Tag Archives: motivational speaker

Looking for a Quality Speaker? Put Your Money Where THEIR Mouth Is!

Looking for a Quality Speaker? Put Your Money Where THEIR Mouth Is!

By Christy Lamagna, CMP, CMM, CTSM

All event strategists know that content is king, so when we bring in outside speakers we need to do our homework and recommend wisely. As is the case with all things event strategists do, their actions yield the highest quality results that align with the event’s goal. In this instance, an accredited speakers bureauAll event strategists know that content is king, so when we bring in outside speakers we need to do our homework and recommend wisely. As is, the case with all things event strategists do, their actions yield the highest quality results that align with the event’s goal. In this instance, that means reaching out to an accredited speakers bureau and leveraging their expertise.

For those who are not as calibrated in their process, an internet search for ‘motivational’ or ‘professional’ speakers may start the process. Perhaps a visit to YouTube for clips of speakers is the preferred route, with an obligatory click on cute puppy videos along the way. For some a query to colleagues gets the ball rolling.

While both methodologies may result in booking the same speaker, not all paths are equal. For those who opt to do the legwork and cut out the middleman, the road is longer, uphill and full of bumps. Speakers’ bureaus are like Convention and Visitors’ Bureaus; at your disposal, designed to make your job easier, staffed by professionals and not fully utilized or understood.

It is critical to remember how we are offended when other people think they can do our jobs. Let’s not be guilty of that same mistake by imagining that if we can search the internet we can find a speaker just as well as a professional can.

To better understand why a professional speakers’ bureau really is the way to go, I interviewed Sue Falcone, founder and CEO of, “Remarkable! A Speakers Bureau.” Here’s the first of three excerpts from our in-depth and enlightening conversation.

Christy: Why should I use a speakers’ bureau rather than find a speaker via Google or references?

Sue: I believe that communicating what speakers’ bureaus really are, and the value they bring is key to being able to be the “go to” resource for securing the best speaker for an event. Here are three questions we ask perspective clients:

  1. Do you want to save time, money and resources?
  2. Do you want peace of mind with less stress knowing your speaker is going to be remarkable and you will be a rock star for choosing to work with a speakers’ bureau?
  3. Did you know that speakers’ bureau fees are paid by the speaker – not you – so therefore all the time and services a speakers’ bureau provides is free to you?

Christy: Is it more expensive to use a speakers’ bureau?

Sue: Cost is the biggest concern about the perception of using a speakers’ bureau. Many bureaus structure the pricing so their commission comes out of the speaker’s fee. Speakers are willing to pay the bureau out of their speaker’s fee to cover the representation, negotiations and follow up work.

To note: some bureaus do charge a fee, so ask up front whose responsibility it is to cover booking fees.

Christy: What is the difference between one speakers’ bureau and another? Are you all selling the same thing?

Sue: Many speakers’ bureaus have become “speaker listing bureaus” rather than ones who actively work to secure events for all speakers they represent.

Christy: What should an event planner – or a speaker – look for as differentiation in a bureau?

Sue: I have a screening process and require the speakers I represent to sign an agreement as to how I will represent them, and what we agree to do. Knowing they are marketable and are booked through my bureau they not only represent themselves, but also my company.

Did you enjoy Looking for a Quality Speaker? Put Your Money Where THEIR Mouth Is!? Check back in on Thursday, May 10th for part 2.

CEO, Sue Falcone, recognized the need for a speakers bureau that would represent professional speakers, and provide the perfect speaker for clients who sought the best for their events with a personal “hands on” custom touch.

From a former corporate executive, to becoming a professional speaker and author being hired, and creating a distinctive and unique speakers bureau representing speakers for hire, she gained the experience and expertise needed to give a full service experience.

Just Ask! by guest: Kelly Swanson

askI don’t know about you, but I come from a long line of women who hate to ask for help. We’d rather stand proudly in the pool of martyrdom, even if we are drowning – but at least we did it on our own, with good hair, fine china, and a purse that matched our shoes. Asking translated to weakness. Asking meant you weren’t polite. Asking was rude. What we didn’t realize, was that sometimes (and maybe most times) in order to get what we want, we have to ASK for it. Yet many of us, me included, are disappointed at all the things we didn’t get that we never asked for.

Today was a good example for me. I want likes on my Facebook page – not to feel needed, but because it gives me more exposure to clients looking for motivational speakers. And yet every time I open my Facebook page and see that place where it gives me the option to ask my friends to like me – I ignore it. It just feels too needy. What if they say no? What if that makes me promiscuous?

But today I said, “What the heck. I’m always happy to like their pages. And they can always say no. I’ll never know unless I ask.”  So I asked.  And not even an hour later I got 80 likes – make that 81, I just got another while typing this. And I would bet by end of the day that number will be higher.

Lesson to me: ASK.

Lesson to you: ASK.

They can always say no. But your chances are always better than if you said nothing at all.

So now that I’ve climbed out of the pool of martyrdom and into the pool of asking for what I want – does anybody have any diamonds they want to give me?

(P.S.  In case you now want to go find me on Facebook, go to www.facebook.com/funnymotivationalspeaker.  I’ll be the one with all the likes.)

kellyswansonAbout 

Motivational Speaker Kelly Swanson – called one of North Carolina’s funniest women by Our State Magazine. Kelly lifts the spirits of audiences from coast-to-coast using humor, storytelling, and lives of the characters from Prides Hollow – Kelly’s make believe small town. This unique approach to motivational speaking allows Kelly to break through communications barriers and connect directly to the audience’s imagination.
Her powerful stories and wacky wit will make you laugh, remind you that you matter, show you how to see beyond your obstacles, and teach you how to stand up and stick out in a crowded market. To book motivational speaker Kelly Swanson: see her Speaker page at http://www.simplysuespeaks.com/speaker/17/Kelly_Swanson

Telling a Great Story

telling our storyAmong the top characteristics that make a great public speaker is the ability to tell a good story. If you think about some of the best speeches you’ve ever heard, what sets them apart? The numbers and statistics? The lesson? Probably not.

Very likely, the thing that stands out in your mind after a memorable speaker’s presentation is a great story or two. The speaker has the ability to create lasting images in your mind. Visually painting a picture by connecting the story to the message drives home the focal point and makes a terrific impression on the audience.

Telling a story invites the audience in. It makes them comfortable, both with the speaker and the message. Of all the tools in a speaker’s toolkit, it is by far one of the most powerful.

Great speakers weave life experiences throughout their message, creating a rapport with the audience, and giving life to the topic. Stories help the audience relate and creates a message that will live on long after the speech is over. That’s success through great story telling.

Our speakers here at “Simply” Sue Speaks! Global Booking Agency have the ability to do just that – tell a great story. It’s part of their DNA and makes for a riveting presentation with some serious #WOWfactor!

Whether you are looking for an inspiring and entertaining keynote speaker, engaging media personality, interactive conference speaker, mesmerizing seminar presenter, or challenging retreat speaker, we will match you with the perfect speaker that will tailor their presentations to your needs.

Whatever the occasion, with our award-winning speakers, you can be sure that the stories will be memorable and unforgettable!

Simply Sue Name Only Signature

 

It’s Motivational Monday with Kelly Swanson

One Family’s Leap of Courage

Today I will let this video say it all:

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Being a motivational speaker rocks!

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

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.