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Speak Well Being

Serving hospitals, healthcare and women's groups

Diva-Free Zone

Feb. 6, 2015

Vol. 13, Issue 2

Every once in awhile I hear about a client having an unhappy experience with a speaker (not one of mine, of course). They are usually turning to me to prevent that from happening again.image001

It sometimes turns out that the speaker’s performance was just fine, even great — as far as the audience was concerned. What was difficult was the behind-the-scenes behavior — diva-like behavior. In the dictionary, a diva is defined as “a woman regarded as temperamental or haughty.” If it’s ever happened to you, you know what it looks like. It’s not always the same, but it involves things like this —

  • Too much “Me-Me-Me”
  • Too much concern about product sales
  • Too many unnecessary phone calls
  • Forgetfulness about details, so you have to keep repeating, repeating, repeating
  • Last minute requests (demands) that cause a flurry and could have been pre-planned
  • Disrespectful treatment of support staff (or even you, the meeting planner!)

Another definition brings up performance issues — “A diva is a female performer, usually an opera singer, who is extremely talented but very imperious and temperamental. But the distinguishing factor is that her talent permits somewhat uncouth behavior.”

It usually shows up as unacceptable language or offensive stereotyping — which could possibly be avoided with proper preparation. When writing the contract, the terms can actually be defined, or you can cover your preferences in a pre-performance conversation. To be clear, here are some code words you can use to specify your preference in advance:

__Corporate Clean (no curse words)

__PG (minimal cursing)

__Club Set (uncensored)

You can even get right down to words (and body parts) that are acceptable or non-acceptable. We are especially careful about defining language boundaries when we’re booking a Girl’s Night Out event, where the primary objective is to have a lot of fun. However, when you want to have fun, ladies, you do need to be sure not to throw the baby out with the bath water (I say, tongue in cheek).

A few months ago a meeting planner called me. She had booked her speaker with me for the first time on the recommendation of another of my speakers. All of sudden, something had stirred up her remembrance of a previous unhappy experience, and that led us into this whole discussion about diva behavior. First, I listened, trying to hear what had stirred this memory. When I got it – really heard what she had experienced – I understood that she just needed reassurance; she did not want to repeat that experience. That’s when I got this idea about the “Diva-Free Zone.”

I can guarantee you that The Speak Well Being Group is a Diva-Free Zone!!! Our speakers are totally invested in your success (they’ve heard the horror stories, too!). I would never work with someone who was temperamental, who was haughty, or who thought uncouth behavior was attractive or necessary to the success of her performance.

In another instance we had booked a celebrity comedian for a Girl’s Night Out. Then both the meeting planner and I started getting a little nervous about some of the terms in the contract that seemed a little “diva-inclined.” So we asked the entertainment agency about them. Turned out it was just a boilerplate contract; it had nothing to do personally with the speaker we’d booked. The terms were meant to optimize conditions for her show, but were certainly negotiable. When she appeared at the event, she was a sweetheart — just as nice as the girl next door and very invested in the client’s happiness.

If there’s ever a question, please be sure to contact me. I guarantee a “Diva-Free Zone!”


And here’s the best news ever for heart health month this February:


Last fall I wrote about our heart health speaker, Ginger Zimmerman, who has been in the hospital since last April awaiting a new heart.

I’m happy to report that she received a new heart last week and is doing great. She’s out of the ICU, and personally postiGingerZimmerman1-285x280ng on Facebook. That was a long time to wait, especially when you’re not feeling well (her first heart transplant — 1998 — was failing), and facing the great unknown.

In all the gratitude she has for her new heart, she is quick to remember and remind everyone that a family is grieving the loss of their loved one. I want to say thank you to all of those who included her in your prayers, and please keep ‘em going. Its a long route to full recovery. I look forward to letting you know when she’s available for speaking engagements once again.


Coming Attractions:

Books, Books, More Books

Looking ahead, many of our speakers have just released new books, or have books coming out in the next few months. You can look forward to learning about “re-booting” to power up your energy; brain foods to improve your mood, memory and mental clarity; and how to unlock your health destiny. Also, we’ve been adding new speakers to our roster in several of our most popular categories, so stay tuned to learn more.

I hope your new year is off to a healthy start. February is Heart Health Month, as most of you know. Until next time, give your heart health some special attention this month, for your well being and those you love.

Yours truly,


For Your Well Being is published bi-weekly. We bring you insider speaker reports, exclusive stories about special events around the country, meeting planner tips, and fun stuff from the worlds of health and well being. Be well and be in the know!

The Speak Well Being Group is a specialized speakers bureau, focusing on speakers for hospital-sponsored community events, healthcare organizations, nurses, conferences and women’s groups. Our speakers are hand-selected. They are not only experts in their fields, they connect with their audiences while bringing them life-changing information, smiles of recognition and ultimately a sense of well being and hope.

Finding the perfect keynote speaker for your special event or conference is my personal passion, not just once, but year after year. It brings me great joy to know that your audience was delighted and moved by the speaker we selected together. I’m committed to making the process easy, pleasant and fun.


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