Doug Dvorak, professional humorous speaker and creativity consultant believes that “Laughter is the Software of the Soul”. Doug assists clients improve their bottom line through the use of humor and creativity. Doug’s clients are characterized as Fortune 1000 companies, small to medium businesses, civic organizations, service businesses, and individual investors and entrepreneurs. Doug Dvorak is a certified sales trainer, management consultant and corporate humorist. Doug holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration and a Master of Business Administration in Marketing Management. But Doug’s sense of humor is no less refined, as he is a graduate of the Player’s Workshop of the Second City, one of the oldest and most prestigious improvisational comedy schools in the world. But what is it that Doug Dvorak really does? First, one must consider, what is it that traverses all people in all places? What tool can improve an employee’s productivity, yet at the same time let them enjoy what they are doing? Humor. The power of laughter can quell the most volatile situation and bring real motivation and pleasure to the most tedious activities. Humor can bring true employee and customer loyalty. Through the unique, original character created by Doug Dvorak, Dr. Earnest Carpediem™ , Doug delivers a highly energetic and creative interactive presentation: “Mega Motivation With A Twist™.” Dr. Carpediem™ is a motivational speaker and gifted psychic that actively solicits audience participation in an enthusiastic and non-threatening manner. Doug conducts personalized presentations and workshops. He speaks to management groups, business owners, and professional associations that appreciate his customized programs which never fail to bring smiles to people’s faces. But regardless of Doug’s comical presentations, he is a consummate business professional whose primary goal is client satisfaction. In addition, Doug is a active member of the National Speaker’s Association® (NSA®).
I found myself being burned out in the mid nineties. I had been a sales executive for the last 15 years, was making a very comfortable living and everything looked great on the outside, but on the inside I was certainly doing more crying than laughing. I was on the rode traveling 4 days per week, my marriage was on the rocks and I believe I was suffering from a mild case of depression. That’s when a chance encounter with a stranger changed my life. At the time I was a regional Sales Director for Boca Research and I was responsible for our company’s booth at Comdex in Toronto Canada. The largest computer show in the country. I flew up a few months early to interview some special events companies that I needed to come up with ideas and a theme for the show. I had always used humor as an effective business and communications tool and I wanted to employ a firm that would come up with a creative and fun theme for the event. I interviewed 3 firms and decided on one that came up with the idea of a circus theme. They suggested a 3 ring circus venue with circus performers that would stroll through our space and speak with clients and perform product demonstrations.
One of the performers and I struck up a close relationship during the show and started doing product demos together. His name was Jim Ince and Jim was a seasoned performer that studied at the Sorbonne in France and was very well known in Toronto. That night I invited Jim to dinner to become better acquainted and pick his brain for some creative ideas. I mentioned to Jim that I really enjoyed performing with him and I wanted to develop my improvisation skill. Jim knew I lived in Chicago, IL and he suggested
That I look into taking some classes at Second City. After I returned from the show I called The Players Workshop of The Second City and signed up for their 2 year program, Creative Expression through Improvisation. The program took us through the creative process of Improv culminating with the students writing, directing and producing our own “Saturday Night Live” show on The Second City Main stage. This was truly a tremendous experience and I learned so much. But what I really learned was that I truly had a gift and passion for Imrov and I wanted to take my life in a new direction.
When I was Regional Sales Director for Boca Research, Inc., a data communications hardware manufacturer. The company participated in the world’s largest computer show, COMDEX. This international trade show is held in Las Vegas every fall ands easily attracts over 3 million people in a one-week period. This particular year, I was charged with running the Boca both. In additional to all the other duties associated with the show set-up and booth management, I was assigned to provide an interesting giveaway item to attract people to the booth.
I put on my creative sales hat and thought long and hard about what would be an innovative, creative and cost-effective way to get client and media attention. I had been racking my brain one evening and came up with only a few lackluster concepts, so I took a break and went out to dinner and a movie with my wife and some close friends. After dinner, I had some time to kill before the movie started so we went for a walk. We happened to come across a novelty store, wandered in and took a look around. One particular item caught my eye – a propeller beanie sitting on a shelf between a pair of Groucho Marx glasses and a bucket full of unidentifiable gadgets. This was an absurd little hat – too small to fit a typical human head – with a propeller boldly affixed to the top. My creative intuition told me I must wear this cap. To the chagrin of my wife, I wandered around the store looking like a complete fool, but I was struck by a thought: “ Technical people are commonly referred to as “Propeller Heads” maybe there’s a tie-in!”
This was not just a new way to amuse myself and embarrass my wife, this would be an excellent industry related gimmick! After checking into the price, I realized this was too good to pass up. I decided to order a gross and emboss the phrase “The Boca Beanie” across the front and give them to current and potential clients.
I was amazed at the overwhelmingly positive response. Clients were falling all over themselves spinning the little propellers absurdly standing atop their heads. I relayed this information to my marketing department and after some further consideration; they choose to follow my idea and purchase 25,000 propeller beanies. When my sales staff and I started giving them away at the show, the response was overwhelming. Boca had the hottest giveaway and the most booth traffic at the show, even more than Microsoft and IBM! Lines of people sneaked through the floor of the presentation hall, blocking other booths, security had to be called d for crowd control, waiting to get to the Boca booth to get their hands on a “Boca Beanie”. As I frantically tried to demonstrate my products toy the overwhelmingly number of people crowded around me, I yelled ““Be cool, don’t be a fool and get your free Boca Beanie”. It wasn’t long before the media got wind of the beanie. Before I was done spinning my propeller, I was interviewed on the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather, featured in USA Today, The Wall Street Journal and in all the industry trade publications.
This was doubtlessly the most effective sales tool I had ever employed-simple, fun and a little wacky. Most important, the inquiries and sales orders that followed were highly impressive! We set a company sales record because of the “Boca Beanie”. Humorous ideas strike at the oddest times- you can’t force a great idea, it’s born from your creativity and attention to the world around you.
Then in 1998 I was diagnosed with cancer and my dad passed away unexpectedly. It was time for a change. I quit my job with IBM, packed and went to Africa to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.
My business improved after 9/ll. I was being approached after my presentations and workshops by business executives who would ask how they could infuse more laughter into their corporate culture and leverage humor as a competitive advantage. They would tell me how much better their bottom line was, but that their employees were burned out. The bottom line and the funny line can intersect to create a wonderfully creative and productive work environment. A recent survey published in a major business publication stated that “of over 700 CEO’s, over 98% of them indicated they would much rather hire somebody with a good sense of humor than somebody without one.” Laughter truly is the best medicine. Laughter can improve circulation and respiration, oxygenates the blood, surprsees the stress-related hormones in the brain, and activates the immune system. Laughter also increases the number of disease fighting immune cells, activates the release of endorphins, lowers blood pressure, and combats depression. It’s sad that adults do not laugh more. Children under 5 laugh 400 times per day and adults laugh less than 15. 10 minutes of laughter can provide 2 hours of sound restful sleep. When we laugh the body produces endorphins, the body’s natural healing element. Endorphins are as powerful as morphine
Dr. Norman Cousins’ best-selling author of Anatomy of an Illness and described as the man who laughed his way back to health was diagnosed with ankylosing spodylitiis. The degenerative disease that causes the breakdown of collagen, the fibrous tissue that binds together the body’s cells. Almost completely paralyzed, given only a few months to live, Cousins ordered himself checked out of the hospital. He moved into a hotel room and began taking extremely high doses of vitamin C and also exposed himself to equally high doses of humor. Slowly Dr. Cousins regained the use of his limbs. As his condition steadily improved over time, Dr. Cousins resumed his busy life, eventually returning to work full-time at the Saturday review.
So much more is required from people today. We are living in an age of perpetual motion. Families need two incomes just to survive and so much more is being thrown at people today. We keep reading and being told that our lives are being made easier and richer as the result of technology; I see just the opposite occurring. From cell phones with 120 different functions to Ipods, laptops and the “New Digital Frontier” When laptiops first emerged on the scene all the feedback was extremely positive, “ I can take my office with me” “I’m so much more productive” Who has time for all this new stuff. What happened to the time when you could just sit with a friend or family member and enjoy a could conversation and connect or get reconnected. Maybe that’s why Starbuck has done so well, but even Starbucks has wireless WIFI internet connections now. Our planet is getting smaller all the time, humor can help build important bridges between cultures and countries. As Erma Bombeck once said, “When humor goes, there goes civilization!”
Case in point, consider the tiny Asian country of Bhutan. Bhutan measures financial success by traditional means of GDP (Gross Domestic Product), but also by measuring happiness through GNH (Gross National Happiness). Bhutan recognized the need to its people would be happier if the government focused not only on the material side of wealth but on happiness as well.
Labels: carpe diem. carpediem, humorist, humorous, keynote, motivational speaker