Lois’ programs are well-suited for:
- Conferences – Humor Keynotes, Break-out Sessions
Kick-off with your event with a Surprise, or Close with a Punch!
- Conventions and Seminars – Associations, Women’s Expos,
Workshops, Workplace, Aging, Health and Human Services,
Early Childhood, ADHD, Disability, Primary and Secondary
Educational PIR Trainings, Brain Injury Associations, Caregivers
- Evening Entertainment – Conferences, Awards Banquets
- Luncheons – Club Meetings
- Leadership Trainings or Retreats
- On-Site Programs – Staff or Employee Trainings, Human Resources
“In this current climate of economic uncertainty, Lois taught us how to laugh again in the face of adversity. The lessons she has learned in overcoming her brain injury are applicable to anyone who has ever had to struggle with any type of tragedy or life-changing event.
If you want an awake and upbeat audience, book Lois to do her keynote presentation for your morning conference! “ Laura Mills, West Tennessee Rehab Center
View brief summaries of Lois’ programs below. View the full program outline, including outcomes and benefits by clicking on the program
title or (more detail) after each summary.
“It was a joy to work with Lois during our Speaker Series in May, 2009, to promote mental health awareness month in Ravalli County. I was impressed with Lois’ professionalism. Having Lois’ name and national speaker stature added credibility to our event. Personally, I was deeply moved by Lois’ recovery story. Her authenticity and transparency connected her with her audience instantly. True to her brand, Lois had all of us laughing out loud. It was a room full of people laughing at some of life’s toughest challenges, thereby believing things can get better. Finally, I must say that Lois was exceptionally generous with the crowd, giving of her time both before and after her session to offer resources and encouragement to individual attendees. Thank you Lois. Mark your calendar for a return performance next May!!”
Barb Lucas, MA, Treasurer, Bitterroot Valley Local Advisory Council
Keynotes – Motivational Humor
What do you do when life looks ugly? Character Keynote / Signature Story
“When life knocks you down, humor is the magic wand that cushions your fall, lifts you back up, and points you in a new direction.” -Lois McElravy
Lois combines a captivating character performance (Meet Louis) with her brain injury signature story and shares the emotional journey of adjusting to a sudden life change. Participants are reminded of the healing power of humor and the magic of laughter. They are stimulated to examine their own response to challenge and adversity. Lois’ Secret Weapons strategies equip participants with daily stress busters, so they can maintain a positive attitude, and dare to feel happy in the midst of trying times. Her universal message offers hope, inspires others to be faithful to do the small things, and motivates them to conquer their challenges one day at a time.
Survive and Thrive – Lessons in the Art of Recovery
“When life circumstances thrust you out of your comfort zone and plop you into unfamiliar territory, you have two choices, give-up or figure it out.” – Lois McElravy
When life circumstances thrust you out of your comfort zone and plop you into unfamiliar territory, there’s nowhere to retreat when things don’t go well. You have two choices, give-up or figure it out. It takes courage to step out of your comfort zone and try new things on your own. Lois shares her top ten “Lessons in the Art of Recovery.”
“The greatest gift we can give our self is the ability to feel happy right now.” – Lois McElravy
Too often we put conditions and limits on our happiness. Or we put our happiness on hold until we feel deserving or that we’ve earned it. Our happiness is not dependent on what happens to us but how we view what happens. Once we understand that happiness is an attitude and a choice we make every day, happiness is readily available to anyone, anytime and anywhere. Happiness equips us with the ability to hang on during tough times and believe in a better tomorrow. The greatest gift we can give our self is the ability to feel happy right now.
The Power of Humor and the Magic of Laughter
“Hangin’ on with humor and learning to laugh in the midst of trying times rescued me from the distress and despair of adjusting to a sudden life change caused by a brain injury.”-Lois McElravy
You don’t have to have a brain injury to feel stressed out, overwhelmed, frustrated, and tired. The pressures and demands of work and home can weigh you down with seriousness, and leave you feeling worn-out and hopeless. Participants rave about Lois’ three-step process which equips them to use the power of humor and the magic of laughter to take the sting out of disappointments, deal with frustration, gain a new perspective, maintain a positive attitude, renew energies and have more fun.
Develop Your Humor Habit – How to See the Funny in Your Everyday Ordinary Life
“One of life’s ironies is that when we need our sense of humor the most, we discover it has escaped.” -Lois McElravy
Things don’t always go as planned and life doesn’t always make sense, which is why we need a well developed sense of humor. But, humor doesn’t always make sense either. Once we understand how humor works, our ability to effectively use humor increases. In this workshop, participants explore their unique humor personality and examine their humor beliefs. As they expand their knowledge and understanding of how humor works, humor becomes a power tool with the potential to improve their personal and professional lives. They learn humor tips and strategies to handle the pressures and demands of work and home, deal with difficult people, manage stress and have more fun.
Dismiss Ho-Hum and Invite Ha-Ha into Your Workplace
“Fun is not the reward for getting all of your work done. Laughter is your pressure relief valve.” -Lois McElravy
Research reveals that workers list fun as a top priority for job satisfaction, even above salary. Numerous studies show that a fun workplace is not only more productive, but it attracts people and produces profits. Employees are happier, healthier, and work harder. Businesses experience reduced absenteeism and less turnover. Integrating humor and fun into a tense or dull work environment isn’t easy. Plus workers worry about risking their professionalism or being perceived as not taking their jobs seriously. Participants learn the do’s and don’ts of workplace humor, and how they can effectively incorporate fun into their workplace.
Humor Helps and Laughter Heals
“In that moment when you are laughing, something magical happens, You forget your fears and you find hope. You know that you will figure things out and you will be O.K.” – Lois McElravy
You will experience times in your life when you feel it’s impossible to laugh. A sense of humor does NOT require that you laugh when you don’t feel like laughing, make light of serious situations, nor make others laugh. Humor is born out of adversity, especially for those times when life seems unfair or makes no sense.
Humor and laughter play a vital role in recovery, to help you
- hang on when life looks ugly
- move on by letting go of hurt, sadness, grief, or loss
- go on living your life to the fullest.
Flirting with Fun – Developing Playful Relationships
“If I am going to do something that shortens or risks my life, I want it to be dangerously fun, like jumping out of an airplane, not arguing with my spouse.” -Lois McElravy
Scientific studies evidence the toll that relational stress places on our health and happiness. Most of us long for more playfulness, fun and laughter in our relationships, but don’t know how to go about it, or have forgotten what we once knew. Do you want to know the truth about flirting? Flirting is not strictly for getting a date nor is flirting limited to making a pass at someone. Flirting is a natural gift that we have had from birth. Flirting is fun. People who engage in “playful flirting” do so with the intention of turning ordinary, everyday situations into magical moments. In this workshop, participants learn ten benefits and the five basic steps of playful flirting, and leave with 20 Flirting with Fun Tips, Tactics and Techniques so they can disarm disputes, create closeness and inject fun into their relationships.
Your Child’s Sense of Humor – The Unexpected Truth
“Adults who attend my humor workshops comment that they have become ‘terminally serious’ and long for more fun and laughter. They plan to lighten up around kids, so they can appreciate their child’s sense of wonder and enjoy their silliness, instead of stifling their laughter and crushing their joy.” -Lois McElravy
Adults work hard to give children every advantage in life and unknowingly overlook one opportunity that makes a life-long impact. Children who have a good sense of humor tend to be more flexible and cooperative, more resilient, and more like-able. Humor equips kids to be better able to grow their self-confidence, attain higher self-esteem, cope with life’s difficulties and experience more enjoyment in life. In this workshop you will gain an understanding of the age-related categories and development of children’s humor and learn age appropriate strategies, exercises and activities you can use to help develop and encourage a child’s sense of humor.
The Sensitive Side of Humor and Laughter
“Things are not as they first appear. Look past the outward perception to reveal the inner truth.” -Lois McElravy
Humor and laughter are power tools possessing the potential to uplift and encourage or to offend and cause serious harm. Even when we use humor with the best of intentions, we risk offending someone if we are not aware of the how to use humor in sensitive situations. When we gain a better understanding of how humor works, we are less apt to take offense when someone laughs at us and we minimize our risk of offending others with our humor. Learn the difference between healthy humor and harmful humor, three strategies for responding to hurtful humor and seven guidelines to introduce humor in sensitive situations like change, loss, crisis, illness, death, disaster, or disability.
Trainings – Adversity, Change, Diversity
“Whether you have been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD or not, if your life is complicated by inattention, impulsivity, or hyperactivity, the ‘Big Three’ of ADD/ADHD threatens to crush your potential for happiness and success.” – Lois McElravy
Are you are tired of wrestling with the ADD/ADHD Beast? Are you interested in learning how to gain control over impulsiveness, reduce hyperactivity, improve attention and manage annoying behaviors? Or, perhaps you could benefit from learning how to “deal with” an ADDer, or help them create a “tool kit” so they can overcome their challenges. Lois speaks from eighteen years of personal experience of living with ADHD, a secondary condition caused by a brain injury. She shares the tips, tools, and tactics she uses to master the challenges of living with ADHD and how to tap into the ADD/ADHD Advantage. Participants cling to every word provided by Lois’ unique perspective, gaining valuable insight and a better understanding of ADD/ADHD. They leave feeling hopeful, because they are equipped with knowledge and strategies that they can immediately apply to eliminate their confusion, improve relationships, feel good about who they are, achieve success and feel happy.
When There’s Too Much To Do and Not Enough of You
“Lower your standards without raising your blood pressure? Easier said than done.” – Lois McElravy
Lois imparts life-changing perspectives, illustrated by real-life examples of how she learned to prioritize and make necessary adjustments to take care of her personal responsibilities – wife, mother, and home-maker and adapt to her new reality – living with a lesser ability imposed by a brain injury.
Participants learn systems and strategies they can use to temporarily adjust to unexpected circumstances or over-loaded schedules, so they can survive “the business of living,” and dare to feel happy in the midst of trying times.
There’s Nothing Funny About Managing the Emotional Side of Change
“Without any warning, without my permission, and in the blink of an eye, my life changed forever. Adjusting to change requires the confidence to let go of ‘what was’ and the courage to explore ‘what is still to come.'” -Lois McElravy
None of us are exempt from experiencing a sudden life change. Companies re-organize, jobs end, marriages fail, friendships fade away, children grow up and leave home (and come back), health deteriorates, death occurs, and accidents happen. Regardless of whether change is forced on us or whether we choose it, a successful transition demands that we manage the human emotions surrounding change. Lois knows first hand about the painful process of accepting change. She shares her emotional journey of adjusting to a sudden life change caused by a brain injury. Participants learn how they can use humor to cope with disruptive change. They gain valuable insights and obtain practical strategies that help them to let go of their fears, eliminate their resistance to change, and move forward in a positive direction.
Brain Injury Topics
What do you do when life looks ugly? Character Keynote / Signature Story
“Never give-up or lose hope. When you least expect, something wonderful happens.” -Lois McElravy
Lois combines a captivating character performance (Meet Louis) with her brain injury signature story, and shares the emotional journey of adjusting to a sudden life change. Participants are reminded of the healing power of humor and the magic of laughter. Heartfelt and hilarious – Lois’ message provides life-changing content for a mixed audience with many take-aways. Survivors feel motivated to take advantage of every resource available to improve their health, attitude, and abilities. Lois inspires survivors to never give-up or lose hope, and evidences that their continuous efforts of doing small things over a long period of time will produce surprising results. Care-givers, family members and professionals gain valuable insights and broaden their understanding of living with a brain injury from a survivor perspective. They feel hopeful, and better equipped to help their loved ones or clients adjust.
The Ripple Effect of Brain Injury in Families and Relationships
“Brain injuries don’t happen to people…they happen to families. Every person who knows or loves the survivor suffers a loss, and deals with it in their own unique way.” -Lois McElravy
Lois shares how her brain injury affected each of her personal relationships and other aspects of her family members lives. The goals of this session are to remind the survivor to look past their own loss and recognize the losses of others, and for family members, care-givers and professionals to gain a fuller understanding of the survivor’s way of thinking. It is full of tips on how to bridge the gap of misunderstanding and improve relationships from both the perspectives of the survivor and the family member/caregiver/professional.
Grow Past Surviving to Thriving
“Deep inside each of us, lives a desire to do something that gives our life meaning. That desire never goes away – regardless of how hard it might be to do that something.” – Lois McElravy
Lois shares how to break down the “big-ness” of brain injury into individual challenges so you can develop systems and strategies one by one to compensate for deficits. She imparts the lessons she’s learned, tips and the language she used that enabled her to turn a no into a yes and find the help she needed to to get training and assistance as she developed her speaker business.
“What confuses many survivors and frustrates them is that they KNOW what is socially acceptable and socially appropriate. Yet they still SAY and DO things that cause socially awkward moments (or worse). WHY?” – Lois McElravy
The stress, effort and exhaustion of managing social behaviors causes many survivors to quit going places and they isolate. Even when survivors attend social settings, they tend to isolate at the event or make an appearance and leave as soon as possible. If you ask them why, they’ll tell you they are afraid they might say or do something that would embarrass their family or friends or draw unwanted attention to them.
Puzzle Club: Brain Injury Survivors Talk Documentary
“The Puzzle Club Documentary delivers a hopeful message for anyone affected by brain injury – Brain injury is not the end of a life, it’s a new beginning.” -Lois McElravy
The Puzzle Club is a weekly support group of “higher level functioning” brain injury survivors who meet for a weekly breakfast meeting in Missoula, Montana. Jillian Campana, a drama professor from the University of Montana, wrote and directed a documentary about the experiences of thirteen Puzzle Club brain injury survivors. Lois McElravy is one of the brain injury survivors featured in this documentary. Participants gain a better understanding of living with brain injury by watching the documentary. They also learn how they can start their own weekly support group to meet the needs of the higher functioning survivor and their family.