The Chicago Tribune recently proclaimed Greg Schwem “king of the hill in the growingworld of corporate comedy." His humorous take on the 21st century workplace and work/life balance has landed him on SIRIUS Radio, FOX News and the pages of Parents Magazine. More than just a comedian, Schwem is also an author and nationally syndicated humor columnist. If your company or association wants to laugh at today’s fast-paced business world, and learn that laughter motivates employees in good times and bad, look no further than Greg Schwem.
A graduate of Northwestern University’s prestigious Medill School of Journalism, Greg never envisioned a career in comedy. Instead, he settled in Florida, becoming an award-winning reporter for NBC-owned WPTV in West Palm Beach. But the comedy bug bit Greg hard and he returned to his hometown of Chicago, where he honed hisact in nightclubs. When he began inserting material about business and technology intohis act, audience members approached him and said, “You really should come down tomy office and tell those jokes.” Behold! A new approach to comedy was born.
Greg's show provides a hilarious look at today’s corporate environment and the latesttools used to conduct business. Indeed, Greg’s client list includes such corporate heavyweights as McDonald’s, Microsoft, Motorola, IBM, Verizon Wireless, United Airlines and Cisco Systems. What sets Greg apart from other corporate entertainersis his ability—and willingness—to customize material for his audience while working within the parameters of the corporate environment. That means no profanity orpolitically incorrect material. “That’s never been a part of my show anyway,” says Greg.
When Greg hits the stage he already has perused the company’s Internet site, combed the internal message boards and even sifted through numerous PowerPoint presentations.“There is no such thing as too much information,” Greg says. “I know corporate audiences like to laugh at themselves so the more ammunition I get, the funnier it will be. Just don’t give me a 10-K report. There is NOTHING funny about that.”
Greg's preparation always includes a conference call with company executives and, insome cases, an onsite visit. The personal touch strikes a chord with clients. “The fact that you came up to our facility beforehand to get a feel for our culture and how we operate proved to be very beneficial, “ said Skyline Display President Bill Dierberger. “I have never seen some of our corporate folks laugh as hard as they did.”
After a performance for the National Insurance Crime Bureau, Human Resources VP Barbara Low said, “Your comments and insights were spot on, relevant and incredibly funny. Our employees wanted more!”
Some customized material from past shows: For Citrix Systems: I just looked at your breakout list. You’ve scheduled‘Advanced Dial Plan Design’ AND ‘Troubleshooting Cisco Unified Call Manager and Call Manager Express’ in the same day? Ladies and gentlemen, spread the FUN out!
For the Society of Actuaries: You use something called “Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.” Generally accepted? Does that mean you can fudge once in awhile? Try giving your kids a generally accepted curfew of midnight and see what time they come home!
Besides customized material, Greg entertains audiences with stories about tedious business meetings, SmartPhone addiction, “frequently” asked questions and his fascination with the American Girl Doll company. Today Greg performs close to 100 corporate dates a year and writes a weekly humor column nationally distributed by Tribune Media Services. He also is the author of Text Me If You’re Breathing: Observations, Frustrations and Life Lessons From a Low-Tech Dad. And yes, those are his kids on the cover.
GREG SCHWEM TOPICS
Work, Laugh, Repeat
Perfect for any group that needs a humorous break from the serious side of business. In spite of its therapeutic qualities, laughter is often absent from the business environment. Greg shows it is possible to laugh at work and about work. Audience members will put down their iPads and Blackberries and laugh along with Greg as he good-naturedly discusses topics such as Smart Phone abuse, social network overload, never-ending conference calls, "frequently" asked questions, and home office workers. His preparation includes company web site research, phone conferences and maybe even a personal visit!
Eight Simple Rules for Survival
A humorous and motivational talk that encourages audience members to look inside themselves and see how they can perform more efficiently. Along the way Greg tackles the pros and cons of social networking sites such as Facebook, why using photos to tout your products can backfire, why the American Girl Doll company is so successful and why Costco is superior to its main rival Sam’s Club when it comes to customer service. (Hint: It has something to do with death). Eight Simple Rules for Survival is ideal for sales groups and any organization looking to boost performance.
One Against Three...And The Dog Makes Four
Based on Greg's blog of the same name and his hilarious book, Text Me If You’re Breathing: Observations, Frustrations and Life Lessons From a Low-Tech Dad, this presentation takes a humorous look at the serious topic of raising kids in a confusing digital world while discussing the effects that technology may be having on today’s youth. Perfect for education groups and family organizations, Greg makes the program interactive by asking audience members to recount their worst “parent vs. child” technology incidents and then encourages discussion.
Meeting emcee/video host
A good emcee needs to multitask. He must keep the event moving, be adept at improvisation and work efficiently with all participants onstage. Greg Schwem has hosted everything from a one-hour awards ceremony for 200 BAE Systems engineers to a three-day conference for 6,000 McDonald’s restaurant managers, to a virtual webinar for IBM customers. He is equally at ease chatting with a company CEO live on stage, pronouncing (correctly) the names of awards recipients, or conducting humorous on-camera interviews with meeting attendees.
Comedy With a Byte
Just want some entertainment during the day or evening? Greg has over 20 years experience as a stand-up comedian and can turn your meeting space into a comedy club with a routine that combines company information with hilarious real life stories, audience interaction and technology.
Watch Greg's Speaking Video