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 –

  • I Have A New Dream Today is the day I embark on a new dream…as a funny motivational speaker I haven’t ditched the old dream of spreading humor and hope as a funny motivational speaker. I’ve just added a new piece. A scary piece. And as with any new dream, it brings along a healthy dose of fears. Things like…. What if ...
  • Why It Pays To Be Easy To Work With The Fine Line Between Confidence and Being Hard to Work With I speak at a lot of different kinds of events, and therefore spend a lot of time chatting with my customers. Often the conversation will include what they liked about me and the experience I delivered, as well as some of the other speakers they ...
  • My Biggest Business Mistake My Biggest Mistake In The Business Of Professional Speaking I’ve made plenty of mistakes in this business, that’s for sure. But there is one that rises to the top. I never built a list. I published an article in LinkedIn today about how I fixed this mistake. If you’re interested, go check it out:
  • Interview With Kelly Swanson Motivational Speaker NextFem Podcast Features Kelly Swanson Motivational Speaker I had the pleasure of being interviewed on the NextFem podcast with Tara Padua. The topic was harnessing the power of story. It includes a little of the personal side to what I do and how I got here. It feels like the perfect thing to share with my ...
  • One Easy Way To Get More Professional Speaking Gigs Having a hard time getting more bookings in professional speaking? Just like it takes money to make money, it takes bookings to get more bookings.  But all you need is one and you have an easy way to get more. How? LEVERAGE. This means that you try to use that one booking as leverage to get more.  Here are ...
  • Why Most Motivational Speakers Fail At This Job Why So Many Motivational Speakers Are Broke Out of the hundreds of speakers I have met in my life, it amazes me how many are unable to sustain a financially viable business. In short, they’re broke.  I feel their pain. I remember those years when I didn’t make any money. There were more years than I’d ...
  • When You’re Not Sure What You Speak About When you are asked what you speak about, do you pause? Yep. Been there. Done that. Got the t-shirt.  Sometimes, to this day, I still find myself pausing when someone asks me what I speak about.  It’s an issue that is prevalent among many speakers. While it makes us feel stupid as speakers when we have ...
  • My Adventure On Reality TV Oh my goodness, Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore. Funny Motivational Speaker Hits The Telly I have always said that my career has not been so much a result of hard work and strategic planning, but random doors that opened and I walked through them – with closed eyes and held breath. Add another adventure to my ...
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Motivational Speaker Kelly Swanson is an award-winning storyteller, author, and comedian who motivates and inspires audiences to make positive changes in their lives. Through a unique approach using storytelling and comedy, Kelly shows her audiences that they matter, and helps them to get a new perspective on the obstacles they face. Kelly’s post day is Friday. If you aren't sure how to comment on this story, click here.

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