Plan your morning of December 6th at the Jacob Javits Center as actor, author, humorist and ‘people person’ Scott Christopher will demonstrate why ‘Latitude, Attitude and Gratitude’ are important components of corporate structure. Registration information for the New York Produce Show and Conference is listed below.
Few people can boast a resume that solidifies credentials as an actor, keynote speaker, humorist, best-selling author, professor, broadcaster, commercial pitchman and emcee — but Scott Christopher could, if it ever occurred to him.
A modern-day Renaissance man who strives for authenticity, Christopher wants to ensure that anyone who attends one of his keynote sessions walks away with the belief it was worth their time intellectually.
“Hey, if they’re laughing, they’re listening… and hopefully learning as well,” says Christopher, who will be the opening keynote speaker for the New York Produce Show & Conference on the morning of December 6th at the Jacob Javits Center.
As a performer of note since winning the prestigious Irene Ryan National Acting Scholarship while attending Brigham Young University, Christopher caught the showbiz bug as a child before going on to appear in television shows like NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, Criminal Minds, Modern Family, Granite Flats, Everwood, Touched By An Angel and films on the Hallmark, Lifetime, Disney Channel and others.
“My inclusion in any network programming only underscores the sad state of Hollywood,” jokes Christopher, who has been wowing audiences as a keynoter since 1993 by heeding the advice of renowned Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw: “If you’re going to tell people the truth, you’d better make them laugh. Otherwise, they’ll kill you.”
As co-author of the best-selling The Levity Effect: Why It Pays to Lighten Up, and author of People People: Who They Are. Why They Win. How to Be One and The Seven UPs of Happiness, Christopher makes it a point to practice what he has learned along his unique and winding journey — and he’s learned plenty.
“It’s not too difficult to apply the principles of what I write about and talk about in your personal life. For example, if you’re at all like me, you’ll quickly identify how far short you fall stacked up to being a real people person, but with a simple game plan plus a dump truck of medication and a decade of therapy… you’ll probably improve some,” he says.
Referring to the lessons he has garnered from observing and studying people in all walks of life, “For many years, I have admired and appreciated ‘People People’ for the impact they have had on my personal and professional life. I have carefully observed certain character traits, attitudes and actions that these good folks share.”
Clearly comfortable in his own skin, Christopher makes inspiring others through his TV appearances and keynotes appear effortless, and it’s all laced with humor — sometimes humor you don’t see coming. His smile is genuine, and it’s ever present.
His sessions are lively, topical and based on the bestsellers The Levity Effect and The Daily Carrot Principle, which is a practical guide to boosting productivity and work satisfaction. Fast-paced and infectiously funny, Christopher bounces from “How to discover your own sense of humor” to “Why employees leave you” amid off-the-cuff audience interaction and swag giveaways.
Christopher considers work essential for a person’s well-being, “Happiness without work is simply not possible, and if you don’t have a traditional ‘go-to-work’ job, you still must work regularly and try hard to be happy.”
He also differentiates between managing and leading. “While most managers spend the majority of time in an interview identifying a candidate’s competencies, leaders spend an equal amount of time judging the character, fit and good humor of their potential hires — realizing that a buoyant new hire can literally change a work environment for the better.”
According to Christopher, levity in the workplace isn’t about becoming ‘besties’ with employees or trying to win more friends. Levity embraces three simple concepts, says Christopher: latitude, attitude and gratitude.
“Building up leaders who embody the spirit of levity is the fastest way to lighten up a team, department, or workgroup. Fun will grow organically, and it will take on its own identity and personality, reflective of its creators,” says Christopher, who has addressed a wide variety of businesses, including American Express, Lockheed Martin, Verizon, Boeing, Coca Cola, Mercedes Benz, Wells Fargo, MGM Resorts and Microsoft, among hundreds of others.
“The beauty of a topic like ‘levity at work’ is that it is so universal. Is there a profession, vocation or industry on earth that can’t afford to lighten up a little? Even the best funeral directors understand the need for some jocularity.”
Born in Ferndale, MI, Christopher moved to Utah with his divorced mom and siblings after his mother’s boyfriend threatened her life. “In Utah, there was no lack of people reaching out to offer assistance or service to a single mom with a full load,” says Christopher.
It was in Utah that Christopher eventually found his way to television as the host of “The Movie Showcase,” a locally produced irreverent late-night show that featured a movie, guests, and Christopher’s witty and insightful commentary.
He also had a couple of stints in Salt Lake City and Monterey, CA, as a morning radio personality. He later displayed his communication skills at Salt Lake City-based OC Tanner Company, a global leader in software and services that improve employee recognition and workplace culture, where he was director of speaking for nearly a decade. It was at OC Tanner that Christopher collaborated with a team of corporate-culture thought-leaders on The Daily Carrot Principle.
On a personal note, Christopher has been married to his wife, Elizabeth, for 34 years, and they have five grown sons. His favorite fruits and vegetables include: grapes, cantaloupe, mandarin and Valencia oranges — which he fell in love with when he was living in Spain — carrots, corn on the cob, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, cucumbers and sweet peppers.
And lest you wonder what comedians working today make him laugh out loud, wonder no more: Jerry Seinfeld and Melissa McCarthy top the list, but the three who inspired him early on and helped to cement his love of comedy: filmmakers Woody Allen and Albert Brooks, and the late playwright, Neil Simon.
“Not sure how New York-based, Jewish humor ended up so beloved in our little Christian home in the Rocky Mountains, but it definitely has influenced me.”
Despite Scott’s uncanny ability to juggle several career choices, he thoroughly relishes delivering humorous and thought-provoking keynote sessions that reference meaningful data, research, case studies and anecdotes in a relaxed and interactive environment that leaves the audience energized.
His onstage delivery isn’t that dissimilar to the verbiage in his books. Christopher can often be self-deprecating, but make no mistake, he is direct, but kind.
A case in point — in an excerpt from his book — The Seven UPs of Happiness, Christopher writes: “The simple ascension to happiness merely requires you make UP your mind and choose to be happy; commit to shaping yourself UP and being well; suck it UP when changes and challenges strike; lighten UP and go easy on yourself and others; open UP and love others at work and home; ever be on the UP and UP with integrity, honesty and self-respect; and keep it all UP by setting goals, making plans and striving for continual ascendance.”
Christopher’s presentation during the New York Produce Show & Conference will take place on December 6th at 7:30 a.m. in New York’s Jacob Javits Convention Center following the kickoff cocktail party the evening before at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel.
Registration for the event can be found at this link:
“Rise and shine—hangovers be darned—and come break bread with me. Let’s get your day started right, with some laughter-induced ab crunches and as much bacon (and fruit, of course!) as we can cram into our face holes.”