Jeanne Robertson reached her 6’2” stature at age
thirteen. Perhaps it was an indication of a future
speaking career that would soar to great heights.
No, professional speaking might not have been
predicted when Jeanne was in the seventh grade in
Graham, North Carolina, when and where she would have
been voted most likely to make the basketball team and
least likely to be a contestant in the Miss America
Pageant. She did make the team—averaging more than
thirty points per game in her junior and senior
years—but as Miss North Carolina 1963 she also competed
in the Miss America Pageant where she was named Miss
It was her participation in and
perhaps even her losing of the Miss America title that
turned Jeanne’s life into a succession of events which
led her to be one of the funniest, busiest and most
popular professional speakers in America today. Because
she was asked to speak every day as Miss North Carolina,
Jeanne traveled her native state for one year speaking
at pageants and addressing civic clubs and corporations.
When that time was over, she found that people were
willing to pay her to come and address their groups and
conventions and loving every laughing minute of it. They
wanted Jeanne-not just a title holder-and they wanted
her because she made them laugh.
At that point,
Jeanne still viewed speaking as a way to make a little
money while continuing her education. She received her
degree at Auburn University and taught physical
education in high school and college, a career she
enjoyed for nine years. But throughout those years, the
requests continued to pour in for her to speak. In 1976,
she stopped teaching and entered professional speaking
With the flexibility to speak more
often, Jeanne’s rise in the speaking profession was
nothing short of phenomenal. Clients and speakers alike
were quick to recognize her ability. In addition to a
full speaking schedule year after year, she has been
awarded every top honor and designation in her
profession including the Certified Speaking Professional
designation (CSP) in 1980 and being inducted in the CPAE
Speaker Hall Of Fame in 1981. A member of NSA/Carolinas,
she served as President of the National Speakers
Association in 1985. In 1989 she became the first woman
to receive that association’s most cherished honor, the
Cavett Award. The Cavett is awarded annually to one
member “whose accomplishments, integrity and reputation
are a credit to NSA and the speaking profession.”
Toastmasters International named Jeanne the
recipient of its 1998 Golden Gavel Award, given annually
to one individual for accomplishments in leadership and
communications. She is the only female professional
speaker who has received this honor. Other recipients
include Lowell Thomas, Walter Cronkite, Earl
Nightingale, Art Linkletter, Dr. Joyce Brothers, Tom
Peters, Mark Russell, Ken Blanchard and Zig Ziglar.
In recognition of her professional expertise,
experience, and competence, Jeanne was honored by the
NCAA Southeastern Conference as Auburn University's
Woman Entrepreneur of the Year 2000. She currently
serves on the Board of Trustees of Elon University.
The North Carolina Press Association named
Jeanne as its 2001 North Carolinian of the Year for "her
popularity on the speaking circuit, her award-winning
ways, and her representation of North Carolina." Past
recipients include Elizabeth Dole, Rev. Billy Graham,
and Dean Smith.
The Miss North Carolina
Organization named Jeanne as its 2003 Woman of
Achievement. She was the first former Miss North
Carolina to be so named.
The National Speakers Association named her its 2012
Master of Influence.
Jeanne has produced
seven humor DVDs and CDs and written three books on humor
- Humor: The Magic of Genie, Mayberry Humor Across the
USA and Don’t Let the Funny Stuff Get Away. These books
are filled with reality-based stories, which illustrate
her humor philosophy. She can be heard on SiriusXM Satellite
Radio's Family Comedy and Blue Collar Comedy channels.
While she enjoys making people laugh, Jeanne views
the role of a humorist as more than eliciting laughter.
As audiences are holding their sides and wiping tears
from their faces, she makes her point clear. Perhaps
that is why thousands of meeting planners make their
point clear when they say… "The Meetin' ain't over 'til
the tall lady speaks."
would like more information or to book Jeanne, call Toni at 1- 800- 962- 6268 or
use our online form.