening session. Glad there was a description in the program because I had a hard time understanding him. Had some sort of strange accent.  Turns out he’s from Australia, so English is a second language for him.

He said as world-class speakers we create moments of magic that ripple across the planet. Whoa? Obviously he’s never seen me speak. I get a ripple, but it doesn’t get much further than the second row.

But he ran the Thought Leadership intensive track. I had to do a session in the room next to his.  Loud music, people cheering and I’m pretty sure the hotel wouldn’t let them do a firewalk, but it sounded like Matt was walking or water. People drifted out of his session in a daze.  At 5:15 Saturday, I’m already on my second drink and there’s a group of people huddled around Matt’s Church, hanging onto his every word. So now I’m getting a better idea of what a ripple is all about.

They had his Kia Bar.  “Know It All.”  I don’t think anyone person knows it all but there were plenty of people  threre who knew a lot about stuff. My 2 minutes with Lois Creamer was worth the price of admission. She is big on positioning statements and she gave me a beaut.  “I work with organizations that want a program with now redeeming value, bullet points or key Strategies.”  That’s me.

Sam Horn in her program said the 2 most important words are, “for example.” Se from there you can go into your pitch that pops.  “For Example.”  I always thought the 2 most important words were, “Not Guilty.”

Had a Social Media Intensive from 9:00 to 5:00 with sub tracts Yellow belt, or Black Belt. But no Belt of Scotch, I might of signed up. See when I get social, I like to use more than my thumbs.

I never really got into this Web 2.0. I never got past Web 1.7.4.  I was happy when the internet was just porn. But everyone today is wired, big deal when I was growing up I was always wired.  Besides, when your grandmother has a facebook page, It’s time to move on.

Do you know what is the most frequent text message I get? “Call me.” What’s up with that? You text me to tell me to call you when all you had to do was pickup the phone and call me.  No, you had already picked up the phone.  All you had to do was punch in a couple numbers, because if I’m not in your speed-dial or your favorites, you have no business calling me.

And I’m sorry but, tweeting, just sounds like something I shouldn’t be doing. And I don’t want nobody following me.

Posted by Funny Motivational Speaker Vinny Verelli

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