Tag Archives: Motivation

It’s Motivation Monday with Kelly Swanson

They Aren’t The Reason You Are Miserable

grouchyBeing a motivational speaker feels a lot like being a therapist, only without the degree, knowledge, or credibility. But still I meet people in their places of brokenness. I hear their issues and concerns. And I try to motivate them to see their problems/issues from a different perspective. And one of the consistent things I find in people, is the belief that their problem is someone else.

My boss is  jerk.

They didn’t value my opinion.

He didn’t call.

She’s always running her mouth about something.

He drives me crazy.

She thinks I don’t have anything else to do but wait on her.

They didn’t pay me what I’m worth.

He’s an ungrateful teenager and I’m sick of it.

She thinks she’s better than everybody else.

They didn’t give me my money’s worth.

She just has it out for me.

Nobody will cut me any slack.

Sound familiar?

We all find ourselves victim to this sort of thinking. We don’t live in a bubble. Our lives are filled with people, and many of them are difficult to deal with.  And while we are often valid in our assessment of these people, it doesn’t change the truth – that we can’t fix them, change them, or find perfect people who act exactly as we want.

And they aren’t the problem.

We are.

Yes, I said it. And you’re probably mad. But it’s true.

They aren’t the reason you are miserable.

YOU are.

Life is filled with things circling us that are beyond our control – things happening to us – around us. Things that involve us directly, indirectly, or not really at all.  So much of what is circling around us can’t be controlled. Sure, some of it can be, and we should definitely work to control what we can in our lives. But the only thing you can control in EVERY situation, is how YOU will react to it.

YOU control your reaction.

YOU control your feelings. Well, maybe at first you  can’t control your initial reaction. But after you calm down, you can.

YOU decide what story you are going to write with this data you have been given, even if you are standing in the middle of the colossal mess. YOU still control whether you will allow it to make you miserable.

Unless you have a chemical imbalance, or issues bigger than you (in which case, this does not really apply to you, except that it is YOUR responsibility to get help for it and not use it as an excuse) you can control your reactions, your emotions, and your happiness. Yes, it’s a choice.

YOU are the one who turns one bad moment into a bad hour, and then a bad day, and a bad week, and a bad life. You are the one who instead of letting it go, carries it around with you like a comfort blanket – finding more people to share your issue with – making it the focus of all your time, energy, and conversations.

So, unless you want to stay miserable (which apparently some people do – and actually thrive on it) that’s your choice. Just acknowledge that it’s your fault, not theirs. They aren’t the reason you are miserable. You are.

You can choose happiness. And if you do it enough, one day you’ll wake up, and it just is.

If we let others make us miserable, we always will be.

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- Crafting a Speech with Kelly Swanson

Speech Writing: The 3 Column Template for Crafting a Speech

Speech Writing: The 3 Column Template for Crafting a Speech by motivational speaker Kelly Swanson

We all have different approaches to writing a speech – none of them wrong if it results in a quality product.

Sometimes the hardest part of writing a speech happens before you write the first word –the preparation – that stage when all of your thoughts and ideas are floating above your head in no order whatsoever.

You sort of know what you want to say in bits and pieces, but have no idea of how to put it together. Or how to even start. And when you try to explain it to somebody it sounds even worse. This article is to help you prepare those thoughts and ideas to make the writing process much easier.

How?

By organizing your thoughts in three columns.

I’m going to assume that you have a message and you have an audience. If you don’t, then perhaps you should be rethinking this whole “I’m going to be a famous speaker” idea. You need a message. The audience can come later, but you still must have some idea of who you are talking to. A speech written for teens will be much different than a speech written for senior citizens.

On a piece of paper draw three columns. Give the first column the title: MESSAGE. Give the second column the title: ABOUT ME.  Give the third column the title: ABOUT THEM.

Your speech will have three major components: the message and points you want to make (what you want to teach them), the stories you have chosen to illustrate those points, and the things you will do to make your message about them.

All three are vital, especially the last column, which so many speakers forget resulting in a speech filled with instructions that is only about them.

In the first (Message) column you basically finish these statements in your words:

We have a problem in our world today and it is __________

And because of this people __________

And __________

happens I have experienced this myself when __________

And found that the answer is __________

And here are the steps you take to get there _________

The message column is the place where you are basically setting up the problem, your solution, and that you are here to help fix it, and here’s how you do it. This is the content  – the take away – what people will learn from you that they can take back to their lives on Monday morning.

The second (ABOUT YOU) column is all about you.

These are your stories, your life experiences, stories about people you know – comedy bits, pictures, music – whatever you want to use to SHOW your audience how this message applies to life.

This is the part that adds the energy and flavor and helps you address things like short attention spans.

This is the part where you can swap out stories for ones that fit this particular audience better.

This is the part that is truly unique to you as a speaker and a performer.

The last (ABOUT THEM) column is about them.

This is where you take your message and ask them how it relates to them. The best way to make your speech about them is to ask questions – even if you don’t expect them to answer.

Use statements like:

Have you ever noticed this about yourself?

Have you seen the signs in your own life?

What do you do in those situations?

Where are you stuck?

Do you find examples of this in your own life?

Let’s talk about how this affects you.

Do you remember back to a time when?

Why don’t we discuss some ways that you….?

Do you ever feel…?

When have you found…..?

If I can do this, so can you. It’s not too late for you to…..

Now you merge the three columns in any order you want, using your own style of language to achieve the desired affect.

Have fun and happy writing!

Kelly
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.

 

How to Stay Excited About Your Business

Post ReBlogged via Entrepreneur.com

keep-it-up1Oh, if only the spark and excitement of a new business would last forever. Cambridge University professor Dr. Brian Little, a research psychologist and motivational psychology expert, suggests some strategies to put into play once your initial enthusiasm starts to waver.

Be the business.
Treating your business as your “baby”–identifying with it personally–can help you stay motivated. “Self-identity can provide the passion that keeps [the venture] sustained over time … it provides a sense of meaning,” Little explains. However, be prepared to cut the emotional cords if the situation calls for a more practical approach. “If the core project is attacked or it starts to become problematic, then you do need to be able to shift to a more pragmatic focus,” he says.

Get up.
Your environment can either stimulate or prohibit motivation. If your location can’t support your goals, consider packing up the laptop and finding a new place to work–either just for the day or long-term. “Find a way in which you can be supple and flexible enough to go to different places rather than abandoning a project,” Little says.

Hunker down.
As an entrepreneur or small-business owner, you are forced to wear many hats–and some may not suit your personality or style (say, when an introvert needs to hobnob with potential investors). To stay motivated while acting out of character, Little suggests planning a retreat afterward to a “restorative niche”–an environment or behavior that makes you feel comfortable.

It’s Motivation Monday with Kelly Swanson

Behind The Scenes Peek At Motivational Speaker Kelly Swanson

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Take a look behind the scenes at a day-in-the-life of motivational speaker Kelly Swanson.

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

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.

Happy New “YOU” Year! How You Doing?

I began this 2014 wishing you a Happy New “YOU” Year, and have been giving you ways to make that happen! Stacey Colino, Freelance Writer and Editor for Fox News and a Spinning Instructor, shared these 3 ways recently in Parade Magazine! She gives us some great “food” for thought! Have a great “Super Bowl” Week-end!

By  Reposted from http://parade.condenast.com/member/staceycolino/

(Istock)

Want to set yourself up for resolution success? Three simple rules to follow:

1. Find your motivation.
“When a goal is intrinsic—something you want for personally meaningful ­reasons—you are more energized to pursue it,” says psychologist Pauline Wallin, Ph.D., author of Taming Your Inner Brat. So if you want to become more punctual, do it because you want to be more respectful of other people, not because you want their approval.

2. Remove the obstacles.

Convenience is key to making a new routine last. Want to get in the habit of exercising first thing in the morning, for instance? Lay out your workout clothes and shoes before turning in
for the night.

3. Watch your words. ­­
“The language you use in building habits is very important, because it reflects your intention and mind-set,” Wallin says. So tell yourself “I will cross off the toughest things on my to-do list” rather than “I should” or “I’ll try.”

Thanks Stacey for sharing some great ways for us to have a Happy New “YOU” Year! I’m in, how about you?

“Simply” Sue

 

Are You Doing the Impossibles? Think You Can?

possible“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” – Walt Disney

It’s easy to do what we see are the possibilities, but do you ever think about doing and living in the “I’m Possibles?” Think of those areas that you have put off-limits, the dreams and wishes that certainly can never be made into possibilities!

Today take the challenge and pull out the things that you have declared were impossible in your life, and turn just one into the reality of today! You won’t regret it, and you will find out, “it’s kind of fun!”

Happy New “YOU” Year!

“Simply” Sue