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 –

  • When Your Content Doesn’t Fit The Corporate Box Speakers Living Outside The Corporate Box I have a LOT to say for those speakers whose messages don’t fit the mold.  But today I have one story that sums it all up. It happened yesterday in church. We had a guest speaker in church yesterday who, hands down, delivered what was one of the best speeches I have ...
  • 3 Key Ingredients To A Marketable Speech When You’re Not Sure What You Speak About Crafting the right message as a professional keynote speaker is critical to your success.  It can’t be just what you want to say. It’s more about what they want to hear. And even more important, what they want to BUY.  The perfect recipe is when your message relates to ...
  • Do You Have What It Takes To Be A Professional Speaker? Is Professional Speaking the Path for You? The truth is that pretty much anyone can be a professional speaker. There is no degree required, no barrier to entry. Hang your shingle and you’re a speaker simply because you say so. But that doesn’t mean people will start paying you to speak.  Many speakers spend years “getting ...
  • 10 Things That Rob You Of Your Joy You might be wondering what joy has to do with being a public speaker? Everything. If you don’t first feel it, you can’t share it. And no matter what your topic, if you can’t bring joy to your audience you are in for a short career. ‘Tis The Season To Be  Jolly As if we don’t spend ...
  • Motivational Speaker Off Script What Is Motivational Speaker Kelly Swanson Like Off Stage? Good question, and one I’d bet many people would wonder. Today you get to find out. Today I’m sharing an interview I did with Dr. Michelle Robin, owner of Small Changes, Big Shifts. She was in one of my audiences, resonated with my message, and reached out ...
  • Why Speakers Should Blog Professional Speakers: You Should Start A Blog As professional speakers, we hear a lot of advice on how to get paid to speak. One piece of advice we’ve been hearing for a while now, is that we should start a blog. Some of us do, some of us are meaning to.  The problem is that most ...
  • How To Tell A Good Story In Business What Makes A Story Good? It’s official. Storytelling is the new buzz word, and has been for a while.  People across industries are realizing how important stories are when it comes to connecting and engaging with your buyer, your market, and your world.  But everyone seems to still be scratching their heads and wondering HOW.  Today ...
  • Friday Motivational Moment Today, this is all I want to say…
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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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