Speaking of Joy Blog

The Buckeye’s Success Secret

by Dave Caperton - on Tuesday, January 13, 2015
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Let’s talk sports. Now, I’m not really a big sports guy. My athletic background consists of three years of involuntary participation in middle school dodge-ball where my position was apparently bulls-eye. But, as an alum of The Ohio State University, I’m naturally thrilled with the unlikely success of the Buckeyes winning the historic first College Football Playoff national championship against the Oregon Ducks. Before the game I didn’t make any game predictions (after all, I have clients in the Pacific northwest) and the reason I’m talking about them now isn’t fan loyalty—well, not just fan loyalty—but instead a narrative that captured my imagination because it has something to teach any group hoping for success in spite of adversity.  Read More...


by Dave Caperton - on Thursday, November 27, 2014
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My mom told a story about a friend of hers whose young son was notorious for his perpetual bad mood. One day they were over for lunch and the boy turned up his nose at everything on the table. His mother was embarrassed but Mom, ever the gracious hostess, asked him what he would like. “I want a peanut butter sandwich,” he demanded. Over his mother’s protests that she not go to any trouble, Mom took out a fresh slice of bread and swirled a generous layer of peanut butter over it, placed it on a plate and held it out to him.  Read More...

Is Stress Good?

by Dave Caperton - on Friday, September 19, 2014
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You may be familiar with the quote attributed to Mark Twain that, “A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” Although the observation is true, the attribution isn’t. According to the Yale Book of Quotations, it was actually C.H. Spurgeon who said it in 1859. Unless of course the Yale book got it wrong. Mark Twain did say that there are three kinds of untruths: “Lies, damned lies, and statistics.” Of course it’s possible that that quote isn’t his either. Maybe the only thing we can be absolutely sure of is that it’s hard to be absolutely sure of anything.  Read More...

Why Joyful Teaching Works

by Dave Caperton - on Monday, August 25, 2014
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Note: As many students and teachers return to school this week, questions loom about the most effective ways to reform education. One approach is gaining traction and accumulating data that suggest what intuitive and compassionate teachers have always known: start with strengths and make learning a joyful experience. Even if you aren’t an educator, you might find value in the philosophy as it has the potential to transform not just halls of learning, but anyplace where groups of people work together.  Read More...

License to Laugh?

by Dave Caperton - on Monday, August 04, 2014
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There is a scene in Disney’s Finding Nemo where the title character is initiated into the aquarium community in a ritual with chanting and a test of will (he has to swim though a ring of bubbles). At the end of this ceremony he is given a new name. “Henceforth you will be known as Shark Bait” and the group chants, “Shark Bait, oo-ha-ha!” It’s hard to imagine a fish would enjoy being dubbed a predator’s appetizer, but sometimes irony equals humor.  Read More...

Start A Joyful Movement

by Dave Caperton - on Tuesday, July 29, 2014
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We’ve all worked with joy-killers (if you can’t think of any, it might be that the people who have worked with you can). You know the person who always says things like, “No good deed goes unpunished,” or meets good news with “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” and invokes Murphy’s Law as if it were really a thing. They are also the chronic complainers who take it as their personal mission to shoot holes in every new idea and deride any flash of enthusiasm as naïve.  Read More...

Engagement Without Jargon

by Dave Caperton - on Wednesday, May 28, 2014
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“At the end of the day, it is what it is.”
– Every Manager You Ever Met

When I started working with business organizations back in 1992, I was intimidated by every executive because I didn’t understand three words out of every ten they spoke: “We impact the financial products vertical and leverage learning with bleeding edge and scalable robust solutions but with lots of moving parts.” Huh?  Read More...

No Bull: Laughter Works!

by Dave Caperton - on Sunday, March 30, 2014
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What kind of shared experience is best for bringing people together? Humor? Nope. Shared laughter actually comes in second. Number one: disaster! But, for all of the good that it sparks in others, we don’t want to engineer calamity just to inspire connections, so we can use laughter, the next best thing, to bring people together in a positive way.  Read More...

Make A Monumental Difference

by Dave Caperton - on Thursday, March 13, 2014
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“Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can.”
–Arthur Ashe on how to change the world

On a recent walk with my wife along River Street in the haunting city of Savannah, we came upon a statue facing the river. The bronze figure is of a young girl holding large cloth with both hands and waving it toward the passing ships as they churn toward the docks. Every city has monuments and statues celebrating the lives of those movers and shakers of history such as military heroes, presidents and captains of industry, but this statue bore a name of no one I had ever heard of (in fact, the sculptor, Felix deWeldon, is much more famous as the artist who created the USMC Memorial of the flag-raising on Iwo Jima).  Read More...

Speaking Healing Words

by Dave Caperton - on Sunday, March 02, 2014
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Today I’m thinking about speaking healing words. It’s not a random thought. I’m thinking about it because as I write this, my wife, Suzanna, and I are sitting in the Cleveland Clinic surgery center waiting with Vicky, the wife of our friend Tony as he undergoes his second major surgery in four years. Today it’s cancer surgery. Four years ago it was a heart and double lung transplant.  Read More...

Funny Motivational Speaker Dave Caperton

About the Author, Funny Motivational Speaker, Dave Caperton

Dave Caperton is a motivational speaker, author, humorist and educator who teaches organizations and individuals the many benefits of humor to manage stress, to improve communication and to strengthen teams. Dave began his professional career as a school teacher, later writing and performing comedy onstage and on radio. For almost 20 years, Dave has been a professional speaker serving individuals and organization all over North America. He provides tailored conference keynotes, closings and breakouts all aimed at creating a joyful and successful culture that includes healing and compassionate humor. Dave is also the author of Happiness Is a Funny Thing, a book he calls a “why-to” book for making the choices that will result in greater joy at work and at home.

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