Keynote speaker energizes audience with big laughs and life lessons

Professional speaker and award-winning author Christine Cashen had attendees at the AHRA 2016 Annual Meeting and Exposition in Nashville, Tenn., crying tears of laughter Monday morning with her funny stories and infectious energy. She also taught everyone a thing or two about how to communicate and taking advantage of positive thinking.

Cashen’s keynote presentation was full of advice on how to live a more productive life, with anecdotes sprinkled in throughout about her mother discovering “The Facebook,” how she melts her husband’s heart with Excel spreadsheets, and the snappy one-liner she once used after falling in the middle of a speech.

Much of Cashen’s presentation revolved around one primary theme: that we must all put an end to “global whining.”

“We’re all tired and we’re all busy, so suck it up!” said Cashen, causing the crowd to roar with approval. “Let’s work on what we can change, like how we manage our day and how we deal with people.”  

Cashen explained that there are different types of people in every workplace. The “Who” people want everyone happy and are always smiling, but “Why” people like to challenge the norm and find new ways to do things. “What” people, meanwhile, just find out what needs to be done and find an immediate solution, while “How” people are tidy and organized at all times, living by the book as much as possible.

To truly get things done, Cashen said, everyone must adapt to the type of person they are working with at that specific moment in time.

Are you talking to a “Who” person? Ask them how their day was or share a quick note about your own day. Are you talking to a “What” person? Just give them the facts and skip the small talk altogether.

Another point Cashen discussed in detail was that positive thinking, over time, can have a strong impact on an individual’s frame of mind. As an example, she suggested everyone try something new for the next two weeks: say that you are in a good mood, even if you don’t believe it, for the first two hours of every day.

Over time, Cashen said, you’ll find that you believe it. And others around you will believe it too.

“It’s amazing how what you say comes your way,” she said.

Cashen also shared the power of one of her favorite sayings: be outstanding or get involved elsewhere, or B.O.O.G.I.E. If someone isn’t happy at their current job and they’ve made it obvious to everyone around them, that person needs to move on and let someone take their job who actually wants it.

“Do a great job,” Cashen said. “Don’t take up space in someone else’s dream job.”

(The B.O.O.G.I.E. acronym even came with its very own dance—ask anyone who was there in person and perhaps they will be glad to share it with you.)

AHRA attendees even provided Cashen with ammunition for a few extra lighthearted jokes. For example, after seeing one member’s nametag with its numerous colorful ribbons, she asked if he had won AHRA’s “best in show.” It was just one example of how Cashen got her message across—by mixing crucial life lessons with a whole lot of humor.