Jeanne Robertson

Miss North Carolina 1963 and Humorist

Jeanne Robertson reached her 6’2” stature at age thirteen. Perhaps it was an indication of a future speaking career that would soar to great heights.  

No, professional speaking might not have been predicted when Jeanne was in the seventh grade in Graham, North Carolina, when and where she would have been voted most likely to make the basketball team and least likely to be a contestant in the Miss America Pageant. She did make the team—averaging more than thirty points per game in her junior and senior years—but as Miss North Carolina 1963 she also competed in the Miss America Pageant where she was named Miss Congeniality. 

It was her participation in and perhaps even her losing of the Miss America title that turned Jeanne’s life into a succession of events which led her to be one of the funniest, busiest and most popular professional speakers in America today. Because she was asked to speak every day as Miss North Carolina, Jeanne traveled her native state for one year speaking at pageants and addressing civic clubs and corporations. When that time was over, she found that people were willing to pay her to come and address their groups and conventions and loving every laughing minute of it. They wanted Jeanne-not just a title holder-and they wanted her because she made them laugh. 

At that point, Jeanne still viewed speaking as a way to make a little money while continuing her education. She received her degree at Auburn University and taught physical education in high school and college, a career she enjoyed for nine years. But throughout those years, the requests continued to pour in for her to speak. In 1976, she stopped teaching and entered professional speaking full time. 

With the flexibility to speak more often, Jeanne’s rise in the speaking profession was nothing short of phenomenal. Clients and speakers alike were quick to recognize her ability. In addition to a full speaking schedule year after year, she has been awarded every top honor and designation in her profession including the Certified Speaking Professional designation (CSP) in 1980 and being inducted in the CPAE Speaker Hall Of Fame in 1981. A member of NSA/Carolinas, she served as President of the National Speakers Association in 1985. In 1989 she became the first woman to receive that association’s most cherished honor, the Cavett Award. The Cavett is awarded annually to one member “whose accomplishments, integrity and reputation are a credit to NSA and the speaking profession.” 

Toastmasters International named Jeanne the recipient of its 1998 Golden Gavel Award, given annually to one individual for accomplishments in leadership and communications. She is the only female professional speaker who has received this honor. Other recipients include Lowell Thomas, Walter Cronkite, Earl Nightingale, Art Linkletter, Dr. Joyce Brothers, Tom Peters, Mark Russell, Ken Blanchard and Zig Ziglar. 

In recognition of her professional expertise, experience, and competence, Jeanne was honored by the NCAA Southeastern Conference as Auburn University's Woman Entrepreneur of the Year 2000. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Elon University. 

The North Carolina Press Association named Jeanne as its 2001 North Carolinian of the Year for "her popularity on the speaking circuit, her award-winning ways, and her representation of North Carolina."  Past recipients include Elizabeth Dole, Rev. Billy Graham, and Dean Smith. 
The Miss North Carolina Organization named Jeanne as its 2003 Woman of Achievement. She was the first former Miss North Carolina to be so named.. 

Jeanne has produced six humor DVDs and CDs and written three books on humor - Humor: The Magic of Genie, Mayberry Humor Across the USA and Don’t Let the Funny Stuff Get Away. These books are filled with reality-based stories, which illustrate her humor philosophy. She can be heard on SiriusXM Satellite Radio's Family Comedy and Blue Collar Comedy channels. 

While she enjoys making people laugh, Jeanne views the role of a humorist as more than eliciting laughter. As audiences are holding their sides and wiping tears from their faces, she makes her point clear. Perhaps that is why thousands of meeting planners make their point clear when they say… "The Meetin' ain't over 'til the tall lady speaks." 

To book Jeanne Robertson call Execurtive Speaker Bureau at 800-754-9404.

See Below for Full Bio

  • Speaking Topics:

    Humor, Motivation

  • Travels From:

    North Carolina

  • Price:

    $7,500 - $10,000

    Notes on Fees

  • Videos
  • Full Bio
  • Speech Topics
  • Books
  • Testimonials
  • News

JEANNE ROBERTSON VIDEO

Jeanne Robertson Part 1 of Don't Line Dance in the Ladies Room

Jeanne Robertson reached her 6’2” stature at age thirteen. Perhaps it was an indication of a future speaking career that would soar to great heights.  

No, professional speaking might not have been predicted when Jeanne was in the seventh grade in Graham, North Carolina, when and where she would have been voted most likely to make the basketball team and least likely to be a contestant in the Miss America Pageant. She did make the team—averaging more than thirty points per game in her junior and senior years—but as Miss North Carolina 1963 she also competed in the Miss America Pageant where she was named Miss Congeniality. 

It was her participation in and perhaps even her losing of the Miss America title that turned Jeanne’s life into a succession of events which led her to be one of the funniest, busiest and most popular professional speakers in America today. Because she was asked to speak every day as Miss North Carolina, Jeanne traveled her native state for one year speaking at pageants and addressing civic clubs and corporations. When that time was over, she found that people were willing to pay her to come and address their groups and conventions and loving every laughing minute of it. They wanted Jeanne-not just a title holder-and they wanted her because she made them laugh. 

At that point, Jeanne still viewed speaking as a way to make a little money while continuing her education. She received her degree at Auburn University and taught physical education in high school and college, a career she enjoyed for nine years. But throughout those years, the requests continued to pour in for her to speak. In 1976, she stopped teaching and entered professional speaking full time. 

With the flexibility to speak more often, Jeanne’s rise in the speaking profession was nothing short of phenomenal. Clients and speakers alike were quick to recognize her ability. In addition to a full speaking schedule year after year, she has been awarded every top honor and designation in her profession including the Certified Speaking Professional designation (CSP) in 1980 and being inducted in the CPAE Speaker Hall Of Fame in 1981. A member of NSA/Carolinas, she served as President of the National Speakers Association in 1985. In 1989 she became the first woman to receive that association’s most cherished honor, the Cavett Award. The Cavett is awarded annually to one member “whose accomplishments, integrity and reputation are a credit to NSA and the speaking profession.” 

Toastmasters International named Jeanne the recipient of its 1998 Golden Gavel Award, given annually to one individual for accomplishments in leadership and communications. She is the only female professional speaker who has received this honor. Other recipients include Lowell Thomas, Walter Cronkite, Earl Nightingale, Art Linkletter, Dr. Joyce Brothers, Tom Peters, Mark Russell, Ken Blanchard and Zig Ziglar. 

In recognition of her professional expertise, experience, and competence, Jeanne was honored by the NCAA Southeastern Conference as Auburn University's Woman Entrepreneur of the Year 2000. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Elon University. 

The North Carolina Press Association named Jeanne as its 2001 North Carolinian of the Year for "her popularity on the speaking circuit, her award-winning ways, and her representation of North Carolina."  Past recipients include Elizabeth Dole, Rev. Billy Graham, and Dean Smith. 
The Miss North Carolina Organization named Jeanne as its 2003 Woman of Achievement. She was the first former Miss North Carolina to be so named.. 

Jeanne has produced six humor DVDs and CDs and written three books on humor - Humor: The Magic of Genie, Mayberry Humor Across the USA and Don’t Let the Funny Stuff Get Away. These books are filled with reality-based stories, which illustrate her humor philosophy. She can be heard on SiriusXM Satellite Radio's Family Comedy and Blue Collar Comedy channels. 

While she enjoys making people laugh, Jeanne views the role of a humorist as more than eliciting laughter. As audiences are holding their sides and wiping tears from their faces, she makes her point clear. Perhaps that is why thousands of meeting planners make their point clear when they say… "The Meetin' ain't over 'til the tall lady speaks." 

To book Jeanne Robertson call Execurtive Speaker Bureau at 800-754-9404.

What speeches are available?

This is a little "different" but here it is:  Jeanne Robertson has no "automatic speech." What she has is a large supply of original material that increases every year. (She has released six full-length CDs/DVDs in the last eleven years - each chocked full of stories she uses in her presentations.)  First she listens to what you want her to accomplish in her session. Then she pulls from her vast supply of personal stories to put together the right speech for your occasion. In other words, she knows what she's doing. In fact, Jeanne turns down as many speeches as she books because she wants to make sure that she is right for every event at which she speaks. 

Are you saying that there isn't a list of Jeanne's speeches?

That's what we're saying.   It just doesn't work that way. With Jeanne, there is no speech #1, speech #2, etc., because she is able to fill so many slots during a meeting. One meeting planner may ask for a thirty-minute after-dinner presentation with very little message while the next one requests an hour keynote with steps to developing a sense of humor. Some material is perfect for an audience of all women at an hospital event, for example, while other stories work better for a mixed group of computer software users. Some planning committees want audience participation while others do not.

Jeanne finds out the specifics of the program and plans what material she will use. Then she keeps records of what material she tells where so that if she returns she will not repeat stories. It keeps Jeanne on her toes and her speeches fresh.  

Let me get this straight. I don't book a certain speech? 

No, you book a speaker - Jeanne Robertson. Her most used speech titles are listed on the "presentations" page, but the material that makes up each program depends on the goal of the meeting planner or planning committee, the makeup of the audience, what material she may have used in an earlier speech for you and the session where you want to use her, i.e., keynote, concurrent session, meal function, general session or partner program.

Jeanne's overall topic - humor - remains the same. Her material changes. If you hear her and want that particular material for your group, she checks her records and makes sure to repeat those stories. Every speech is truly tailored to the needs of the occasion for a guaranteed positive impact.

But there are speech titles…

That said, here are a few titles that work well.  It's just that there is no pat speech to go with each title.   

"Humor: More Than a Laughing Matter"

In her positively hilarious style, 6' 2" Jeanne Robertson soars to new heights while discussing the differences between being funny and possessing a sense of humor, learning to laugh at yourself and accepting things that can't be changed. You will hold your sides and wipe tears of laughter from your eyes as Jeanne relates original stories based on her life experiences.

"Humor: A Strategy for Success"

In this step-by-step presentation, Jeanne helps audiences learn how to develop a sense of humor, which according to her is a choice in how you go about living. She explains the dynamics of humor, challenging audiences to laugh at themselves, look for the humor in everyday situations, create their own humor and influence others to do the same, relieve stress through humor and take humor breaks. As she relates her original, funny tales, Jeanne helps people develop a refreshing new approach to humor and the magic it works in our daily lives.

"Here He Is… Mr. Meeting!"

Pure fun with a little message! Jeanne reaches into her big bag of original material and pulls out just the right stories for each audience and situation. An old fashion "after-dinner talk" that can be used in a variety of meeting slots. Not comedy. Hilarious humor that illustrates a point.

Minit Mart Foods, Inc.

Enough already! My phone is ringing off the hook and I can't get anything done because people keep calling to say they loved you - did you have to be that good!

Bayonne, NJ, Admin Conference, San Antonio, 10/08

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I haven't laughed so hard in years You're wonderfully funny and kept the entire audience captivated with your wit. I laughed so much my side hurt - you are truly a treasure!!

Executive Director American Payroll Association Meeting Planner of the Year 2001" - Awarded by National Speakers Association

Inspiring attendees while entertaining them is a tall order, so that's why, for a fifth time; we've called on you for the task. You are truly one-of-a-kind in the speaking industry (and entertainment industry for that matter.) In my 23 years of hiring many excellent professional speakers and humorists, no one can equal your unique comedic sense and subtleties. To put it simply, they loved you! Once again, bravo for another bravura performance!

Editor, The Oxford Public Ledger, January 07

"Robertson spoke with a Southern drawl to make Andy Griffith or Jerry Clower proud and had the audience hanging on every word and laughing at every other word. By the end they rose en masse to show their thanks with applause."
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