Author Kelly Swanson

motivational speaker kelly swansonBE A SUCCESSFUL PUBLIC SPEAKER 

Last updated on January 18, 2015

“I’m a motivational speaker, comedian, and author, which means I tell you that you can do anything. Then I tell you I’m just kidding.”

As you might guess, I’m an avid dreamer. I always have been – it just took a while for me to give them life and have the courage and permission to go after them.

For me, dreaming is not so much the issue – it’s following through. When you have new ideas every day, it can get overwhelming trying to stay focused enough to bring one to reality.

I’m learning.

And it’s really cool that you are with me on this journey – because that means we’ll learn together. And laugh together.

One thing you will quickly learn about me is that I don’t have a very good filter between what I think and what pops out of my mouth. I tend to say things that other people won’t say – admit things about myself you would probably leave private – and speak before thinking.

I’m okay with that.

Good comedy shouldn’t be censored. And neither should our dreams. You can’t get to the good stuff, until you are willing to take off the face and get real. And so that’s me – putting it all out there for the world to see. Admitting my faults and my quirks – in the hopes that yours won’t seem so bad – in the hopes that you won’t let something like body image, or low self-esteem, keep you from going after the life you want.

I got tired of believing the lie that I wasn’t good enough, smart enough, talented enough, rich enough…..Finally I looked in the mirror and said, “I am enough.”

And so are you. Don’t believe it yet?The Land Of If Only: A little story for those who are small - with a message big enough for us all.

Don’t worry. You’ll get there. It’s a step-by-step thing, not a one-giant-leap thing.

I’ve got a lot of opinions and I’m usually convinced I’m right. And then the next day something makes me change my mind and rethink where I stood yesterday.

I have firm beliefs and convictions, but want to live in a constant state of being willing – willing to listen – willing to see another perspective – willing to move out of the way and make room for you.

Because there is enough room for all of us to reach our dreams. And it’s so much cooler and easier when we do it together. It’s not a competition or a race. This is a journey of intersecting lines. And today, I’m glad our lines intersected. I hope they do again.

I make my living on stages – from tiny little churches in the middle of corn fields – to big convention halls – to cruise ships – to corporate board rooms. It is exciting to see where this dream is going, and all the turns that it has taken.

I didn’t take the path of most motivational speakers, so I didn’t imagine much of what is coming my way – but I believe that sometimes you just have to close your eyes and jump. You visualize your dream, act on it, and then just trust the cape.

Kelly Swanson cartoons from

I love storytelling, and I love telling the stories of people I meet, or people I imagine. And I LOVE helping you find your story and share it with the world.

When I perform my shows, I never go alone – I bring with me a wacky cast of characters who live in Prides Hollow – my tiny little town about a mile and a hair past nowhere. From Bitsy parading through town in her bikini, to Crazy Man Harry who sits on the corner of Rte. 29, they are never at a loss for something to say.

They’ll make you laugh, and sometimes they will pull on your heart. I take you to Prides Hollow to help you see, believe, and do your way to a happily ever after. And then I encourage you to go find your own Prides Hollow.

People think I’m lucky for having so many of my dreams come true. But luck has very little to do with it. I have worked my butt off to get here. This apparently isn’t hard enough, since last time I checked, there was still a good bit of junk in my trunk.

But the point is that I worked for it. Hard.

I listened to what my mentors told me to do, and I did it. Over and over and over. This didn’t happen in one giant step, it took a lot of tiny steps.

This journey has been filled with dips and valleys, triumphs and tears, twists and turns, fears and anxieties and failures. But good things don’t come to those who wait for them to be delivered.

They come to those who want it bad enough, and go after it. So if you’re in, I’m in. Let’s stay in this race.

My dream story post day is Friday.

The Heart side of what I do:
 There are many places where you can find me and hang out. My website, Facebook, motivational speaker blog, and YouTube. There are lots of ways you can bring me to your house – just check out my shopping cart or under Kelly Swanson.

But the very best is when you can bring me in to speak to your group – or attend one of my shows. How fun is that!

If you want to find out when I’m in your area, just get on my website and hit the “Track Kelly” button to sign up. You’ll get emails when I’m in your area. Other than that – I’ll see you right here, every Friday!

DREAMS ACCOMPLISHED TO DATE: Award-Winning Storyteller, Comedian, Motivational Speaker, Author of “Who Hijacked My Fairy Tale?” and “Land of If Only”, and several other CDs/DVDs. Performed at the National Storytelling Festival. Was a featured performer for Holland America Cruise Lines. Booked 80 gigs last year. Launched the first Prides Hollow show with concert pianist – we bombed – but we conquered our fear and we did it, and that’s a dream in itself. Next time we won’t bomb. Finally perfected these hair extensions so that I can travel without them falling out in the airport. Kept my 8-year-old son fairly healthy, despite the fact that I just now found out we were supposed to be flossing his teeth. Hit a new record on airport pat downs – thanks to metal clips in hair extensions. There are a lot of security guards out there who now owe me dinner. I’m just saying.

See ‘ya on the funny side!

You can email me at pr(at) with your thoughts.

Here is a collection of some of my dream stories on 8 Women Dream –

  • Staying On The Funny Side: Of Big Hair How Big Hair Saved My Life Okay. So I’m known to exaggerate. I’ll give you that. But this time I’m pretty sure I’m not.  I could have been killed.  And I have my hair to thank for saving my life. I was on a flight from somewhere to somewhere else (they all run together) and we had ...
  • Motivational Speaker Hits Reality TV Motivational Speaker Kelly Swanson Is Headed to Television It’s true. In case you missed the other blog posts, I’ve added a new job title to author, motivational speaker, and comedian: TV show cast member. I guess that means I can call myself an actress now, right? It’s a very cool TV show. It’s called The Fashion Hero ( ...
  • How To Be A Motivational Speaker Six Simple Steps To Being a Successful Motivational Speaker Not easy….just simple In my career as a motivational speaker and strategic storytelling expert, I meet hundreds of people who want to be motivational speakers. While the rest of the world looks at them like they’ve grown an extra head (it’s not a normal profession, let’s face it) ...
  • How To Rock a Bureau Showcase How to Rock the 15-Minute Presentation Got a bureau showcase coming up? Freaking out because you only have fifteen minutes including your introduction? You’re not alone. I’ve been there many times, and it’s a grueling assignment. You almost feel like you’re being set up for failure, forcing someone to determine whether they should hire you in just ...
  • If You Don’t Have This, You Don’t Have a Story No Character, No Conflict, No Story In my career of teaching people in business how to use story as a tool of impact, I see a common mistake. People tell me stories that aren’t really stories.  A list of facts is not a story.  Telling me how you got started in business is not a story. ...
  • How To Connect with Your Audience If You Don’t Connect, You Don’t Have Impact The key to being a powerful motivational keynote speaker, is not found in your content, but rather in your ability to connect and engage with your audience.  Most speakers I see forget this step and head straight to content. Mistake. We are all sales people on that stage, selling ...
  • What Every Story Must Have Three Basic Things EVERY STORY Must Have Every story must have these three components – no exceptions: A BEGINNING A MIDDLE AN END Sounds oversimplified, but the task of story writing can be daunting because most people don’t understand its basic construction.  One quick and easy way to get a handle on that story and make the writing process easier, ...
  • One Simple Way to Get More Business   Leverage Every Audience As motivational speakers, our best avenue for new business is that audience sitting right in front of us. Word-of-mouth is the driving force of this business, and those people sitting in front of you will be the ones that take your name out into the world. So give them something to do that. Make ...
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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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