Tip 1. Constantly update
“I love to create material,” Robertson
says. “When I was emceeing all those
pageants early on, a lot of the same
judges were there every weekend. I
couldn’t keep telling the same stories.
Creating new stories became an
In her early years, she’d talk about
being a 6’ 2” basketball player in the
Miss America pageant.
“I’m 66,” she says. “If those were
the only stories I was using now, I’d be
Over time, she began talking about
travel, her husband Jerry (or “Left-
Brain” to her audiences), and about
raising a teenager.
“I began to see the mileage in my
age,” she says. “In the mid-’90s, I
started talking about getting older.”
She speaks as often as possible 10
months of the year, reserving two
months for writing new material.
“The joke among speakers is that
it’s easier to get a new audience than
Robertson has released six DVDs.
it is to get a new speech,” she says. “In
my case, I tire of telling the same set
of stories. The thrill is in creating new
material. It keeps me fresh. The more
humor I can write, the more speaking
opportunities I have.”
Tip 2. Know your audience
and what you can deliver.
“You have to know your audience,”
Robertson explains. By monitoring
her audience’s demographics and psychographics—for example, using her
Facebook fan page — she understands
what they want.
“I know who they are,” Robertson
explains. “They appreciate the
cleverness of a story. They want family-
Robertson also suggests closely
examining trends and the advice you
hear at conventions, including
“Beginning speakers tend to get
caught up in the latest thing they
heard,” she explains. “You have to
stop and think and determine
what works for you.”
For example, when many
speakers were promoting fully
customized programs and
speeches, Robertson knew that
wouldn’t work for her business.
Her assistant of 32 years, Toni
Meredith, told prospects: “We
promise you that Jeanne won’t
come in and try new material on
Tip 3. Keep up with
When she started her career,
Robertson relied on word of
mouth and mimeographed
printed papers for marketing.
“Yep, purple ink,” she says.
“That’s just what you did back then.
Audiocassettes hadn’t been invented.
My first speeches were on reel to reel,”
she says, laughing.
Since then, she’s continued to take
advantage of evolving technology.
“I’ve just tried to roll with what-
ever I needed to do to keep speaking,”
she says. “I’ve heard people say they’re
glad they had their success before tech-
nology. I say, ‘Are you nuts? This is
wonderful! Embrace it!’”
And embrace it, she has.
Last August, she released her sixth
full-length DVD in 11 years.
She uses Facebook as a promotional
tool, and her stories can be heard daily
on SiriusXM satellite radio family
comedy channels. And 75 of her stories
are available for download on i Tunes.
She also puts videos on You Tube
to help her marketing efforts. Last
summer, the video of her story, “Don’t
Send a Man to the Grocery Store,”
received more than 3 million hits, and
“Don’t Go Bungee Jumping Naked”
had more than 2 million.
“Our sales increased by three
times, and speaking invitations multiplied by five,” Robertson says. “It’s
almost unbelievable and has led to new
Tip 4. Try new things.
This year, Robertson is doing more than
her usual busy conference schedule.
“In addition to my speaking, which
is still my day job,” she says, “I’m
going to do 35 ticketed events in the
next 18 months.”
She explains that at conventions,
attendees may not come to hear