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Motivational Speaker Kelly Swanson

There are many faces to what I do – the comedy, the content, the characters, and the challenging questions. But the biggest part of what I do is the motivation. Motivational speakers get a bad rap these days, for many reasons, including the fact that most of them call themselves motivational speakers, but aren’t really there for the audience at all – but there to sell them something else, or spit out some catchy phrases that can be repeated in the shower. I can’t speak for them, neither will I. I can only tell you what being a motivational speaker means to me:

1. I take the time to get to know your audience as best I can. I study your group and the challenges you face as an industry.

2. I take the time to get to know your event as best I can. Why are you gathered – what do you hope to accomplish, etc.

3. I write a tribute FOR you  ABOUT you to ENCOURAGE you help you see how valuable YOU are. If I can write a tribute for the buy guys, I can write one for you.

4. I think about how I can serve you using my gifts. This is important. Most speakers focus on this list of things they want to tell you. Many without even listening to what you need first. My goal is to serve you. Yes, I will challenge you and ask you the tough questions. But I also want to speak to your heart. I am not an information relayer. I am heart changer.

5. I really do believe in you. Not just in selling something to you.

6. While I believe motivation is crucial for all – and that bad attitudes exist at all rungs of the ladder – my favorite groups are the ones that need motivation most. The social workers, the nurses, the teachers, the admins, the military, the moms – the people who are often serving behind the scenes and not receiving a lot of the “front line” glory. I don’t ignore the other groups – and I will still serve them all to the best of my ability. But my heart sings for the quiet everyday heroes – they are my people.

7.  I see myself as a vessel. I’m not kidding. That’s not just talk. I’m the vessel for something bigger. This is really not about me, and my credentials (or lack of credentials), how many years I can say I’ve been in the business, how many books I’ve written, or how high I can say my fee is. This is not a competition to beat out another speaker. This is simply me answering the call. I believe I was put there in that moment for a reason. And that I am to relay a message. That’s all. Plain and simple. And I hope I never get above my raising.

And that’s what being a motivational speaker means to me. So when you’re looking for one, you might want to ask them what that means to them. Many use the word – yet have no idea what they mean by it. Ask them to define it. You deserve a speaker who cares.