... 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.
to your event to see you perform. That
whole world has opened up to me
because of You Tube, i Tunes and satellite
Robertson and colleague and fellow
NSA member Carl Hurley, EdD, CSP,
CPAE, have presented live “Double
Funny” shows for motorcoach travelers
for 11 years. That schedule will increase
significantly next year, and a growing
number of theaters have booked Jeanne
for solo evening shows.
And due to her networking with
NSA member Al McCree, this fall she
will partner with Outback Concerts on
solo shows across the country.
Tip 5. Work with and learn
Continuing to learn from others is
critical, Robertson says, stressing the
importance of learning from people of
all ages and experiences.
“I can learn from someone who’s
been in the business for one year or 50
years,” she says. “There’s a movement
for younger speakers to have their own
NSA programming and events. That’s
great for social networking, but I can
learn from any speaker, and I’m happy
to share what I know with anyone.”
She works with fellow speaker and
North Carolinian Patrick Henry, who
is her son’s age, she explains. They
regularly try out new material on each
other, offering the perspective of a dif-
She also advises working with a
small group of speakers. Since 1979,
Robertson has been part of Platform
Professionals, a group of speakers who
work on new material together and recommend one another. Other Platform
Professionals include Al Walker, CSP,
CPAE, Bryan Townsend, Charles Petty,
ThD, CSP, CPAE, Lou Heckler, CSP,
CPAE, LaDonna Gatlin, CSP, CPAE,
and George Campbell, CSP, CPAE.
Recently, Robertson discovered how
you can learn from someone you’ve
never even met. She had originally
named one of her most popular stories
“Left-Brain’s Grocery List.” But she
noticed that when someone re-posted it
online, that individual called it “Don’t
Send a Man to the Grocery Store.” And
that’s when it caught fire.
“It taught me a valuable lesson. That
title made a big difference,” she says. “I
stopped the DVD (that was in production) and said, ‘Whoa. Let’s look at all
the titles again.’”
Robertson is more than just a successful
speaker. She is active in her community
and serves on the Board of Trustees of
Elon University. This year, Elon’s basketball court will be named Robertson
Court for the contributions she and
Jerry have made to Elon athletics.
Every year, she donates most of the
gifts she receives during her travels to
the Christmas Pride Store she started.
And other NSA friends contribute gifts
to what Robertson calls “the ultimate
She has worked with the local paper
on Katrina and Haiti fundraisers,
chaired her county arts drive to raise
more than $1 million to save the local
theater, and more.
Stephanie R. Conner is a professional writer and editor who plans to take Jeanne’s tips to heart as she continues to build her own brand.
Stephanie can be reached at Stephanie@