The Chicago Tribune recently proclaimed Greg Schwem “king of the hill” in the growing world of corporate comedy. Indeed, Schwem’s client list includes such corporate heavyweights as McDonald’s, Microsoft, Motorola, IBM, Verizon Wireless, United Airlines, and Cisco Systems. If your company or association wants to laugh at today’s fast-paced business world, look no further than Greg Schwem.
A graduate of Northwestern University’s prestigious Medill School of Journalism, Schwem never envisioned a career in comedy. Instead, he settled in Florida, becoming an award-winning reporter for NBC-owned WPTV in West Palm Beach. But the comedy bug bit Schwem hard and he returned to his hometown of Chicago, where he honed his act in nightclubs. When he began inserting material about business and technology into his act, audience members approached him and said, “You really should come down to my office and tell those jokes.” Behold! Comedy with a Byte, now Schwem’s most requested presentation, was born.
Schwem’s show provides a hilarious look at today’s corporate environment and the latest tools used to conduct business. What sets Schwem apart from other corporate entertainers is his ability – and willingness – to customize material for his audience while working within the parameters of the corporate environment. That means no profanity or politically incorrect material. “That’s never been a part of my show anyway,” says Schwem.
When Schwem hits the stage he already has perused the company’s website, combed the internal message boards and even sifted through numerous PowerPoint presentations. “There is no such thing as too much information,” Schwem says. “I know corporate audiences like to laugh at themselves so the more ammunition I get, the funnier it will be. Just don’t give me a 10-K report. There is NOTHING funny about that.”
Schwem’s preparation always includes a conference call with company executives and, in some cases, an onsite visit. The personal touch strikes a chord with clients. “The fact that you came up to our facility beforehand to get a feel for our culture and how we operate proved to be very beneficial,” said Skyline Display Sales Vice President. “I have never seen some of our corporate folks laugh as hard as they did.”
After a performance for the National Insurance Crime Bureau, Human Resources Vice President said, “Your comments and insights were spot on, relevant, and incredibly funny. Our employees wanted more!”
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