How I Keep Track Of My Material As A Motivational Speaker

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Motivational Speaker Kelly Swanson is an award-winning storyteller, author, and comedian who teaches you how to harness the power of your story to connect, engage, and get results. In this blog, Kelly focuses on the business of professional speaking. Kelly’s post day is Friday. If you aren't sure how to comment on this story, click here.

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IMG_2068A Motivational Speaker Must Have An Extensive Portfolio of Material

Gone are the days of getting by on one speech. Motivational Speakers must be constantly preparing, memorizing, and taking new material to the stage. Sometimes we’re asked to speak for hours at a time. My longest speaking gig without a break was 4 hours. That’s a lot of material – especially when you are being hired to do more than just teach  – you are being hired to entertain, motivate, and make them laugh. Even Broadway doesn’t go for four hours!

Add that to all the blogging and posting and article writing necessary to help people find me online – and that makes for an incredible amount of material needed, and an incredible amount of writing. So I’m constantly on the lookout for ideas. This requires good writing habits, and it requires good management of material.

So I thought that I would devote this post to giving you a behind-the-scenes look at how I keep track of all my material – from idea to performance. This is unique to me and what I need to make my job work. Every speaker has a different path. But hopefully this will help you find yours.

This time, instead of writing it out, I decided to put it on a chart instead. Hopefully this will be easier for you to read.





  • Love the idea of TreePad – I’m addicted to Evernote myself. You’ve got to have a system with all those ideas floating around!

    Thank you for sharing your process Kelly!