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Marc Hogan

Funny Business - what comedy taught me about business

Marc Hogan's growing reputation as an expert in the fields of communication and sales has led him to become one of the most sought after speakers. He has inspired audiences to seek out opportunities, tackle challenges and improve their communication and influencing skills.

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In August 2008, while giving a talk to a business audience, a fellow speaker told Marc that he was “quite funny”. But would a paying audience who expect – nay, demand - laughs, think the same?

“So, you want me to do an open mic spot at a comedy club then?” Marc replied, “Right you are!”

But that was far too easy a challenge. Surely a professional speaker, used to playing big audiences and sometimes even getting a laugh, should set his sights higher… or at least further North.

“I bet you £1 that you can’t put on a successful show at the 2009 Edinburgh Fringe Festival.”

The bet was on!

On his journey Marc uncovered “7 Keys” that helped him achieve his comedy goal. Since winning that fateful bet, Marc has spent the last year sharing those 7 Keys and inspiring thousands of people to achieve their business and personal goals.

His clients have included: Tesco, Barclays, Volkswagen, Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers, BAA, Virgin Media, KPMG, Honeywell, Select Group, and many more. 

Funny Business is an inspiring talk packed with humour and a serious business message. It is perfect for a conference keynote or after dinner speech and it can be customized to focus on the following.

  • Sales
  • Change management
  • Responding to challenges
  • Leadership
  • Presentation and communication skills
  • Networking
  • Team dynamics

"Marc, on behalf of the Unilever Category Management team I’d like to say a massive thank you for the time you spent with us last week. Your session was a hugely engaging and enjoyable way to start our team day. You delivered some brilliant business truths in a manner that involved and captivated the team in equal measure. The feedback from the team was that they found your words gave them practical advice and inspiration to try things outside their comfort zone. Thanks again for such a memorable and humorous session.” - Adrian Adams – Head of Category Management, Unilever UK & Ireland

“Marc, thanks so much for being with us. Always inspiring to see a personal journey that was accomplished in the face of heavy odds, well interspersed with the theory of how to make it happen. Go, Edit your Editor!” - Suresh Viswanathan – Chief Operating Officer, Barclays UK Retail & Business Bank

“Marc provided the perfect after dinner speech combination of a light-hearted, funny and amusing speech that related to our sales teams and our commercial business needs. His approach delivered thought-provoking aspects in terms of how we go about our daily business, yet was simultaneously hilarious and highly enjoyable as the finale to our evening.” - Jon Evans – Corporate Sales Manager, 3M UK & Ireland

“Marc a massive thank you for your brilliant presentation today. Your presentation was hilarious, inspiring and thought provoking at one and the same time – quite an achievement.
The way you combined intelligent humour with psychology was impressive and I know this will have a lasting impression on the team. A number of people have already commented you were the best speaker Natwest has ever had.  - Warren Cooper – Regional Director, Natwest PLC

“Marc’s Funny Business session was inspiring and funny, the team really enjoyed Marc’s engaging and direct style!” - Andrew Winton – Director of Online Sales, Orange & T-Mobile, Everything Everywhere

“Just a short note to thank you for your support and contribution which helped make the various events we delivered together such a success; in fact the highest rated set of events since HSBC Expat was established based upon the feedback of participants! You were not only professional in delivery and ‘on message’ throughout the many sessions that we ran together, but you were a true business partner in the way you helped us develop and deliver the various messages to our teams. I hope (expect) that we will work together at some point in the future – but in the meantime I wanted to thank you for your help, guidance and support during the last few weeks. We couldn’t have delivered the events with such a positive outcome without your involvement, so a BIG thank you from me and the team here in HSBC Expat.” - Dean Blackburn – Head of Retail Banking & Wealth Management, HSBC Expat

“Many thanks for a truly inspirational keynote speech. A great message delivered with humour and sincerity. Highly recommended!” - Andrew J Hancock – Head of Customer Services & Revenue Management, EDF Energy

“Marc delivered a very well structured and impactful series of presentations to our network partners, which was extremely well received. His style is very engaging as well as amusing, and his content was tailored to be very relevant to our target audience. Thanks to these talents and his boundless energy, we certainly achieved our aims of opening minds and challenging attitudes in order to seize new opportunities and drive business improvements … with a good dose of fun!” - Ian Plummer – Head of Retail Operations, Volkswagen UK

“Marc’s Funny Business session offered our conference delegates very timely and highly relevant perspectives on what it takes to shift direction … the challenges, the doubts, the setbacks and the triumphs … all delivered in an engaging, light-hearted but extremely memorable way. The feedback from my international 80-plus team has been very positive. Great session, thank you.” ∫Chris Huntley – Senior Vice President of Communications, Tetra Pak Group

“We all enjoyed Marc’s talk tremendously” - Alexandra von Maltzan – Group Finance Manager, Proctor & Gamble, Geneva, Switzerland

 “Marc Hogan was a great way to close our day, he was engaging, entertaining, very funny and most importantly he was on message, his story resonated with the business themes and his energy captured the business intent. Excellent!!!” - Mark Richards – Managing Director, Barclays Wealth International

“I thoroughly enjoyed working with Marc; he was engaging and entertaining and gave the group some valuable insights to ponder on, he was a joy to work with and definitely added value to our Qatar event.” - Chris Locke – Global Director of People Development, Pearson International

“Marc’s style was great, everyone left the event entertained and we all took on board good messages about leadership and communication. Thanks Marc for an excellent contribution to our day.” - Mark Dymond – Senior Marketing Effectiveness Manager, HSBC

“We were very pleased with Marc’s Funny Business Keynote. It hit the mark in terms of bringing our theme of ‘Discovery’ to a close in a witty but relevant way that could appeal to every individual in the room. We really appreciated Marc taking the time to prepare and ensuring he understood the audience – that came across and made a real difference.
The audience exercises were refreshing and the interplay between Marc’s own comedy stand-up quest and broader lessons for people to bear in mind was hugely enjoyable.” - Daniela Zuin, Head of Strategy Development, T-Systems

“Marc Hogan delivered a highly entertaining and professional presentation to an international audience during our week of sales training. He effectively mixed humour with business messages, causing members of the team to laugh out loud. His messages about “Editing the Editor”, taking little risks and reading body language were very relevant to a sales audience. Marc’s session gave the team a little light relief while still being on message.” - Clare Collett, Director Business Masterclass, Givaudan

“Marc, was one of the easiest and responsive speakers I have worked with over the last four years of arranging these type of events. His enthusiasm and his understanding of exactly what we wanted to achieve for our audience made the whole event a breeze. I was overwhelmed by the level Marc engaged with our audience of over 400 people and we have heard nothing but thought provoking comments as a result of the time he spent with us. I hope our paths cross again.” - Bonnie Banks – Internal Communications, EDF Energy

“The group loved Marc’s opening session and kept referring back to points he had made throughout the two days. It was a huge plus point that it was interactive and it was a fantastic way to start their Buying Managers conference. Thanks again!” - Louise Hawkes – Learning & Development Manager – Buying & Merchandising, TJX Europe (TK Maxx & Home Sense)

“Amazing! Marc challenged, provoked and entertained our International Technical Team, no mean feat since the 20 high ranking delegates were from all over Europe and Asia. We all left the training with a new perspective and we have all put the skills to good use since the event!” - Liz Kynoch – Group Technical & Trading Law Director, TESCO plc

“Marc was our guest speaker at our parties to celebrate becoming the National Customer Service Team of The Year. It was really going to take something special to engage this team. Marc was able to provide a fresh spark of inspiration and provoke people to think beyond their favoured ways of thinking. Engaging, energetic and inspirational – great stuff!” - Richard Brown, Head of Operations, BAA (Heathrow Express)

“The feedback we have had from participants has been extremely positive and some of your techniques could be witnessed in action during the day and later in the evening. We have all come away from the day feeling energised, motivated and more connected as a group. We really value the input you had into making this day a success.” - Gwyn Griffiths, National Risk Manager, Deloitte

“Marc opened our annual sales conference as we wanted to begin with an entertaining yet uplifting selling skills presentation and he certainly delivered, his delivery and content was exactly what we were looking for. His sales techniques are neatly entwined within his Edinburgh festival experience which in itself is compelling journey to listen to. He included the audience and made several key observations throughout his presentation that prompted you to question your own style or technique. A great start to a great conference – thank you Marc!” - Jim Hutchison – UK National Sales Manager, Honeywell

 “You never really know how a keynote speaker is going to go down when placed in front of a network of 200 business owners. You only really find that out from the feedback you receive. So when all 200 say ‘fantastic’ you can feel safe in the knowledge that you got something right; and Marc has truly got something right! Laugh out loud funny, commercially astute and a message that combines both humour and common sense business practices made for a thoroughly entertaining evening.” - Matt Sidwell – Director of Network Development UK & Ireland, Auditel UK Ltd.

“Once again thank you for your involvement in our five Good to Great events and for all you have done above and beyond what you were set out to do. The audience feedback has been excellent and I know Nick Winsor (our CEO) personally wanted to pass on his thanks to you for your engaging sessions.” - Alexandra Liptrot – Business Events & Recognition Manager – HSBC Expat

“I would like to express my thanks for Marc’s splendid and humorous presentation, which also delivered an inspirational personal message. I have received nothing other than positive feedback from all who have spoken to me following our Forum.” - Gary H Harper – President of the National Association of Valuers & Auctioneers

“Marc’s ‘Keys for Success’ were delivered in a hilarious and insightful way – exactly what was required for our audience. They left the auditorium laughing, inspired and geared up to make changes within the business and face their fears! It certainly set the perfect mood for the delegates at the event.” - Hannah Howland – Event Manager, Barclays UK Retail & Business Bank

“Marc was a perfect speaker for our Selling Cruise Conference. As a fantastic communicator Marc was able to engage and inform all delegates using humour to really drive home the key messages that were well researched and highly relevant. One of our most successful speakers we would definitely use Marc again.” - Andy Harmer – Director, CLIA UK & Ireland

“Marc was a real hit, the delegates particularly liked his combination of humour and insight, with his easygoing and participative style, in short we loved him!” - Jeff Nicholas – Marketing Manager, Palletways UK Limited

“We were looking for a guest speaker with an interesting story to tell for an international WEMEA conference attended by senior executives. What appealed to me about Marc was his understanding of the commercial world combined with his fascinating and amusing anecdotes about personal transformation. Marc has an engaging presentation style and he adeptly applied experiences from his own journey through life to our conference theme. We wanted a guest speaker who would prove a highlight of the international conference programme and I’m pleased to say that Marc Hogan delivered exactly what we needed.” - Rob Golledge – Head of Marketing Communication, Amadeus UK & Ireland

“Thanks once again for your session, the feedback has been very positive. It is always a challenge to design a session like this and get it right for the audience but you definitely did achieve this, providing something for everyone and challenging our managers thinking.” - Siobhan Halewood – Director of Field Training and Events, Bristol-Myers Squibb

“Excellent, a very entertaining presentation with substance!” - Stefan Lissner – Head of Investor Relations, Q-Cells SE (Germany)

“Thank you once again for doing such a great job with our team on Thursday. You hit it right on the mark, made your session relevant to the audience, kept their attention throughout and linked your story well to the challenges they are all facing. We have had some very positive feedback about the day as a whole and in particular around your session. I look forward to working with you again.” - Paul Doble – Group Sales & Marketing Director, DX Group

“The international delegates really enjoyed the ‘sales training’ mixed with a great story. Thanks again.” - Peter Beckett – Head of European Marketing, Schroders.

“I wanted a speaker to wrap up our conference who could inspire our sales teams. I didn’t want a sportsman a mountaineer or an astronaut. That might be uplifting, but does it truly inspire and drive change? Most of us don’t run, row or climb. Marc started where many of us started and then he got brave. Really, really brave. He was funny, challenging and wise. More than that, Marc inspired change; many made promises, several committed to a change in attitude and at least one made a major life change. I would recommend him without hesitation.” - Lee Farnsworth – Vice President Neurosciences EAME, Allergan Ltd

“10/10. Marc was the perfect speaker for the closing session of our National Conference. His presentation was inspiring and uplifting, but also it was thought provoking and personalised for our delegates, which made it 100% relevant to what we all do every day. His presentation style engaged the audience from the opening minute and was delivered flawlessly. Thanks Marc for sending our delegates away on a high!” - Garry Wilkinson – Vice Chair, National Association of Hospice Fundraisers

“Marc, thank you very much for your presentation on Friday afternoon to our 500 managers. Everyone very much enjoyed your presentation, it was very much in line with our conference message, it was lively, engaging and gave us plenty to think about in a way which felt like we were being entertained – rather than lectured. Thank you once again!” - Diane Martyn – Group Managing Director, Staffline Recruitment Group PLC

“We’ve had so much great feedback following Marc’s presentation. Our 200 managers loved him, just the right level of humour and thought provoking content, perfect. He kept our audience rapt , he was “quite funny” (you had to be there!) inspirational and thought provoking. Our Managers left the room inspired and motivated after a jolly good giggle. We would highly recommend.” - Cheryl Creaser – Divisional Director, Busy Bees Ltd.

“Thank you so much for your talk it was a great way to end the day. I just wanted to let you know that I have received some lovely feedback from the managers on their evaluation forms – everyone so far has stated your slot as their most enjoyable part of the day – some of the words used to describe your talk were ‘funny, inspirational and motivating’. I really appreciate that you took time to arrive early and listen to some of the other speakers at the conference and how you tied this in to your speech.” - Karen D’Aguilar – Head of Sales & Marketing, Busy Bees Ltd.

“It was the best talk of the conference!” - Carolyn Boyd – Editor, France Magazine

“Inspiring, fantastic and funny business speaker.” - Walter Schoonebeek – Business Analyst, Louwman & Parqui BV (Toyota & Lexus)

“Brilliant! Funny, observational and very entertaining! See him, hire him, listen to him!” - David Ball – Managing Director, Brand Fuel

“I wanted to thank you again for your professionalism and for taking our crowd through a fun and inspiring journey.” - Valerie Arnold – Senior Learning Consultant – Global Projects, Amgen (Netherlands)

“You were fab!” - Rachel Elnaugh – Entrepreneur and ex Dragon

“Marc draws you in until he explodes into the point of his message. I have never seen anyone achieve the level of audience participation that he managed from a bunch of normal cynics. His livewire style and approach are pretty unique as he mixes humour with logic to make the session fun. There were many nods of scary acceptance as delegates acknowledged they were the individuals he was referring to. If you want home truths and can accept them Marc is your man. If you don’t he’ll make you laugh anyway!” - Martyn Sumners – Chief Executive, Association of British Travel Organisers to France

“Thank you for your engaging and entertaining contribution to our ‘Striving for Excellence’ event. Your humorous and thought provoking workshop brought with it some very tangible messages for all staff to take away when working through every day challenges within the NHS. Your ‘7 keys for success’ certainly appeared to inspire everyone in the audience for taking service improvement projects forward!” - Dr Lesley Young Murphy – Deputy Director Community Services, NHS Newcastle and North Tyneside Community Health


“Marc presented, at our International Sales Meeting, an interesting, captivating, and at the same time funny, session.

The 90 minutes was well thought out and well balanced between speaking, involving the audience and having fun, whilst at the same time giving us a strong message. The whole group took away a better understanding on how we are perceived. Marc’s story strengthened our confidence and enabled us to believe in our capabilities, both as people and representatives of the company. We are grateful to Marc for coming to Italy to share his experiences and knowledge with us.”

Angelo Speranza – CEO, Burlodge Group-temp-rite International – FIMI







“I just wanted to say a massive thank you for yesterday – you were a complete hit with staff. We thought the way you adapted to make the speech personal to us was superb and the message went out loud and clear that part of giving good customer service is being self-aware. Well done!”

Suzanne Smith – Communications and Marketing Manager, West Kent Housing Association


“Dear Marc, thank you for a brilliant and extremely funny presentation, perfectly tailored to our audience. A lot of the delegates came along, not knowing quite what to expect, and they walked away feeling totally inspired and keen to try out the new techniques they had learnt. Thanks again!”

Kate Serby – Enterprise Officer, University of Hertfordshire


“Marc delivered an extremely thought provoking, interactive and entertaining session which not only challenged our thinking but also exceeded our expectations. He left us feeling empowered and motivated to take action. Simply put, an outstanding performance!”

Graeme McKinnon – Commercial Director, Expense Reduction Analysts


“Marc is a great communicator and has a message that is entertaining to listen to, as well as challenging of the audience. He tells his own personal story, not only is he funny, but the story is real and Marc’s delivery engages everyone. Following Marc’s talk the group was in a ‘good place’ and energised to take part in a management development session on leadership behaviours that was incredibly powerful.”

Nigel Campkin – Deputy Managing Director, Thomas Sanderson Ltd


“Thank you for doing such a brilliant job!”

Jennie Harnaman – Event Manager, The Institute of Sales & Marketing Management


“Excellent! Some of the best corporate training I have ever seen!”

Bernadette Rogers – EphMRA


“In selecting Marc as our guest speaker, we knew we were on to a good thing from the moment we looked at his web site. Marc was a truly engaging presenter bringing a balance of real life experience, humour and laughter, to some clear messages about the power within us to overcome limiting beliefs in our every day business activities. The audience was captivated from start to finish and were extremely animated and ‘buzzing’ for the rest of the day!”

Dawn Halfacre – Senior Manager, PETA Ltd

“Brilliant, inspirational and thought provoking with good use of humour. I would have loved to have seen Marc at the Edinburgh Festival, and I would have no hesitation in inviting him back or recommending him.”

Jerome Cornwall, Grant Thornton UK LLP


“I booked Marc to speak at our staff conference because our people sometimes struggle with selling. By using his extensive experience in sales, and of course his wit and charm, Marc was able to show our people that selling did not need to be difficult or awkward. Our staff really enjoyed Marc’s presentation and I would not hesitate to recommend him to other companies looking for a fresh approach to sales.”

Jill Whittaker – Finance Director, Hit Training Ltd.


“The presentation just flew by as Marc engaged with all the members and guests of our Hinckley Business Association. Looking round the room as he spoke, I noticed that all the attendees were locked onto his every word. Clearly, Marc had taken on board the pre-presentation brief and really hit the mark with his engaging and humorous tale. The embedded business messages were strong, clear and memorable. Personally, I have been having some serious words with my ‘Editor’ for the rest of this week and it has already secured some new business for me!
Thank you for a very professional job that was done very well.”

Geoff Waters – Chair, Hinckley Business Association


“Very engaging and great fun, an excellent choice for an opening speaker.”

Natalie Hudson – Marketing Services Executive, Venuemasters


“Marc’s presentation was entertaining, engaging and useful. I was particularly impressed by his understanding of the niche audience and his ability to tailor the speech to their needs. I would definitely recommend Marc to anyone looking to add something different to a business conference.”

Claire Dickinson – Senior Conference Producer, Incisive Media


“Marc’s presentation at our breakfast seminar was immensely enjoyable. His engaging and inspirational presentation style had the whole audience spellbound. Through his humorous and interactive approach, he motivated every single audience member and gave them skills to take away and practice.”

Sandy Jarrett – Head of Marketing and Communication, Select Group


“Very funny, interesting, useful, and most importantly different.”

John Penny – General Manager, Reebok Sports Club London

“Our delegates found Marc’s session great fun and useful.”

Lene Pederson – Events Manager, Insurance Age Expo


“Marc was definitely the best guest speaker we have ever had presenting at our User Group meeting, which is quite a feat considering we have had guest speakers who have climbed Everest and sailed around the world! – I can’t praise him enough.”

Tony Flanagan – Marketing Manager, ASR Computers Ltd


“Outstanding speaker, really engaged with the whole audience. Marc has a natural ability to make people feel at ease and interact. His S.A.L.E.S input, with a comical slant really comes across well. Marc’s talk would benefit everyone from all areas of business and I would highly recommend.

Jason Grove – Police Analyst, West Midlands ACPO Region


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