John Vlismas

- Business Presentation
- Keynote Presentation
- Panel Discussion
- Creative
R 20 000.00 > R 35 000.00

John Vlismas continues to reinvent himself as the SA comedy landscape evolves. His staying power was especially evident at the Just For Laughs Festival, Montreal recently – where he was selected to appear in a television special at the invitation of Comedy Central, which earned him a meeting with Warner Brothers execs.

While stand-up comedy remains his enduring passion, John has begun a significant pivot in his trajectory with an academic slant.

Vlismas was awarded an MBA scholarship at Henley Business School in 2017, and is in the process of completing this degree. His involvement at the prestigious school has seen him appointed as an associate faculty member and co-designing and facilitating course material with Dr Puleng Makhoalibe, John was also invited to speak at the Henley Global Masterclass Series in Lagos in 2018 with the Deans of Henley Africa and Global.

The award-winning comedian still uses his public appearances to push the boundaries and broach taboo subjects. His ability to synthesize complex teaching material with crisp presentations and humour has been rewarded with excellent feedback from executives who have attended his Henley sessions.

His insightful presentation on the ability of performers to size up a crowd and move them using a heightened sense of empathy, “The Shared World” has earned rave reviews from the increasing number of companies that have hired him to present during their leadership and strategy sessions.

He was invited to speak at a Nedbank Biz Seminar on the topic of entrepreneurship in the creative industry, and was the only local speaker at the prestigious DSTV Creative Seminar at the 2014 Loeries.

Vlismas is described by those who attend his talks and learning sessions as a gifted disruptive thinker who is able to articulate complex concepts in a way that is accessible and enlightening.

Available Talks -
click to view synopsis

This talk is based on 2 decades of successfully performing comedy to hundreds of thousands of people in 12 countries. How does a human being walk on stage in another culture and connect with a group of strangers?

Learn some of the principles John uses to apply empathy and quickly connect to people without getting to know them. He calls this state of empathy, The Shared World. This talk is about how to apply six principles that will assist you to quickly and authentically position yourself or your team in an optimal state to “read the room.”

This talk is unique as John uses comedy throughout to demonstrate the six principles of quickly and clearly establishing a Shared World collaboration environment.

Based on five months of research John did for his best-selling show of the same name, this talk is a no-holds barred and frank look at racism in the world today.

It’s history, root causes and how to approach the subject without igniting a full-blown conflict in your work, school or home environment. Not for the faint of heart, this show puts the topic of racism on the table, right under the audience’s nose, and demands engagement. While this is going on, he uses his satirist’s hat to amuse and terrify while he teaches.

If you are sincere about beginning dialogue and addressing racism with insight and balance in your environment, this talk is essential viewing.

If you have seen “The Shared World”, or are about to embark on a collaborative project, “Six Red Flags” is an excellent guide of potential hazards in the collaboration process.

“Too many people think that collaboration is a function of diplomacy and correctness. I don’t agree, the process of collaboration should be rigorous, robust and useful,” says Vlismas.

Identifying six potential traps, this talk is powerful way to commence on a conference or seminar that aims to kick start a project, especially one that requires a group working together closely and comprehensively.

Having been immersed in MBA studies recently, John has been hugely influenced by the concept of “synthesis” - the combination of components or elements to form a connected whole.

Having been asked for many decades how he comes up with his material, John has put together a fantastic series of insights or “Purple Flags” that dive into a world where all of us are living experiments that collect and mine data. We are all scientists now, and the algorithm is king.

Let him strip back the entertainment layer and expose the filters and biases that he believes lead him from everyday observations to award-winning comedy. It’s not as funny as you may think and may just ignite something in you when it comes to how you construct your own conclusions and apply judgement.

In this most recent talk, comedian and commentator John Vlismas looks at what makes children not only more neuro-plastic than adults, but also how they are naturally free of the obstacles of prejudice. He interrogates what hobbles the thinking of adults, and how play is actually creative work of the highest order.

We will explore the role of comedy as an adult form of play that encourages the firing of new neural pathways, and leads to positive chemical balances in the brain.

Lowered anxiety, heightened creativity, well-being and more articulate self-expression all feature in this fascinating look at how children, through play and imagination, are powerful teachers.


The function was a great success.  John was absolutely perfect – his presentation was on point and talked to the theme extremely well. - Evelyn De Wee, Imperial