August 26, 2010

My Favourite City

In August 2008 Marc Hogan was bet £1 that he couldn’t become a stand up comic in less than 12 months and perform a one man comedy show at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival in August 2009 for 21 nights. He won the bet!

Edinburgh. There has never been a place where the word summer means so many different things…

Well this is my third time at the Edinburgh Festival, the first was to discover what the world’s biggest arts festival was like and what had I let myself in for when I accepted Jim Lawless’s bet in 2008.

The second time, in August 2009 I performed for 21 nights and spent over 144 hours flyering to complete strangers.

And now in August 2010 I’m back. I’ve been on the Royal Mile 10 minutes and I have 9 flyers in my hand, for Apocolyptic sketch comedy to “Piramania” a musical about pirates (obviously).

Unbelievably in the 3 years one thing has remained constant – the Mexican  / Indian nose flute group are still here, still doing hits from Braveheart!

One thing that has changed is that 1 of my comedy friends, Imran Yusuf has been nominated as best newcomer by the Foster Comedy Awards (formerly the Perrier).

I met him in November 2008 at the Amused Moose Comedy course information evening. He did a brilliant act. Afterward he had told me he had done the course a few years before, but life had got in the way and he hadn’t done much for a couple of years, but now he was back.

Over the last two years I’ve seen Imran at lots of comedy nights and competitions as well as seeing him in Edinburgh last year where he was sharing the stage with 2 other comics at the Free Fringe.  In my mind Imran completely encompasses key 7 – “be a compass not a weathervane”.  Since he started out 7 years ago he was blown off course a bit but look at him now, a Newcomer of the Year nomination.  No one deserves it more and I look forward to seeing him on TV soon! 

So next time life gets in the way of your goal remember Imran…

Click here to watch Marc’s showreel. If you would like to find out more about Marc, visit www.marchoganlive.com or to book him for a speaking event please contact your favourite speaker bureau.

August 19, 2010

Motivation Vs. Inspiration

In August 2008 Marc Hogan was bet £1 that he couldn’t become a stand up comic in less than 12 months and perform a one man comedy show at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival in August 2009 for 21 nights. He won the bet!

Last week I was introduced as a motivational speaker. It’s a term I’ve never really been happy with; I’ve always seen myself as an inspirational speaker. I know this sounds pedantic, but to motivate, and to inspire are very different things.

Because I’m Irish (and therefore English is my second language!) I thought I’d check.

According to the Collins Popular English Dictionary;

Motivate:
Give incentive to

Inspire: To fill with enthusiasm, stimulate; arouse (an emotion)

The Oxford English Dictionary goes a step further;

Inspire:
To fill someone with the urge or ability to do something. To create a feeling in a person.

To motivate someone will always be difficult.  Some people will be motivated by glory, others by money, and others by getting home early to see their kids.  However many managers still fall into the trap of trying to motivate staff with bonuses, red-letter days, vouchers etc. Now for some staff this will work but for others it (frustratingly) won’t.

To inspire people you need to build a vision of a better place, a world where your product or service is the very best it can be.  You need to emotionally engage with them and then empower them. They must understand why they are vital and you must encourage the belief that they can deal with any challenge.

Trust me targets and spreadsheets will not inspire anyone. No one has ever been emotionally engaged to an Excel graph. But more importantly it’s not just your words it’s your actions. Do you listen, do you help, or do you admonish? Do you encourage? Do you stand up for your team?

If you do all of this then you will have people that are willing to go that extra mile to help their company be the best it can be. Inspiring will always be harder than motivating but the results far outweigh the effort.

My Edinburgh journey and the 7 Keys that helped me achieve my goal do not motivate, they inspire an audience to face new challenges, and empower them to take action. The question is what are you going to do differently today and are you going to motivate or inspire?

Click here to watch Marc’s showreel. If you would like to find out more about Marc, visit www.marchoganlive.com or to book him for a speaking event please contact your favourite speaker bureau.

  • Filed under: Blog Posts — marchogan @ 11:35 am
August 10, 2010

Your Most Precious Asset

In August 2008 Marc Hogan was bet £1 that he couldn’t become a stand up comic in less than 12 months and perform a one man comedy show at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival in August 2009 for 21 nights. He won the bet!

A little while ago I gave a keynote speech to one of the world’s biggest banks (and one of the very few who didn’t need to be bailed out). Before my session I spent a very enjoyable and interesting couple of hours listening to the proceeding presentations. (No, honestly I really did, these guys are good presenters!)

What I found fascinating and exciting was the passion in the room and the commitment of the speakers to improving company performance and helping their people achieve their goals and exceed their potential.

All the delegates were effectively coaches and they all understood and bought into the idea that their most precious resource was their people.

It was quite obvious they understood a very old but very true maxim, “If you look after your people, [and I mean really listen and encourage them] they in turn, will look after you.”

In fact I was so impressed by this bank that I will be looking to open an account with them very soon!

Click here to watch Marc’s showreel. If you would like to find out more about Marc, visit www.marchoganlive.com or to book him for a speaking event please contact your favourite speaker bureau.

August 4, 2010

Trust Yourself

In August 2008 Marc Hogan was bet £1 that he couldn’t become a stand up comic in less than 12 months and perform a one man comedy show at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival in August 2009 for 21 nights. He won the bet!

“Trust yourself.  You know more than you think you do.” Dr Benjamin Spock.

Now, forgetting the unfortunate sci-fi connotations, I believe this is a very powerful truth. I presume we all have a boss, but what if you stopped looking at yourself as an “employee” and started to look at yourself as  a “mini-business” where you are completely in charge of sales, marketing, production, accounting and personnel.

Does that change the way you feel about your job? (Maybe, maybe not?)

Now I want you to ask yourself:

What 3 things have been bothering me about where I work for the last year or two, and which  would be the quickest and easiest to solve?

If I were in charge how would I fix them in the most cost effective and efficient way?  How would that benefit me, my colleagues, the rest of the company and our customers?

Who else do I know in the organisation that has the same problem?  Could I see if they have an idea that solves the problem?

Once you’ve thought about the answers to the above what’s stopping you (on your own or perhaps as a group) going to your boss or managers with your cost effective and efficient solution to these problems?

Is it your “Editor” (to find out more about the Editor click here)? The little voice that says, “that will never work” or “no one listens to me” and all the other negative rubbish it spouts.

Nothing will change in your organisation unless you do it. You can’t wait for someone else to fix it, you could be waiting forever. This isn’t about complaining, it’s about coming up with a cost effective and efficient solution.  Quite simply it’s about making your company a better place to work.

Trust me, your boss wants passionate people who care about their company, so trust yourself and see what you can do to make your company a better place to work…

Click here to watch Marc’s showreel. If you would like to find out more about Marc, visit www.marchoganlive.com or to book him for a speaking event please contact your favourite speaker bureau.

  • Filed under: Blog Posts — marchogan @ 10:02 am
August 3, 2010

Selling The Vision Of Change.

In August 2008 Marc Hogan was bet £1 that he couldn’t become a stand up comic in less than 12 months and perform a one man comedy show at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival in August 2009 for 21 nights. He won the bet!

Last week I spoke to you about “Skill and Will” today I will discuss how you can sell the vision of change.

When Demosthenes the father of Greek oratory stood amongst his peers, the statesmen, the generals and the nobility hung on this every word.

Why? Because he understood the 5 elements to a great speech

1) A great person.

2) A great event.

3) A compelling message.

4) A masterful delivery.

5) A great outfit.

He didn’t really focus on his outfits, one robe is much the same as another, but I guarantee you would get everyone’s attention if you stood in front of your slides wearing a bed sheet!

However before you get on stage how do you ensure you’re a great person?

Well, before you tell them your great idea, have you spoken to your peers about your proposal? Have you sought their feedback and buy in? Have you taken on their ideas and changes?

To really ensure that your people believe you are a great person, you need to listen to them and act on their suggestions, hopes, fears and thoughts.

When I work with a company the first thing I do is to seek feedback from employees before we officially launch our idea / change programme to the masses.

If you listen to your team before you officially launch your idea, and act on their suggestions they are much more likely to support your proposal.

Most of us approach this completely the wrong way! We come up with a fantastic idea, secretly prepare and then launch it to our people expecting them to think it’s the best idea since sliced bread, only to discover they prefer to cut the bread themselves…

Click here to watch Marc’s showreel. If you would like to find out more about Marc, visit www.marchoganlive.com or to book him for a speaking event please contact your favourite speaker bureau.

  • Filed under: Blog Posts — marchogan @ 12:55 pm

Desperately Seeking Stage Time

In August 2008 Marc Hogan was bet £1 that he couldn’t become a stand up comic in less than 12 months and perform a one man comedy show at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival in August 2009 for 21 nights. He won the bet!

Last week I performed at a great night called “Desperately Seeking Stage Time” in London where various comics of differing experience (and ability!) try new material.  A couple of them are attempting their first one man Edinburgh shows this year,  Anthony Dewson and Tom MacDonell.

Both are musical comedians and both are very funny. Good luck lads, I know you are going to have a brilliant time and I look forward to seeing both your shows. Remember bring a pac-a-mac and have a pitch for when your flyering, oh and most of all be funny when the reviewers are in!

And dear readers if you’re looking to see some funny comedians go and check them out!

Big Tartan Hugs

Marc

Click here to watch Marc’s showreel. If you would like to find out more about Marc, visit www.marchoganlive.com or to book him for a speaking event please contact your favourite speaker bureau.