Why Book Greg Schwem?
Why Book Greg Schwem?
Greg Schwem’s comedic take on the 21st century workplace and work/life balance has landed him on SIRIUS Radio, FOX News, Comedy Central and the pages of Parents Magazine. More than just a business humorist, Greg is also an author, nationally syndicated humor columnist, award-winning greeting card writer and creator of funnydadinc, voted one of the top Dad humor sites of 2016. He has shared the concert stage with the likes of Celine Dion and Jay Leno.
A graduate of Northwestern University’s prestigious Medill School of Journalism, Greg never envisioned a career in laughter. 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 his standup act in nightclubs. When he began inserting material about business and technology into his act, audience members approached him and said, “You really should come down to my office and tell those jokes.” Behold! A new approach to comedy was born.
Greg’s two keynotes – “Work, Laugh, Repeat” and “Rock, Roll & Laugh Your Way to the Top” – provide hilarious looks at today’s corporate environment and the latest tools used to conduct business. Indeed, Greg’s client list includes such corporate heavyweights as McDonald’s, Microsoft, General Motors, IBM, Hyatt Hotels, United Airlines and Cisco Systems. What sets Greg apart from other corporate entertainers is his ability—and willingness—to customize material for his audience while working within the parameters of the corporate environment. That means no profanity or politically incorrect material. “That’s never been a part of my show anyway,” Greg recently told a reporter.
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, in some cases, an onsite visit.
Customized Material from Past Shows
John Hancock: You sell the U.S. Global Leader Growth Fund. Is there a U.S. Regional Follower Growth Fund as well?
Michigan Realtors Assoc.: Your organization has been around since 1915? What kind of sessions did realtors attend at the 1915 convention? “The do’s and dont’s of selling that log cabin!”
Campbell’s Soup: You make “premium organic” baby food? Don’t you realize that, after the baby eats your incredibly healthy food, he’s gonna grab a fistful of the cat’s hair and eat that too?
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. In addition to his hefty speaking schedule, Greg writes a weekly humor column nationally distributed by Tribune Content Agency. He also is the author of Text Me If You’re Breathing: Observations, Frustrations and Life Lessons From a Low-Tech Dad and The Road to Success Goes Through the Salad Bar: A Pile of BS (Business Stories) From a Corporate Comedian.
The Presentation: In a hilarious, multimedia-intensive presentation, renowned business humorist and award-winning Chicago Tribune humor columnist Greg Schwem will make audiences of all ages howl with laughter as he explores the complex relationship between technology and the changing role of humor in the workplace. In short? The smart phone, the virtual meeting and other tech marvels have made for a funnier work environment, even if it seems the opposite is often the case. Complete with true, hilarious, tech-addled stories gleaned from over 20 years speaking for some of the world’s most recognizable companies and business associations, and his own frustrations raising two daughters, Greg shares nuggets about taking an Uber to a “classified” speech at CIA headquarters, his daughter’s strange Venmo purchases, and why GPS made him heckle a runner struggling to complete a marathon. Greg’s keynote also tackles serious issues including generational differences (complete with concert footage from Lollapalooza) and the rising fear of being able to laugh in the workplace. Audiences will be amazed at the amount of research Greg puts into every keynote, resulting in customized – yet never offensive – material immediately relatable to everyone. No two of Greg’s presentations are ever the same.
Greg Schwem knows a thing or two about rock and roll. As a comedian who has opened concerts for stars ranging from Keith Urban, to Celine Dion, to Enrique Iglesias to (wait for it) KC and the Sunshine Band, Greg has seen how rock and roll is really a business. Like your business. In short? Every company and employee has “rock star” potential. Greg shows you how to achieve that potential in a presentation that combines hilarious comedy, live concert footage and a musical soundtrack featuring everything from classic rock to country to Lollapalooza. Topics include “Why Every Office Needs a Keith Richards,” “Are you Team Taylor or Team Kanye?,” and “Don’t Let Your Company Become a Country Song.”
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.