What To Call Yourself As A Keynote Speaker

The following two tabs change content below.
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.

Latest posts by Kelly Swanson (see all)


You would think what to call yourself as a keynote speaker would be an easy question. But as keynote speakers we live in the world of spin.

What we say on stage is one thing, how we describe it in our marketing is quite another.

And many of us spend considerably more time on the latter, probably because selling what we do is much harder than doing it. So we enter the world of taglines – those catchy little phrases that hook our buyer into thinking we have something shiny and new.

Many of us, me included, have spun our way right out of common sense.

We get attracted to the shiny words that nobody has ever heard before. The only problem is that nobody has ever heard it before. And if they haven’t heard of it, they aren’t looking for it online.

As keynote speakers, we think that what we call ourselves is pretty important.

So we spend a LOT of time trying to come up with winning taglines, super cool phrases, and that one word that describes what we sell.  Sometimes we do this to a fault, forgetting that our buyers are out there using simple language that fits their needs.

You can call yourself a thought leader, but chances are good that your client is still looking for a speaker on social media, a speaker on change, a speaker who can come motivate, etc.

And be very careful when you use the word thought leader, because that says to me that you have come up with an original thought, not recycled old thoughts spun a new way.

(Which is my specialty.)

My point is that what you call yourself is never as important as what your client calls you. Focus on the words they use, and they’ll find you.