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Interview with Jeff Havens

Using his own unique blend of business and comedy, keynote speaker and funnyman Jeff Havens helps people succeed in various aspects of business. In this interview with A-Speakers he reveals who inspires him most and gives his best tips for creating an innovative company culture. Read more below.

Who or what inspires you most?

Paul Newman.  He made enough money to satisfy himself, but decided he wasn’t done working.  So he dedicated the rest of his time and energy toward charitable endeavors.  His is a path I would like to emulate.


How are your keynote presentations unique?

Every one of my presentations combines the takeaways of a ‘traditional’ keynote with the entertainment value of a comedy show.  I had a background in both education and stand-up comedy, which isn’t common.  So my audiences end up laughing as much as they learn.


What is the most unique experience you have had as a result of your job?

The thing I enjoy the most is getting to talk to people from all different backgrounds and industries – white collar, blue collar, Republican, Democrat, urban, rural, and everything in between.  It’s helped me realize that we’re all a lot more alike than we are different.  However, the most unique experience would be when I delivered my keynote dressed like a medieval pageboy in order to help with the Renaissance theme of the conference I was keynoting.  That was different.  I’ve also presented in a giant blue mohawk (different conference).  So if you need me to help promote your theme, I can do that.


What types of results do clients experiences after attending your keynotes?

The most common comment I receive is people really appreciating that I can weave entertainment and education together in a way that gets points across without it feeling like a lecture.  The second most common would be that people appreciate that I simplify complicated issues in ways that make action seem not only possible but easy.


Can you give three tips for creating a more innovative company culture?

Good question!  This is actually going to be the subject of my next keynote, and I’ve just gotten started on it.  But I can only give you two tips, because there are only two things anyone needs to do in order to innovate.  Step one is to phrase an existing problem or a potential opportunity in the form of a question. (“How can we entice customers away from our competitors?” or “What would make airline travel more enjoyable?” or “How can we save on our electricity costs?”)  Questions like these are the first step of innovation.  The second (and final) step is to allow yourself time to think.  We don’t do enough of that, and innovative solutions ONLY occur by way of thoughtful reflection.  So an innovative culture requires people to ask questions, then set aside time to devote toward thinking up solutions to them.  That’s really all there is.  I realize this wasn’t a funny answer, but I promise the keynote will have plenty of laughter.


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