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Conference Program
Saturday, June 2, 2012

7:00-8:00 AM Breakfast Together with Food for Thought about Best/Jest Practices

 

7:00-8:00 AM Optional Laugh & Learn Sessions

 

8:45-9:15 AM Welcome to the Day & Award Presentation International Survive AND Thrive Award: Presented to Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords

We were delighted to receive confirmation from Pia Carusone, Chief of Staff for Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, for us to honor Gabby with the Survive AND Thrive Award at this year's conference. Gabby was seriously wounded at a Congress on Your Corner event in Tucson on January 8, 2011. She is currently undergoing rehabilitation at a Houston hospital.

We are hoping that Gabby will be with us in person and hope that her amazing, against-all-odds recovery continues. We are honoring her because she personifies "Survive AND Thrive" and reminds us of the power of true grit, the importance of a sense of humor, the patience and faith needed to overcome unimaginable obstacles, and the transcendence of love. As her husband observed, "With Gabby, the sky is not the limit." What an inspiration!

 

9:15-10:15 AM Morning Keynote The Most Inspirational Stories and People of Our Time
Jeff Zaslow

Springboarding off the best-selling books he has co-authored with some of the most inspiring people of our time (including Gabby Giffords), Jeff has crafted his experiences into an incredibly uplifting presentation that is hugely entertaining and extremely moving. Many groups and conference organizers anoint Jeff as "the best speaker they've ever booked." This presentation unfolds with Jeff's terrific brand of humor balanced with a great deal of heart as he weaves together stories and insights from his best-selling books and his popular column in The Wall Street Journal. You are in for a humor-felt and heart-felt experience as you meet, up-close-and-personal through Jeff, some of the most inspiring people of our time.

Jeff Zaslow first worked as a columnist at The Wall Street Journal from 1983-1987, when he wrote about a competition to replace Ann Landers in the Chicago Sun-Times. He entered to get an angle for his story and ended up winning the job over 12,000 other applicants. Recipient of the Will Rogers Humanitarian Award, Jeff is a remarkably prolific and successful author. He served as co-author with Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, on their recently-released memoir, GABBY: A Story of Hope and Courage. He collaborated with USAirways Capt. "Sully" Sullenberger, hero of the Hudson River landing, on his memoir, Highest Duty. Jeff also co-authored The Last Lecture with the late professor Randy Pausch, a book that became a worldwide phenomenon. Now translated into 48 languages, The Last Lecture has sold 5 million copies in English alone and has been a #1 international best-seller. Jeff's latest book has just been released- The Magic Room: A Story About the Love We Wish for Our Daughters. The Washington Post encapsulates Jeff's work and impact: "You want heart, you go to Jeff Zaslow... Books like Zaslow's reflect our hopes for the world we want to live in."

 

10:15-10:45 AM You Deserve a Coffee, Juice, Tea-Hee Break Today

 

10:45-Noon AM 1 Humor 101: Taking Serious Things Humorously and Humor Seriously
Dr. Joel Goodman

Back by popular demand, this FUNomenal session offers workable wit and wisdom to help you: (1)Focus on the nature of humor through the brilliant Steve Allen Principle for finding fun/seeking smiles in otherwise serious reality; (2)Understand how humor can enrich (and save) your life (potent personal, interpersonal, and professional payoffs); (3)Nurture your own and others' senses of humor by knowing the difference between tonic humor and toxic humor and by playfully practicing the art of laughing at yourself. Using a delightful blend of examples and energizers, this fast-paced, fun-filled session by the founder of The HUMOR Project is the best overview of the humor field for health care and helping professionals, educators, speakers, trainers, businesspeople, and first-timers at the conference.

Dr. Joel Goodman, founder and Director of The HUMOR Project, is a popular speaker whose programs have tickled and touched the lives of millions throughout the U.S. and abroad (Antarctica, Argentina, Australia, Panama, Japan, Taiwan, Russia, Norway, Sweden, England, Germany, South Africa, North Dakota, and funny places in between). He is jest the second speaker in the world to have presented on all seven continents and in all 50 states.

Joel has authored eight jest-selling books (including Laffirmations: 1,001 Ways to Add Humor to Your Life and Work). He also has edited the LAUGHING MATTERS magazine, generating rave reviews from thousands of people throughout the U.S. and 20 other countries.

Joel has been a pioneer focusing on the positive power of humor and creativity. His work has been featured in over 7000 TV and radio shows, newspapers, and magazines in 175+ countries, including:The TODAY Show, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, PBS, BBC, Latenight America, All Things Considered, the front page of The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, Readers' Digest, Successful Meetings, Journal of the American Medical Association, and many AP national features. Joel's unique calling was also featured on an ABC NEWS prime-time special on The Mystery of Happiness that aired nationally three times.

Described as "the first full-time humor educator in the world," Joel founded The HUMOR Project in 1977 (two years before Norman Cousins' best-selling book was published). Joel was delighted to join Willard Scott and Meadowlark Lemon in receiving the prestigious International Lifetime of Laughter Award. He also has been honored by the Business Review as the Business Person of the Year and was the first recipient of the International Punster of the Year Award (but don't hold that against him).

Joel takes his work very seriously, and he takes himself very lightly as he helps people to get more smileage out of their lives and jobs. His own most important mentors when it comes to humor are his 30-year-old son, Adam, his 26-year-old daughter, Alyssa, and his young-at-heart wife, Margie.

 

10:45-Noon AM 2 This Is Your Brain on Humor: Put Your Mind to Using Therapeutic Humor
David Weiland, M.D.

We have all heard the expression, "Laughter is the best medicine." Research over the past five decades backs up this common sense (of humor) notion. This thought-provoking, mind-stimulating session will address: how humor and laughter activate various regions of the brain, cutting-edge research on neural stimulation to change brain function, how humor can improve memory and promote new neural growth known as plasticity, non-pharmacologic approaches in dealing with Alzheimer's challenges, and how humor therapy can impact degenerative changes associated with neurocognitive decline.

David Weiland, M.D., serves as a hospital Vice President of Medical Affairs and Director of Medical Education. In the past, he has been involved in Emergency Medicine, Internal Medicine, and Family Medicine and has served as Medical Director at a hospice program. Dave has done numerous clinical presentations nationally and on cruises, including ones on "Healing Power of Humor," "Alzheimer's Disease: Recognition and Treatment," "Spirituality in Healthcare," and "Palliative Pain Management." Board certified in Internal Medicine, Hospice & Palliative Medicine, and a member of AOA Honor Medical Society, Dave was pleased to be included in "Best Doctors in America" and highlighted by U.S. News and World Report in 2011 in its issue on "Best Doctors."

 

10:45-Noon AM 3 Spontaneous Combustion Creativity: Improv Skills to Enlighten and Light Up Your Life
Kat Koppett

The art of improvisation is a vital set of attitudes and life skills for the 21st Century. Individuals who are not creative and organizations that are not innovative will be left behind. Here's your chance to work with and play with key improv principles of mental flexibility, trust, spontaneity, listening, and accepting and building on others' ideas- all of which will help to jump-start your own creativity. You'll learn how to get out of your own (creative) way and get your creative juices flowing by moving from "Yes, but..." to "Yes, and..." in life and at work.

Kat Koppett is the eponymous founder of Koppett & Co., a training and consulting company specializing in the use of theatre and storytelling. Her book, Training to Imagine: Practical Improvisational Theatre Techniques to Enhance Creativity, Teamwork, Leadership and Learning, is now in its second edition (jest in time for our conference). Kat has worked with corporations, teachers, administrators, doctors, engineers, lawyers, and young people everywhere from India, Brazil, and France to Oklahohohoma. With a Masters in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University, her areas of specialty include leadership and communication skills, creativity and innovation, teamwork and conflict resolution, and presentation coaching. Kat is also the Co-Director of the funtastic Mop & Bucket improv troupe. FYI... Kat makes a mean banana cream pie!

 

10:45-Noon AM 4 How to Make Every Moment a Teachable Moment Through Experiential Learning in Classrooms, Meetings, and Groups
Dr. Jim Cain

People learn better when they are active, not passive learners. That's the big payoff from experiential learning: people learn best when they have guided invitations to discover things themselves. Learning by doing is the trick to help the learning stick. This session is filled with attention-grabbing, retention-nabbing activities and ideas for making learning active, engaging, memorable, effective, and fun! You'll take away creative presentation techniques that invite three primary forms of learning (auditory, visual, kinesthetic) and that tap into multiple intelligences. There will be lots of food for thought on how this smorgasbord of activities can be modified to explore different subjects, themes, and teachable moments.

Jim Cain, Ph.D., is the founder and creative force behind Teamwork & Teamplay. Through this active-learning company, Jim has delivered over 1500 presentations in 47 states and 23 countries in the past 15 years (including a team-building program for the NASA Lunar-Mars extended missions project). He is also the author of eight books (so far) on team and community-building activities- Teamwork & Teamplay received the Creativity Award presented by the Association for Experiential Education. With two Masters and a Doctorate in Mechanical Engineering, Jim also served as Senior Development Engineer at Eastman Kodak for 15 years. In addition to being a third-generation square dance caller and musician (guitar and mandolin), Jim also makes and throws boomerangs (and catches them, too!).

 

10:45-Noon AM 5 Funny Business ROI: The Funny Line and Bottom Line Intersect
Andrew Tarvin

Contrary to popular belief, in the workplace, humor is a must-have skill, not a nice-to-have-if-we-had-the-time commodity. Here's a chance to see the ways that humor can improve productivity- for you and your organization. You will laugh while learning: how to leverage the power of levity to become a better leader, manager, and employee; the ability of humor to transform your work and organization; how to avoid humor pitfalls; and actionable steps to make humor a systematic part of your workplace to realize better results by increasing efficiency and effectiveness. In short, to achieve positive ROI (Return on Investment),
invest in jest.

Andrew Tarvin is a corporate humorist, author, and comedian. As Chief Humorist of Humor That Works, Andrew has worked with many organizations on such topics as humor in the workplace, communication, relationships, problem solving, productivity, strategic disengagement, and leadership. He also has had "day jobs" as Customer Solutions and Initiative Manager and Product Innovation Solutions Manager at a Fortune 25 corporation. In addition to performing stand-up (100+ shows in venues around the country) and improv comedy (300+ shows), Andrew loves drinking milkshakes and is obsessed with the color orange.

 

10:45-Noon AM 6 What Makes Us Tick (and Tickle): How to Read People and Their (Personality) Styles
Joan Hebert

This program is sure to be a fun, involving, and energizing chance to improve your "people literacy" skills (knowing how to "read" people). You will discover distinctive personality styles and the keys to connecting better with styles different than your own. By understanding the benefits and limitations of each style, you will become a more flexible and effective communicator with your family, friends, boss, co-workers, students, patients, and customers (taking the "cuss" out of customer service).

Joan Hebert, MBA, MS, principal of Hebert Performance Training since 1997, specializes in customer service, presentation skills, teams, sales, leadership, and communication training for corporations, government agencies, schools, and non-profit organizations throughout the U.S. Described as "energetic, humorous, captivating, and down to earth," Joan has been a back-by-popular-demand speaker at many ASTD and SHRM conferences. She draws on her 16 years experience with AT&T as an award-winning #1 nationally ranked master trainer, internal management consultant, and assistant marketing director.

 

12:00-1:30 PM Laughing, Learning Lunch Together, Bookstore Open, Optional Laugh & Learn Sessions

 

1:30-2:45 PM 7 A Candid Look at You and Your Organization
Peter Funt

Using the hilarious Candid Camera collection to bring his points to life, Peter will offer insights on people and a wide spectrum of professions and organizations. This laughter-provoking, eye-opening, mind-stretching session will illustrate such topics as: dealing with authority, group pressure, body language, and finding humor in life's little frustrations. "Even though most of us have never met," says Peter, "I've been studying you for years-- how you act under stress, how you solve a problem, how you make a first impression- it's all part of The Candid You." You'll pick up FUN-T-damental truths for improving communication and productivity in your organization.

Peter Funt made his first appearance on Candid Camera when he and the legendary series were each just three years old. He then took over Candid Camera in the mid-1980's and produced and hosted over 200 network episodes. In addition, he is a feature writer and syndicated columnist who also spent five years as an editor and reporter with ABC News.

 

1:30-2:45 PM 8 Humor and Healthcare Reform: Injecting Humor to Increase Patient Satisfaction
David Weiland, M.D.

With healthcare reforms, "patient satisfaction" is increasingly a key factor in measuring the quality of patient care. This session will provide insights on: new evidence-based research on the salutary effect of therapeutic humor in pain management, how humor can improve communication between the healthcare professional and the patient, humor's potentially positive effect on the patient's perception of care, the role of humor in palliative care, and clinical applications of humor to enhance empathy and promote "bedside manner." In short, you'll receive a HUMORx for encouraging quality healthcare- for both patients and caregivers.

David Weiland, M.D., serves as a hospital Vice President of Medical Affairs and Director of Medical Education. In the past, he has been involved in Emergency Medicine, Internal Medicine, and Family Medicine and has served as Medical Director at a hospice program. Dave has done numerous CME clinical presentations nationally and on cruises, including ones on "Healing Power of Humor," "Alzheimer's Disease: Recognition and Treatment," "Spirituality in Healthcare," and "Palliative Pain Management." Board certified in Internal Medicine, Hospice & Palliative Medicine, and a member of AOA Honor Medical Society, Dave was pleased to be included in "Best Doctors in America" and highlighted by US News and World Report in 2011 in its issue on "Best Doctors."

 

1:30-2:45 PM 9 Write On!: Terrific Tricks of the Trade to Tickle Funny Bones... with Your Writing
Jeff Zaslow

Here is a unique opportunity to learn some laughter-inviting secrets from this #1 international and #1 New York Times best-selling author whose TV appearances have included The Tonight Show, Oprah, Larry King Live, 60 Minutes, The Today Show, and Good Morning America. Drawing from his prolific writing career, Jeff will share insights and practical tips on how to write with both heart and humor, how to find humor in even the toughest stories, and why humor is an essential ingredient of good storytelling.

Jeffrey Zaslow first worked as a columnist at The Wall Street Journal from 1983-1987, when he wrote about a competition to replace Ann Landers in the Chicago Sun-Times. He entered to get an angle for his story and ended up winning the job over 12,000 other applicants. Recipient of the Will Rogers Humanitarian Award, Jeff is a remarkably prolific and successful author. He served as co-author with Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, on their recently-released memoir, GABBY: A Story of Hope and Courage. He collaborated with USAirways Capt. "Sully" Sullenberger, hero of the Hudson River landing, on his memoir, Highest Duty. Jeff also co-authored The Last Lecture with the late professor Randy Pausch, a book that became a worldwide phenomenon. Now translated into 48 languages, The Last Lecture has sold 5 million copies in English alone and has been a #1 international best-seller. Jeff's latest book has just been released- The Magic Room: A Story About the Love We Wish for Our Daughters. The Washington Post encapsulates Jeff's work and impact: "You want heart, you go to Jeff Zaslow... Books like Zaslow's reflect our hopes for the world we want to live in."

 

1:30-2:45 PM 10 The Bounce-Back Factor: Celebrating Your Successes by Creatively Turning Obstacles into Opportunities
Jermaine Davis

Have you ever wondered why bad things sometimes happen to good people? Are you running your life... or is your life running you? Do you ever feel overwhelmed and under-appreciated? If you can use a little recharging, rekindling, and renewing of your body, mind, and spirit... this inspirational and insightful session is for you. Get ready to laugh and have fun as you learn: real life strategies that work in real life situations; practical ideas to overcome and rise above adversity; tangible tips to maintain a positive attitude when things aren't going so well; and powerful strategies you can implement immediately to help you bounce back from current or future life or work challenges.

Jermaine Davis is an international speaker who presents at many of America's leading organizations. He is the author of ten books, including Get Up Off Your Butt & Do It NOW and Leading with Greatness. Jermaine was raised in a single parent home in Chicago. After the unfortunate loss of six family members to violent deaths, he began studying motivational principles and success strategies and enrolled in college to change the direction of his life. In fact, Jermaine is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Organizational Leadership and Communication. Along the way, he received the prestigious College Instructor of the Year Award. Jermaine is also a documentary filmmaker who, most importantly, still loves to eat his grandmother's homemade Mac and Cheese!

 

1:30-2:45 PM 11 Painless Icebreakers, Openers, and Closers: Accelerating Learning, Linking, and Laughing
Dr. Jim Cain

If you want to awaken somniferous classrooms or bored meetings, you'll find this session to be a gold mine of proven, potent, playful, and powerful processes and wonderful warm-up and wake-up calls to make learning (and learners and participants) come alive! You'll be traveling at 100 smiles per hour as you experience and expand your repertoire of terrific, tried-and-true tools and team-building techniques to break the ice, change the pace, pick up the pace, establish cooperative learning environments and teams (linking), and leave 'em laughing.

Jim Cain, Ph.D., is the founder and creative force behind Teamwork & Teamplay. Through this active-learning company, Jim has delivered over 1500 presentations in 47 states and 23 countries in the past 15 years (including a team-building program for the NASA Lunar-Mars extended missions project). He is also the author of eight books (so far) on team and community-building activities- Teamwork & Teamplay received the Creativity Award presented by the Association for Experiential Education. With two Masters and a Doctorate in Mechanical Engineering, Jim also served as Senior Development Engineer at Eastman Kodak for 15 years. In addition to being a third-generation square dance caller and musician (guitar and mandolin), Jim also makes and throws boomerangs (and catches them, too!).

 

1:30-2:45 PM 12 Can I Say That at Work?: The Secret to Having Humor Work for You
Tim Gard

Positive humor at work can be a real ice-breaker; negative humor can be an ice-maker. Harnessed positively, good humor can be a strategic skill in promoting communication, building morale, reducing stress, and dealing with the challenges of an ever-changing workplace. However, bad humor will not only damage morale and communication, it can also result in complaints, civil rights violations, employee dismissal, and lawsuits. In this laughter-filled and thought-filled session, you'll discover why funny does not always equal appropriate... along with tips to protect staff, customers, clients, patients, and students from negative humor. In short, you'll learn easy and practical guidelines to always make "the farce" be with you (and not against you) at work.

Tim Gard, CSP, CPAE, is a drop-dead funny, laugh-out-loud humorist who provides a rejuvenating and immediately applicable message that always touches and tickles audiences. As a leading authority in stress reduction through humor, Tim has delivered thousands of unique experiences for an impressive list of public and private sector clients from Bangkok to Boston, from Singapore to Sioux City, and from Texas to Tasmania. Tim is a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), the highest earned certification of the National Speakers Association and a CPAE (Council of Peers Award of Excellence) recipient. He was inducted into the Speaker Hall of Fame, an elite honor shared by only 150 other people world wide. Meetings and Conventions magazine tapped him as "The Best Speaker Heard or Used." He is the perfect presenter to "leave 'em laughing."

 

2:45-3:15 PM You Deserve a (Lemons into Lemonade) Break Today

 

3:00-6:00 PM HUMORetreat Play Time and Optional Laugh & Learn Sessions

In addition to the optional sessions listed in the Optional Sessions section of the Conference portion of the Web site, here's a great chance to enjoy and savor scenic Silver Bay and lots of laughter-liberating activities (see more information on Silver Bay in the Location portion of the Conference Web site).

 

5:30-7:30 PM The Laugh Supper... Together with More Opportunities to Build Our Comedic, Creative, Caring Community

 

7:30-9:00 PM Key Notes Keeping Joy in Your Journey
Jana Stanfield

Twenty-one years ago, when Jana could not get a record company to support her dream of making "music with meaning," she did the next best thing: she started her own Relatively Famous Records company, which is now one of the most successful businesses of its kind. This multidimensional keynote concert weaves laughter, wisdom, and Jana's magical, meaningful, moving, amusing music into an experience that will leave you feeling upbeat and uplifted with elevated endorphins. Jana will inspire you to refresh, renew, and recommit to your passion, purpose, and joy as an explorer on your journey of a lifetime. Along the way, she will encourage you to see that a sense of humor will be an important traveling companion for you to empower yourself to dream your dreams... and to make them happen as you laugh more and stress less.

Jana Stanfield, CSP, our conference troubadour, is an internationally recognized, award-winning recording artist, transformational speaker, humorist, and multi-platinum songwriter. She has shared stages with notables ranging from Kenny Loggins and the Dixie Chicks to Lily Tomlin and Deepak Chopra. Her fun-of-a-kind performances generate standing ovations on world-famous stages from Nashville's Grand Ole Opry to New York's Carnegie Hall. A five-million-selling songwriter, you have heard Jana's compositions, sung by such artists as Reba McIntyre and Andy Williams, on radio stations coast to coast... and on popular TV programs, including Oprah, Entertainment Tonight, and 20/20. Known as "The Queen of Heavy Mental," Jana describes her music as "psychotherapy you can dance to." Showing the universality of her musical medium and message, Jana's soaring vocals, acoustic arrangements, and meaningful lyrics have been heard all over the world.

 

9:00-11:00 PM Saturday Night Alive Optional Laugh & Learn Sessions

CD-signing with Jana and book-signing with Jeff Zaslow. Also, join in a back-by-popular demand Square Dance called by Stan Burdick for anyone (especially beginners) who would like to be "Dancing Under the Stars."

 


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The Humor Project Inc.
10 Madison Avenue
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
518.587.8770

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