Travels from North Carolina, USA
Jeanne Robertson's speaking fee falls within range: $10,000 to $15,000
As a 6’ 2” high school basketball player, Jeanne Robertson averaged more than 30 points per game in her junior and senior years. She was named Miss North Carolina in 1963 and competed in the Miss American Pageant, where she was named Miss Congeniality. She went on to earn a degree at Auburn University and teach physical education in high school and college for nine years.
In 1976, Jeanne stopped teaching and entered professional speaking full time. As one of the most popular professional speakers in America, she has been awarded every top honor and designation in her profession, including the Certified Speaking Professional designation and being inducted into the CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame. She served as President of the National Speaker Association (NSA) in 1985 and in 1989 she became the first woman to receive the NSA’s Cavett Award. She is also the only female professional speaker to ever win the Toastmasters International’s Golden Gavel Award.
In 2000, the NCAA Southeastern Conference named Jeanne Auburn University’s Woman Entrepreneur of the Year, and in 2001, the North Carolina Press named her its 2001 North Carolinian of the Year. In 2003, she became the first former Miss North Carolina to be named the Miss North Carolina Organization’s Woman of Achievement.
Jeanne has produced four humor videos and written three books: Humor: The Magic of Genie, Mayberry Humor Across the USA and Don’t Let the Funny Stuff Get Away. She also co-authored How the Platform Professionals Keep ‘Em Laughin’.
No, professional speaking might not have been predicted when Jeanne was in the seventh grade in Graham, North Carolina, when and where she would have been voted most likely to make the basketball team and least likely to be a contestant in the Miss America Pageant. She did make the team—averaging more than thirty points per game in her junior and senior years—but as Miss North Carolina 1963 she also competed in the Miss America Pageant where she was named Miss Congeniality.
It was her participation in and perhaps even her losing of the Miss America title that turned Jeanne’s life into a succession of events which led her to be one of the funniest, busiest and most popular professional speakers in America today. Because she was asked to speak every day as Miss North Carolina, Jeanne traveled her native state for one year speaking at pageants and addressing civic clubs and corporations. When that time was over, she found that people were willing to pay her to come and address their groups and conventions and loving every laughing minute of it. They wanted Jeanne-not just a title holder-and they wanted her because she made them laugh.
At that point, Jeanne still viewed speaking as a way to make a little money while continuing her education. She received her degree at Auburn University and taught physical education in high school and college, a career she enjoyed for nine years. But throughout those years, the requests continued to pour in for her to speak. In 1976, she stopped teaching and entered professional speaking full time.
With the flexibility to speak more often, Jeanne’s rise in the speaking profession was nothing short of phenomenal. Clients and speakers alike were quick to recognize her ability. In addition to a full speaking schedule year after year, she has been awarded every top honor and designation in her profession including the Certified Speaking Professional designation (CSP) in 1980 and being inducted in the CPAE Speaker Hall Of Fame in 1981. A member of NSA/Carolinas, she served as President of the National Speakers Association in 1985. In 1989 she became the first woman to receive that association’s most cherished honor, the Cavett Award. The Cavett is awarded annually to one member “whose accomplishments, integrity and reputation are a credit to NSA and the speaking profession.”
Toastmasters International named Jeanne the recipient of its 1998 Golden Gavel Award, given annually to one individual for accomplishments in leadership and communications. She is the only female professional speaker who has received this honor. Other recipients include Lowell Thomas, Walter Cronkite, Earl Nightingale, Art Linkletter, Dr. Joyce Brothers, Tom Peters, Mark Russell, Ken Blanchard and Zig Ziglar.
In recognition of her professional expertise, experience, and competence, Jeanne was honored by the NCAA Southeastern Conference as Auburn University′s Woman Entrepreneur of the Year 2000. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Elon University.
The North Carolina Press Association named Jeanne as its 2001 North Carolinian of the Year for “her popularity on the speaking circuit, her award-winning ways, and her representation of North Carolina.” Past recipients include Elizabeth Dole, Rev. Billy Graham, and Dean Smith.
The Miss North Carolina Organization named Jeanne as its 2003 Woman of Achievement. She was the first former Miss North Carolina to be so named..
Jeanne has produced four humor videos and written three books on humor – Humor: The Magic of Genie, Mayberry Humor Across the USA and Don’t Let the Funny Stuff Get Away. These books are filled with reality-based stories, which illustrate her humor philosophy.
While she enjoys making people laugh, Jeanne views the role of a humorist as more than eliciting laughter. As audiences are holding their sides and wiping tears from their faces, she makes her point clear. Perhaps that is why thousands of meeting planners make their point clear when they say…
In this presentation at the Grand Old Opry, Jeanne opens by answering her audience’s question before they can ask it. “I am 69 years old. No, no, no. I don’t want you to applaud. I want you to look at me and gasp in disbelief, and maybe say, ‘no way!’” she jokes. “We will do it again. We will do this until you get it right,” she says, before repeating her age twice to get her desired reaction from the audience.
“My husband… is older than I am, but we figured out something that I think is the flavor of the Grand Ole Opry,” she says. “We look for the humor around us every day and we find it.” She tells a story about a time that she and her husband went to British Columbia’s Visitor’s Bureau and asked for ideas for things to do. She says that the woman behind the counter suggested they go bungee jumping. “Have you ever wanted to take a young person’s face in your hands lovingly and say, are you in there?” she asks. She says that she explained bungee jumping to her then 70-year-old husband, and his reply was, “I can’t do that! My teeth will fall out!”
Jeanne’s programs share with audiences the secrets to using humor as a strategy for success in business and in life. She discusses the differences between being funny and possessing a strength of humor, learning to laugh at yourself and accepting things that can’t be change.
She challenges audiences to laugh at themselves, look for the humor in everyday situations, create their own humor and influences others to do the same, relieve stress through humor and take humor breaks.
"Humor: More Than a Laughing Matter" In her positively hilarious style, 6′ 2" Jeanne Robertson soars to new heights while discussing the differences between being funny and possessing a sense of humor, learning to laugh at yourself and accepting things that can′t be changed. You will hold your sides and wipe tears of laughter from your eyes as Jeanne relates original stories based on her life experiences.
"Humor: A Strategy for Success" In this step-by-step presentation, Jeanne helps audiences learn how to develop a sense of humor, which according to her is a choice in how you go about living. She explains the dynamics of humor, challenging audiences to laugh at themselves, look for the humor in everyday situations, create their own humor and influence others to do the same, relieve stress through humor and take humor breaks. As she relates her original, funny tales, Jeanne helps people develop a refreshing new approach to humor and the magic it works in our daily lives.
"Here he is...Mr. Meeting Pure fun with a little message! Jeanne reaches into her big bag of original material and pulls out just the right stories for each audience and situation. An old fashion "after-dinner talk" that can be used in a variety of meeting slots. Not comedy. Hilarious humor that illustrates a point.
Virginia Automobile Dealers Association Twice in five years you have completely captivated our folks. They′re still talking about your delightful, humorous presentation. You are a breath of spring in an age of grossness and vulgarity. On behalf of everyone, men, women, and children, Hurry Back! –David P. Hurdle
Independent Insurance Agents Of Mississippi To say you “brought down the house” would hardly describe the situation – people came from all over the hotel to find out what everyone was laughing about and then stayed to enjoy your stories. –Lyle Carroll, CAE, Executive Vice President
Nebraska Bankers Association I have never, Jeanne…in my life heard such a fantastic speaker! I could not get over the bankers′ reactions to your comments last week in Kearney, Nebraska. Your presentation will always have a lasting impression on those who attended the conference. –Ellen Junge, Conference Director
National Association of Realtors Thank you for your presentation at the Women′s Council of Realtors Annual Luncheon in New Orleans. Members are still talking and laughing about your remarks. Your speech was exactly what we wanted and needed for the occasion. –Catherine Collins, Women′s Council of Realtors
Department of Agriculture Our audience will never be satisfied with future programs; they will want the quality of performance you introduced to us, and there is no one to take your place. –E.R. Cockrell Jr., Director, City of Virginia Beach
Farmland Industries, Inc. Dear “Genie,” You do not come equipped with a magic lamp but you certainly know how to work magic with an audience. –June Gooding
Associated General Contractors of America The Ladies′ Luncheon remains a highlight of AGC′s 65th Annual Convention and you were the sole reason for this. We are still hearing from our AGC ladies all over the country that it was the best Ladies′ Luncheon ever. –Hubert Beatty, Executive Vice President
Pascagoula Chamber of Commerce As Clint Eastwood would say, “You made my day!” –Jim Epting, President
Durant, Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce The city is still talking about your presentation and seem to want to hold on to the enjoyment you brought. The men in the group feel real favored to have been chosen as a contestant and their fame (?) has spread abroad! –Dean Samuel, Executive Vice President
Pennsylvania Association of Tobacco and Candy Distributors To say the least, your presentation was a “smashing success” and later that evening some people asked “Who booked her?” and of course I took credit. It was a fortunate day that I listened to your tape and decided to contact you for my program. –Patty V. Enders, Executive Director
California Hospital Association Your participation at this year′s meeting was the high point of our activities in San Diego. Your address provided exactly what we were looking for which was a lighthearted ending to a very full week of activity. –Michael S. Nolen
Oregon Food Industries, Inc. Thank you so much for the absolutely sensational performance you gave at the banquet capping our annual convention. It is the funniest thing I′ve ever seen. You were the talk of the convention all day Sunday. As a meeting planner, that is a dream come true. They′ll remember you, the fun you gave them, and the message you imparted for a long time to come. –Steve McCoid, President
Jackson Bank for Cooperatives The tone of our meeting is always established at the opening function. This year, thanks to your sterling performance, we experienced our most positive meeting success. Your presentation brought us all together through the medium of laughter and allowed us to share the experience. All else which followed over the next two days served to reinforce and compliment what you created with your presentation.–James L. Toft, President
Mountain States Employers Council You were spectacular! You absolutely killed ′em! As further evidence of your overwhelming success, be advised that we have never received the number of calls on any speaker asking for the speaker′s address and phone number. –Kermit L. Darkey
Wooster Brush Company It is very difficult to plan meetings and try to start on a “high note” which will last through the total meeting. You were certainly my answer to that concern. As they say in some parts of Ohio, “you done good!” –David A. Rowekamp, Senior Vice President
Sand & Gravel Motor Carriers Association You were the talk of the convention as members visited with each other during the next two days. Our “Mr S & G” was overheard making this remark: “I knew I had it won when I looked down and saw PeeWee′s knees.” All of the “contestants” really got into their roles for the rest of the convention. As I′m sure you are aware, a keynote speaker sets the tone for the whole convention. You certainly got ours off to a tremendous start! –Dan Felts, General Council
Kentucky Petroleum Marketers Association During my twenty-seven years as executive director of the Kentucky Petroleum Marketers Association, I have made arrangements for a countless number of conventions and meetings and therefore a countless number of speakers to address our group. Your presentation at our annual banquet was one of the most outstanding I have ever had the pleasure of witnessing. –Thomas H. Maxedon, Executive Director
Oklahoma State Nursing Home Association Our people literally fell in love with Jeanne. Most of them told me they enjoyed your presentation more than any we have had and to bring you back real soon. I agree and you can add approximately six hundred “Oakies” to your long, long list of friends and admirers. –Dr. Joe 0. Rogers, Executive Director
Fluids Control Institute Your ability to re-awaken the audience, despite a terrible seating arrangement and a series of serious and soporific lead-ins, only proves you are a speaker par excellence.” –L. V. Pace
Agway Inc. Following the Agway Annual Meeting in which you participated we held a critique session. Your performance received universal praise. As you know we had a mixed audience of young people and older folks. All liked your presentation very much. It was outstanding in every way…a top quality performance. –H.O. Mills
National Association of Farm Broadcasters I can′t tell you how much we enjoyed your presentation at our annual meeting in Kansas City…it was just exactly the thing we needed to get our meeting off to a fast start. A perfect program for the opening night of the meeting. –Art Sechrest, President
American School Food Service Association Nobody could have given the ASFSA Industry Seminar a better beginning than you! Last Sunday evening will not be forgotten soon for you were quoted and discussed all week. –Elizabeth P. McPherson
The Federal Land Bank of Wichita Jeanne, my limited vocabulary just doesn′t contain enough superlatives to begin to describe your performance or our group′s reaction to it. It simply could not have been better. It′s not that difficult to find a speaker who can turn on the poise, charm, wit, and personality when he is the “star.” But it takes a very special person to display those same qualities when the spotlights are off and the crowd isn′t watching. On behalf of our staff, we want you to know we appreciate you as much for the person you are as we do for the speaker you are. –Monte Reese
Mid-American Lumbermens Association All we can say is it′s going to be a tall order to find someone to fill your 11 sized shoes for our future seminars! In the history of this seminar we have never before had a speaker that received only positive evaluations – as you did. To “grand finale” on such a positive and humorous note was like icing on a well-prepared pastry. –Jane E. Wike
Federal Land Bank Association of Washington Somewhere a Land Bank – PCA Stockholders meeting must have gone over better than ours did last night, but I don′t recall having heard about it. When you shared information prior to the meeting about the propane gas business operated by you and your husband, I knew that you understood the stresses in agriculture. Yet you did not dwell on what farmers couldn′t do, but gave the audience the motivation to get on with what they could do. A farmer likes nothing better than listening to a little girl speak his language and when a “Little bit bigger” SOUTHERN girl speaks farming, that′s even better. –Gene R. McCreary, President
Greenwood-Leflore County Chamber of Commerce I am so pleased that after two years we were finally able to have you speak here in Greenwood, Mississippi. The 66th Annual Meeting of the Greenwood-Leflore County Chamber of Commerce was our most successful meeting ever and for that we thank you. We have had nothing but positive feedback from the members about the program. –Warner Well Ill, President
FMC Corporation There is no way I can adequately put into words the feelings and the spirit you brought our meeting. The compliments from our guests exceeded my highest expectations, as these folks are usually very guarded with their praise. –Susan J. Wendler
Fargo Public Schools You had the complete attention of everyone of the approximately 600 people in attendance. The standing ovation and the many rave compliments we have received speak for themselves. –Glenn Melvey, Assistant Superintendent
Haas Cabinet Co. Inc. The new buzz word at Haas is BATON. In fact I am thinking about having stationery printed with a baton pictured across the top to use when corresponding with our sales force. The fellows related to you, the girl who couldn′t twirl, and the fact you must always maintain a positive attitude when working with customers. We will have a record breaking year if the fellows attitudes stay as high all year as they were after our Monday night meeting. –Ray B. Wireman, Sales Manager
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