Studies show that using humour in the workplace creates increased productivity and communication among employees. And who better to bring this truism to life than Kate Davis, five-time nominee for the Canadian Comedy Awards, and star of many television comedy specials. Kate’s laugh-out-loud wit, coupled with her insights into the unique day-to-day challenges of the working world, helps organizations increase employee motivation, teamwork, and overall happiness. We’re thrilled to put the Spotlight On Kate today:
What inspired you to want to be a speaker?
I was doing comedy at the time and I wanted to give back, so I would go tell jokes to mum groups. I noticed they were often stressed, so I developed a “Parenting With Humour” workshop. I then hosted a conference with some incredible speakers, such as Yolanda King and Loretta LaRoche, and I decided that is what I wanted to do! I wanted to be a speaker! I did my homework and developed my “Balancing Life With Humour” keynote and, more recently, my “Driving Innovation Through Connectivity” keynote, which I am very excited about as it’s so relevant to our present lives.
Any advice for aspiring speakers?
Be authentic! Whether it’s information based or a keynote on your personal journey, you not only have to be an expert on what you are speaking about, you have to be passionate about the subject as well.
What do you like to leave audiences with?
I like to leave audiences with a connection with themselves–that is not only safe to lighten up but also a healthy choice both mentally and physically.
How do you prepare before a talk? Any special rituals? A good luck talisman?
I always like to add a few curls to my hair. More importantly I always have a chat with myself in the mirror, “You are going to have a great show today, you are going to connect…” Wow, I can’t believe I just told you that.
Do you have an especially memorable event you can tell us about?
I have to say the one that sticks out was at Trent University for an Ontario University Rez conference. I was in a theatre, which was full at about 600 people in total, and I had no mic! I was speaking on balance and not being stressed, but really the only thing I need as a speaker is a microphone so I was feeling a little stressed…I started the show and it ended up being one of the best shows of my life, everyone was so engaged!
Any funny or embarrassing situations you found yourself in as a speaker?
I had an event for ICU nurses–they asked me if I would like to come in and see what they do. I am a little squeamish and declined the invitation. My dad ended up getting sick and I ended up spending a month in ICU. I guess I was meant to know first hand exactly what they were going through. Timing. Oh, and my dad is fine!
Is there a charitable cause that you feel passionate about? Why?
I am passionate about Covenant House! I feel children are the most vulnerable, and need protecting and guidance.
Desert island album?
The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
Best subject in school?
Wow that’s a long time ago. Drama and history were at par.
Last book you read?
A House in the Sky, by Amanda Lindhout.
Last film you saw?
Well that’s easy–Daniel Day-Lewis! Always has been!