Category Archives: Motivation Monday

It’s Motivation Monday with Kelly Swanson

Motivational Speakers Still Need Points

Motivational Speaking Isn’t Just About Making People Feel Good

micI’m amazed at how many aspiring motivational speakers I meet who just want to get on a stage and make people feel good.

Really?

Well, here’s the first bucket of cold water: Nobody cares about that. And, even more important, nobody’s paying for that. I have yet to ever be called by a client who wants me to just come make them feel good.

So if you think your career will consist of you getting on a stage and telling them stories about yourself that make them laugh and cry, you have missed something very important. The point.

Motivational Speakers Need Points

I made the same mistake when I crossed over from professional storyteller to professional speaker. I figured I could just get up there and wow them with my wit and charm them with my stories. While this is still a BIG part of what I do, and the reason that gets me booked, it wasn’t enough. I needed points. I needed a message. I needed to teach my audience something.

The good news is that it’s not hard to find your message. In fact, I think you already  have them. They are your truths. The things you have learned. What life and business has taught you. You just haven’t had anyone help pull them out of you.

Whether you hire a speaker coach like me, or do it yourself, take the time to figure out the points you want to make. Understand the problem that you are here to solve. Know the steps you want to share with them to help them fix this problem. Make sure your language is encouraging and has a call to action.

Then you can focus on the wit and the stories.

If you need help finding the point, just let me know. Until then, happy soul searching!

Kelly SwansonKELLY SWANSON is an award-winning storyteller, comedian, author, motivational speaker. She has been described by Our State Magazine as one of North Carolina’s funniest women. She uses hilarious comedy, powerful stories, and a wacky cast of southern characters to make people laugh, remind them of their value, and show them how to stand up and stick out in their lives, businesses, and communities. Her shows have delighted audiences from coast to coast, from board rooms to cruise ships. To invite Kelly to your 2014 event, contact Sue Falcone at sue@simplysuespeaks.com or call 1-888-766-3155.

It’s Motivational Monday with Kelly Swanson

Motivational Speaker In Five Simple Steps

SwansonDSC_3524I am convinced that one is born every minute. A motivational speaker, I mean. Every time I get up on a stage, someone sits out there and says, “I can do that!” And since there is no barrier to entry, they usually do. But saying you want to be a motivational speaker, and actually making money as a motivational speaker are two very different things, and there is a long path from one to the other. I know, because I’ve been walking it for years. So today, I have found a way to narrow down my advice to five steps. These aren’t observations about the industry, or even words of advice. They are steps – as in do one, then the other, etc.

1. Figure out what you speak about. Understand what it is you help people do, how it solves their problem, why you’re the one to help, and how you’re going to help them get there. This is called message and content. If you just want to tell funny stories and make people laugh, you are only halfway there. That’s how you deliver the message. First figure out the message. If there’s no message, then you’re an entertainer.

2. Write a speech. A phenomenal speech. A speech that you know inside and out and backwards and forwards, filled with your best stuff. Don’t start selling a product you don’t have yet. If you don’t have a speech, you aren’t ready to sell a speech.

3. Build an online platform where people can find you and see what you’re all about. This is the website, the online one-sheet, the videos – anything that will show them what it’s like to have you speak. They don’t just want to know what you speak about, they want to know how you deliver the message, what the experience is like.

4. Figure out your fees and your sales pitch.  You can’t stammer on the phone and hope you come up with the right words in the right moment. You should be very clear on what you speak about, how to relay that message and fit their pain point, how you are different from the other speakers they are looking at, how this process of booking you works, and how much your charge. Learn to sell like you’re not selling.

5. Start building a list of people who books speakers like you, and reaching out to them regularly. I can already hear you now, “But I don’t know HOW!”  Then figure it out, just like the rest of us did. No, you can’t buy a list. No you can’t pay someone else to find you jobs. No, paying to get an ad on Google isn’t enough. And even if you hire a coach, you’re still going to have to do the work yourself. Start building an email list and a database of current and potential clients. And contact them routinely, as in quarterly, not hourly.  And start sending your message out to the world through every online means that works for you. If you want to encourage people and make them laugh, quit waiting for someone to hire you – start doing it. Use Facebook to make people laugh. Build a following. Write a blog that encourages people. As Nike so brilliantly says, “Just do it.”

There you go. Five steps. Not easy. It never is. But it is that simple.

Good luck! Now get back to work.

Kelly SwansonKELLY SWANSON is an award-winning storyteller, comedian, author, motivational speaker. She has been described by Our State Magazine as one of North Carolina’s funniest women. She uses hilarious comedy, powerful stories, and a wacky cast of southern characters to make people laugh, remind them of their value, and show them how to stand up and stick out in their lives, businesses, and communities. Her shows have delighted audiences from coast to coast, from board rooms to cruise ships. To invite Kelly to your 2014 event, contact Sue Falcone at sue@simplysuespeaks.com or call 1-888-766-3155.

It’s Motivational Monday with Kelly Swanson

Time Suckers

IMG_2138As a motivational speaker, author, mom, and wife, my list of things to do is always longer than the amount time I have to do it. So time management is critical for me to achieve my goals and have the quality life I want.

I like to think I have a good handle on my time. I make my lists. I understand my priorities. And I can do a heck of a lot of things in a day. But there’s always that one sneaky thing that comes hurling in from left field – the task I didn’t anticipate – the emergency I didn’t see coming – someone else’s need for my attention that breaks into my neatly listed life. Enter in the time sucker.

I have made it a goal to deal with the time sucker – to be proactive rather than reactive – to not let it hijack my day. Easier said than done – especially in business where you don’t always have the upper hand. Some time suckers must be given immediate attention. But I’m finding that I have been giving attention when it’s not necessary. So here’s my plan to deal with the time sucker.

1. Assess the true priority. It might not be as important as you think. Can this task be put on the “to do” list and scheduled during  a down time?

2. Watch out for the accidental time sucker. This is a big one for me. It’s called Facebook. I say Facebook is an important tool for me to connect with my audience. And it’s true. But it’s not important enough to do first thing in the morning when I am fresh and have calls to make. And one “quick peak” is always at least an hour or more as I scroll through pictures of your kids and your cars. This is an evil time sucker.  So I’m making a new rule. I’m only going to check Facebook at night when I’m winding down and watching television. And now I’m on the lookout for other accidental time suckers – like a laundry basket at the top of the stairs, or a sale in the store window, or wouldn’t it be nice to light a candle right now.

3. Know what must be done first every day. It’s almost impossible for me to manage my day if I don’t have a clear list in my head of what MUST be done before everything else. Sounds basic, but many times I forget and just ramble through the day hopping from one task to another. I need a list to follow – make meals, spend time with son, exercise, blog, follow up on a lead, handle any administrative task relating to that week’s job, etc.  I am convinced that without a plan I would have no control over my time and would be a lot more stressed. So I have a plan for my year, which keeps me focused on the big picture. I have a plan for my month, which is really a snapshot of that month’s calendar. I have a plan for the day, which is a task list to the side of my calendar, and includes the things I have determined need to be done every day to meet the needs of my yearly business plan.

4. Have good systems in place for the daily processes. What happens when a lead comes in? Where does it get documented? What happens next? What keeps it from slipping through the cracks? Where do I put creative story ideas? Where do they go when they need to be memorized? Where do I organize them online?  My business and life run on many systems, and often when I find time suckers creep in, it’s because there hasn’t been a system designed. You can have a system for household tasks, your health and wellness, your kids’ activities, your sales calls, your customer service, etc.  The ideal would be to have every distraction filtered through a system for handling it.

5. Have an email/phone/person distraction plan.  We get distractions in many forms. Yours may be people showing up in your office. Mine is phone and email.  Working from home gives my friends and family the impression that I’m always available. Taking a personal call during the day is not productive. It’s a time sucker. So I have a scripted response when I get a personal call during work hours.  You could do the same for people who come into your office unannounced.  And then there’s the dreaded email attack on my life. Email is a boulder always hanging over me. I have this “thing” that I can’t stand to see hundreds of emails in my inbox. I want it empty. And with hundreds coming in every day, this is a daunting task. Emails have become another to-do list for me – culling through spam, determining who needs to be answered when, and handling the tasks associated with each email.  Here is where it is CRITICAL that I stay on task.  My daily plan is NOT to answer one email and then  move on to the next. My daily plan is to do my daily priorities, and treat these emails as distractions, only getting top priority if they truly deserve top priority. And opening that funny video from your Uncle Clyde is not a top priority.

The key to time management is not being able to get everything done, but knowing what must be done now, and what can be done later, and having the right systems in place to handle distractions.

It sounds like a lot of work, staying focused. And it is. But it’s worth it. And when you get a habit down of sticking to your priorities, you will actually be more relaxed and see that there is not as much to do as you once thought.  So let’s take control of our time rather than letting our time control us.

Happy planning!

kellyswansonKELLY SWANSON is an award-winning storyteller, comedian, author, motivational speaker. She has been described by Our State Magazine as one of North Carolina’s funniest women. She uses hilarious comedy, powerful stories, and a wacky cast of southern characters to make people laugh, remind them of their value, and show them how to stand up and stick out in their lives, businesses, and communities. Her shows have delighted audiences from coast to coast, from board rooms to cruise ships. To invite Kelly to your 2014 event, contact Sue Falcone at sue@simplysuespeaks.com or call 1-888-766-3155.

It’s Motivation Monday with Kelly Swanson

Why They Love You But Don’t Buy From You: Tips To Sell Dream Products

Just Because They Love You, Doesn’t Mean They’ll Buy You

I heard those words at a recent conference for keynote speakers, and they changed my entire perspective on my business. I have been assuming that an audience who loves you will automatically buy from you.

Not true.

Having them love you and having them buy from you are two very different things.

But first, you do have to get them to love you. They must like you, believe you, and trust you before you can ever hope to get them to buy from you.  And after that, you have to get them to buy from you. That’s what I learned recently – that there are a certain set of skills, things you must say, things you can do, to prompt them to buy.  I’ll keep you posted on those things later. But for now, let’s just focus on the broad strokes.

1. Understand that you have something they want.  I’ve been very guilty of thinking that I’m forcing them to buy my products. That’s not true. People want to take a piece of what I do home with them. I’ve done shows without even bringing my books, and had people in the audience disappointed because they wanted to buy one. So if you’re like me, it’s time to change your thinking. We have something they want. They want to extend the magic you gave them in person. You are not pushing a product, you are offering them more value. So believe in what you are selling and the value it will bring to the buyer. (And if it’s crap, then create something better.)

2. Be excited about what you have to offer.  Now that you know you have something of value – ACT LIKE IT! Get excited about your product. Make sure your language reflects your excitement.

3. Ask for the sale.  Here’s the big part I’ve been missing. I’ve been assuming that if they want it, they’ll ask for it. And most of the time I never even told them there was anything to ask for! I know, I’m a slow learner. Do you have a call to action? Are you asking them to buy your book? Are you asking them to call and book you today? Are you asking them to sign up for your newsletter or like you on Facebook? Take a look at all the language you use and all the touch points you have with your market  (on stage, in a blog, in a sales call, on the web, on Facebook) and see if you have incorporated a call to action. Sometimes it’s as simple as asking for it.

4. Just do it!  Yeah, here’s the hard part. Doing it.  I get it. This is my weakness. I have a stack of things I need to do to grow my business. The problem is finding the time and sitting down and doing it. So I’m moving this top of my list. This is top priority. This requires immediate action. So I’m making a commitment to you and to the universe, that I will start working on this now – as in this week.

So in the spirit of following my own advice, I’m going to ask if you’ve read my book – “Who Hijacked My Fairy Tale?”  It will make you laugh and touch your heart. It’s filled with funny stories and tips to help you hang on to humor when life doesn’t go the way you planned. It’s particularly good for those going through cancer treatments, as it makes people laugh and for a moment forget their pain.  You can order it on Amazon or on the Kindle. I think you can now even rent books on Kindle. How cool is that?

So if you’re looking for a funny light read, or perhaps something that would make a great gift, hop on Amazon today and get your copy while supplies last.  And if you’ve already read it, I would LOVE for you to go to this link and review it for me.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004SBWPUU

Kelly SwansonKELLY SWANSON is an award-winning storyteller, comedian, author, motivational speaker. She has been described by Our State Magazine as one of North Carolina’s funniest women. She uses hilarious comedy, powerful stories, and a wacky cast of southern characters to make people laugh, remind them of their value, and show them how to stand up and stick out in their lives, businesses, and communities. Her shows have delighted audiences from coast to coast, from board rooms to cruise ships. To invite Kelly to your 2014 event, contact Sue Falcone at sue@simplysuespeaks.com or call 1-888-766-3155.

It’s Motivation Monday with Kelly Swanson

What if I had just looked up?

Yesterday was a really fun and exciting day for me. I’ll give you more details later about that, but for now they aren’t important. All that matters is that I’m skipping to my car in the parking deck. Okay, so maybe not actually skipping. Let’s get real. I start to skip and things start moving that take hours to settle down. But I was having one of those delicious moments in life when the winter-gray slush-covered world around you bursts into sparkling color and you want to spin and throw your arms around and laugh into the sky like they do in all those stock photos and Metamucil commercials.  I didn’t even mind that the only space I could find to park was on the third floor. I was in my own world, completely oblivious to the people bustling around me.

I’m in a line of drivers exiting the parking deck when I see the flashing lights and yellow tape. And the body. There, blocking our path out of the parking deck and onto the street, was a bundled up man lying face down in the snow covered street. My world turned into slow motion as I watched people run up with blankets and stop as the policeman shook his head and without words indicated that it was too late. And sitting there in my warm car, I watched them cover his body with a sheet, not even six feet away from me while a group of strangers hung their heads in a universal moment of compassion. All I could think was that somewhere his wife and children were enjoying the snow day, with no idea of how their lives were about to change. It was a quiet sobering ride home. I couldn’t get the image out of my head of him lying there on the street.

This morning I’m sitting in my happy warm house surrounded by the smells and sounds of the life I have created, scanning the online news for word of this stranger who left the world yesterday. I finally found him on page three, in a tiny article beside an ad for tires. And I read of how he had jumped to his death from the third floor of the parking deck. Right where I was parked. While I’m spinning around in the deliciousness of my life, another man is standing on a ledge.

Did I pass him in that parking deck? Was he perhaps standing only a few feet away from me?  Could I have somehow made a difference with a kind word or a smile when he needed it most? My life is filled with encounters of people I meet – people I share a powerful moment with. Why couldn’t I have crossed paths with him? Maybe I could have made a difference. Or maybe I had the chance, and didn’t see it. What if he was right there within the sound of my voice?

Good-bye stranger. Rest in peace. I’m sorry I didn’t look up.

Kelly SwansonKELLY SWANSON is an award-winning storyteller, comedian, author, motivational speaker. She has been described by Our State Magazine as one of North Carolina’s funniest women. She uses hilarious comedy, powerful stories, and a wacky cast of southern characters to make people laugh, remind them of their value, and show them how to stand up and stick out in their lives, businesses, and communities. Her shows have delighted audiences from coast to coast, from board rooms to cruise ships. To invite Kelly to your 2014 event, contact Sue Falcone at sue@simplysuespeaks.com or call 1-888-766-3155.

It’s Motivation Monday with Kelly Swanson

Do Women Have to Be Mean to Succeed in Business?

I think that somewhere along the way, some women got this idea that in order to succeed they had to be aggressive, mean, and out for themselves – that touchy feely, heartsy, lets all join hands and do this together, just wasn’t going to cut it in business.

And some women got the idea that being confident, aggressive, bold, and competitive is too mean. And women are supposed to be nice. It’s in the rule book.

I’d like to suggest that there is a happy place in the middle of pompously self-absorbedand take my job I don’t need it as much as you do.  I’d like to suggest that you can have a bold opinion, outsell your competitor, dominate in your industry, and still be likeable, humble, respected and even revered.

I’d like to suggest to all you really mean women out there, that aside from the fact that you are making enemies, you probably aren’t winning as much business as you could.

I’d like to suggest to all of you overly nice women out there, that it doesn’t have to be all give and no take. You are allowed to have a strong opinion. You are allowed to know what makes you better than your competitor. You are allowed to be proud of your achievements and accomplishments and to always be striving for higher.

I’d like to suggest that we as women take a look around and see how we’re doing at really helping and encouraging and supporting each other – and yet also taking a look around and seeing how well we are doing about owning our own gifts, stepping into our jobs with confidence, being bold and taking business that we have worked hard to get.

Then again – it’s just a suggestion. Probably not even heard by the ones who need to hear it most.

I’m just saying.

Kelly SwansonKELLY SWANSON is an award-winning storyteller, comedian, author, motivational speaker. She has been described by Our State Magazine as one of North Carolina’s funniest women. She uses hilarious comedy, powerful stories, and a wacky cast of southern characters to make people laugh, remind them of their value, and show them how to stand up and stick out in their lives, businesses, and communities. Her shows have delighted audiences from coast to coast, from board rooms to cruise ships. To invite Kelly to your 2014 event, contact Sue Falcone at sue@simplysuespeaks.com or call 1-888-766-3155.

It’s Motivation Monday with Kelly Swanson

sonMy nine-year-old son asked me, “Mom, what would you do if you had a million dollars?”

I immediately saw visions of more hair. And chocolate. And candles. And some more hair. And a walk-in closet where my shoes move in front of me on a conveyor belt. And more shoes. Definitely more shoes. And a new car with tons of room and no french fries under the seat. And a bigger house. Wait. Scratch that. That would mean I would have to box up this house. No way. I’m one trinket away from being a hoarder. No way I’m packing up all this stuff. I’ll just buy a new front to my house, so it will look nicer from the street.  That’ll work.

My son saw forty-seven-hundred light up Star Wars sabers – enough for all his friends to have a complete arsenal and secure his status as the neighborhood arms dealer. He saw walls lined with Chicken McNuggets and those spinning candy-filled toys at Cracker Barrel that I never let him buy because they cost more than my colonoscopy. He saw his own walk-in closet filled with super-hero costumes that never get too small, and a room full of Chuck E Cheese tokens that he thinks are worth more than quarters because they’re gold.

After a while, we got around to actually giving away some of that imagined million dollars. I’m not proud that it took us so long to get there. We agreed that we would have enough money to give to our friends and the family members that we liked – and even the ones we didn’t. And to charity. And to our church. And to feed all the dogs and cats in the world.  Because that’s the kind of people we are.  Especially now that we’re millionaires. What’s an extra thousand?

And we remembered that song “I want to be a millionaire” that we just love on the Glee album. And how the guy in the song wishes he was a millionaire so friggin’ bad. And we talked about how we shouldn’t say “friggin” inSunday School. And how the guy in the song would grant peoples’ last wishes, and give away gifts like Oprah. And it got us to thinking how easy it would be to give away gifts and grant wishes if you were Oprah.

Real easy.

Not really a sacrifice at all.

Because it’s easy to give when you have a lot.

In fact, we agreed it wasn’t that much of a sacrifice for a rich man to give away a piece of his riches.

And we remembered the story of the widow who barely had anything and gave it away. My son and I agreed that took much more of a sacrifice. That it’s easy to give when you have a lot – much harder to give when you have nothing. And maybe therein lies the test of true character. (Okay, so maybe I was the one who used the wordtherein – my son still can’t remember the days of the week.)

And we wondered why we should wait until we have a million dollars to give? What if the entire world waited until they were millionaires to give?  And my son and I came to the conclusion that what you do with a million doesn’t mean near as much as what you do with ten.

But we will still definitely get the hair and the light saber. You might as well look good while you’re giving.

 

Kelly SwansonKELLY SWANSON is an award-winning storyteller, comedian, author, motivational speaker. She has been described by Our State Magazine as one of North Carolina’s funniest women. She uses hilarious comedy, powerful stories, and a wacky cast of southern characters to make people laugh, remind them of their value, and show them how to stand up and stick out in their lives, businesses, and communities. Her shows have delighted audiences from coast to coast, from board rooms to cruise ships. To invite Kelly to your 2014 event, contact Sue Falcone at sue@simplysuespeaks.com or call 1-888-766-3155.

It’s Motivation Monday with Kelly Swanson

meetingsIt’s Motivation Monday and a time for celebrating the life and legacy of a transformational leader-Dr. Martin Luther King. How are you celebrating today? Thanks for joining us as Kelly shares all about meetings!

Meetings Are Killing Motivation and Participation

I have this “friend” (I’ll call her Beth) who stepped up to serve in a local community organization that will remain nameless. She agreed to serve despite her already filled schedule, because of their desperate plea for volunteers. Apparently they had already burned out the other volunteers and were desperate for new meat.

Beth knew that they held one event a month, and while it would be tough, she would make it happen. What they didn’t tell her was that for every activity they planned, they would have at least five meetings to accompany it. Not even three months later and Beth is rocking back and forth, considering a restraining order, and wondering how hard it would be to fake her own death. It wasn’t the work that killed her, it was the meetings.

The number one complaint I hear from businesses, companies, groups, committees, associations,  and volunteer organizations that I have been involved with, is how hard it is to get people to step up and help, even when it involves their career and volunteer spirit. They complain about how a small group does all the work and they are burned out.

I think there are many reasons like a lack luster vision that is poorly communicated, people who are given tasks instead of made to feel empowered by their own ideas, a strong desire to accomplish items on a list even though they are outdated and completely irrelevant to today’s society, the belief that more is better, and political struggles for power.

But one main reason is the MEETINGS. People are stressed and they are busy, and they most certainly do not like their time wasted. And taking them away from their families and other work obligations for a “tiny little meeting” is a big deal, even if you do promise them dinner. And most people walk away from these meetings wondering why they even met when all of this could have been covered in one email with a little advance planning.

As much as we might hate to admit it, technology has changed the way we function in our world. And while it is important to maintain that face-to-face, it doesn’t mean you have to schedule endless meetings that could have been accomplished in an email. The world will not end if you don’t meet over chicken wings. And no matter how important you think that meeting is, requiring your people to show up once a week or more, is something that will drain their energy and enthusiasm and cause them to leave or perform poorly.

Just ask Beth.

Kelly SwansonKELLY SWANSON is an award-winning storyteller, comedian, author, motivational speaker. She has been described by Our State Magazine as one of North Carolina’s funniest women. She uses hilarious comedy, powerful stories, and a wacky cast of southern characters to make people laugh, remind them of their value, and show them how to stand up and stick out in their lives, businesses, and communities. Her shows have delighted audiences from coast to coast, from board rooms to cruise ships. To invite Kelly to your 2014 event, contact Sue Falcone at sue@simplysuespeaks.com or call 1-888-766-3155.

It’s Motivation Monday with Award-Winning Kelly Swanson

[youtube id=”H-cmU5cgoIU” mode=”normal” align=”left”]We all come to those moments in our lives when we realize that we aren’t what we hoped we would turn out to be. How disenchanting to find our wings are tarnished. And then comes that beautiful moment where we realize that we aren’t what we hoped we would be – and somehow that is perfectly okay. Or even more than okay. Because we can still dance – we can still dream – we can still fly – even if our wings are crooked. And sometimes we realize that we aren’t what we hoped we would be – but in fact something better. And therein lies the true joy and the true peace of a life well lived. And somehow we find a way to bless the crooked wings. Kelly Swanson

To have Kelly Swanson at your next event, contact Sue Falcone at sue@simplysuespeaks.com or call 1-888-766-3155 today!

It’s Motivation Monday with Kelly Swanson

KellyforblogWarning: This post might sting a little. But hearing the truth doesn’t have to be bad. In fact, hearing what you need to hear just might be the greatest gift you have ever received.

The Disconnect in The Speaking Business

I attend a lot of conferences and I’ve seen LOTS of speeches. And very few blew me away. Very few  do I remember years later, or even hours later. Most of them fall in the range of bad to good enough.

What about you? Have you heard your share of speakers? How many really stood out? I would guess it’s a few among many.

The truth as I know it, is that most speakers aren’t great, yet most speakers are more concerned with their selling skills than their speaking skills. I hear most speakers quickly agree that speaking comes easy to them, that getting business is their problem area. I’ll give you one reason why you’re having such a hard time getting business –  because your speech sucks! (Told you this wasn’t going to be pretty.  But sometimes you just can’t sugar coat the truth any longer. )

Okay, so there are many reasons you may not be getting business. I’ll give you that. But no amount of marketing, PR, selling, fancy one sheets, compelling taglines, or great book covers will make up for an average speaker or a mediocre speech. The speech is your product!  (I’m talking about keynote motivational speakers especially, but I think there is an element of truth in all of this for other types of speakers to glean wisdom from.)

If you get up on a stage and hit it out of the park, business will follow. I promise. And if you do that over and over and over again, you will build a reputation, gain fans, and get spinoff business EVERY TIME. And marketing will become secondary. Your product will speak for itself.

So while it may not be true for you, there is a chance that you probably aren’t as good as you think you are. And even if it’s not true, it doesn’t hurt to believe it about yourself. It will push you to work harder, and to make that speech flippin’ brilliant. I can’t ever remember a time when I wrote a speech and said, Now THAT’S as good as it gets! Except for the one I just finished, and it is pretty amazing – but give me a couple of days and I’m sure the luster will have worn off. I am in a constant state of working to get better, pushing to try something new, stretching my wings, finding new ways to deliver what I do. And, yes, I’m not as good as I think I am, and I”m not as bad as I think I am. But I will never stop working.

What about you? Time to pick up that speech and get back to work?

(PS  I can hear some of you right now curling your lip and saying, “I don’t givespeeches. I facilitate conversations. I am a thought leader. I am an expert who speaks.”  Well, I don’t care what you decide to call yourself, or what you call that experience you give to an audience – it had better be good, worth their money, unforgettable, and holding great value, or you won’t be doing it for long.  I’m just saying.)

kelly cartoon

KELLY SWANSON is an award-winning storyteller, comedian, author, motivational speaker. She has been described by Our State Magazine as one of North Carolina’s funniest women. She uses hilarious comedy, powerful stories, and a wacky cast of southern characters to make people laugh, remind them of their value, and show them how to stand up and stick out in their lives, businesses, and communities. Her shows have delighted audiences from coast to coast, from board rooms to cruise ships. To invite Kelly to your 2014 event, contact Sue Falcone at sue@simplysuespeaks.com or call 1-888-766-3155.