John Cleese Profile

John Cleese is one of the world’s most instantly recognizable comic celebrities and writers. His work on the groundbreaking and iconic Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Fawlty Towers and A Fish Called Wanda is familiar to all, but John is also a leading business motivator and creativity expert.

All the best writers know that comedy is a very serious business, and Cambridge educated John knows this better than any. In addition to writing some of the most celebrated comedy of the 20th century he is a well-respected author, cowriter of books that, while steeped in his trademark wry humor, have a deeply serious purpose, such as Families and How to Survive Them and Life and How to Survive It.

In 1972 John, along with a trio of fellow British actors, founded Video Arts, which has grown into the largest provider of business training programs in the world. Over the subsequent four decades John has retained his commitment to business training, and Video Arts is a recognized market leader in this field.

John has always been fascinated with psychology and has a passion for teaching alongside his comedian’s instinct for what makes people laugh. The combination of interests and talents make him a speaker whose lectures you will never forget.

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    Best known for his brilliant humor and classic TV and film performances, John Cleese is also an extraordinarily popular lecturer who enthralls packed audiences worldwide. Often named “the funniest man alive,” John Cleese is both a versatile comedic actor and a leading business motivator. With the legendary Monty Python′s Flying Circus, Fawlty Towers and A Fish Called Wanda, he created a unique comedic style that has inspired countless writers and comedians.

    An instigator of some of the more groundbreaking developments in twentieth-century comedy, John Cleese is one of the world′s best-known actors, writers and comedians. Famous primarily for his comic efforts, such as the television series Fawlty Towers and the exploits of the Monty Python troupe, John Cleese has also become a well-respected author in his own right and has co-written such books as Families And How to Survive Them and Life And How to Survive It.

    John Cleese′s influence is also felt in the corporate world as the founder of Video Arts, the world′s largest provider of business training programs. Established in 1972 with three fellow British actors, Video Arts gained an international reputation as the premier source for business know-how. Despite his diverse interests, one of his steadfast commitments has always been to business training.

    John Cleese attributes his success at making hit training programs to his fascination with psychology and his love for teaching and making people laugh. He believes that “humor in training increases retention and decreases anxiety. When the training point is surrounded with humor, it can be readily digested, remembered and applied.”

John Cleese Speaking Videos

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John Cleese's Speech Descriptions

John provides a varied speaking program, running from the purely hilarious comedy of An Evening with John Cleese through to more serious (though still frequently hilarious) business based talks, such as Seven Ways to Skin an Ocelot and Creativity in Business: How Making Your Workplace Fun Can Improve Your Bottom Line.

The Importance of Mistakes
According to Cleese, unless we have a tolerant attitude towards mistakes, we run the risk of behaving irrationally, unscientifically and unsuccessfully. He tells audiences that true mistakes are things that are a reasonable try which didn’t come off. In this presentation, Cleese draws upon his past and how mistakes and vulnerability about them can actually help a group function more creatively. He says the keys are to lose inhibitions and gain confidence to contribute spontaneously. Since fear of making mistakes holds people back, he goes through techniques for dealing with these fears and how to replace them with something positive. He also addresses the problems that come when mistakes are denied, because not acknowledging a mistake means not correcting it.

Other Suggested Speaking Topics:

  • Business Basics with John Cleese
  • Seven Ways to Skin an Ocelot
  • An Evening with John Cleese
  • What′s So Funny? Tips for Success in Education, Business and Relationships
  • Creativity in Business: How Making Your Workplace Fun can Improve Your Bottom Line
  • John Cleese on Business and Life: And You Thought You′d Figured it Out!

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