Motivational Speaker Says Show Instead of Tell

As a motivational speaker, I believe that showing beats telling. Don’t tell me what you’re going to do in your demo video – show me. Don’t tell me what I need to buy – show me why I need to buy. Don’t tell me you’re a great speaker – SHOW ME. And so I’m on the eternal quest to show instead of tell. And I found a new way to to do that on a recent sales call.

The meeting planner calls me and wants to talk with me about speaking to a group of nutrition specialists (aka lunch ladies). Normally I talk about what I can do, and how I will do it.  But a character jumped into my head – Just Charlie – who works in the cafeteria at Parkview Elementary School. Just Charlie is the official silverware sorter – knives go here, forks go here, spoons go here. Charlie taught me to stop focusing on why I fell, and focus on getting back up. Normally people only meet Charlie in person- during one of my presentations. But when I was talking to this woman about her event, and the group, and how much the people in that profession need to hear the power they have to make a difference – well, I couldn’t help but launch into the story of Just Charlie. Never have I launched into a story on the phone – but I have been meaning to. Because I believe that as sales people we must SHOW them what kind of experience we can create, rather than tell them. And the only way I could show her, was to, well, show her. And so I launched into the story. It’s a short story – and she held on with me until the very end. And even though I couldn’t see her – I could feel her one hundred percent present. And I knew it was a good move.

I have received a follow up email saying that the committe wants to talk with me on a conference call. And she made a point to tell me that she needs for me to tell them the “Just Charlie” story.  And I know why. Becuase she can only tell them about our conversation – and she wants to SHOW them – by having me tell it again.

So take a second look at your sales conversations – at your website copy – at the way you talk about what you do. Are you telling? Or are you showing? There’s a big difference. And it could be the very difference that gets you the job.

I’m just saying.


Motivational Speaker Kelly Swanson - called one of North Carolina's funniest women by Our State Magazine. Kelly lifts the spirits of audiences from coast-to-coast using humor, storytelling, and lives of the characters from Prides Hollow - Kelly's make believe small town. This unique approach to motivational speaking allows Kelly to break through communications barriers and connect directly to the audience's imagination.
Her powerful stories and wacky wit will make you laugh, remind you that you matter, show you how to see beyond your obstacles, and teach you how to stand up and stick out in a crowded market.
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  1. Oh nice, Kelly. A BRILLIANT way to show your motivational speaker skills, and, like you say, can be used by people in any profession. You’ve certainly got ME thinking! Thank you!

  2. Brilliant Kelly! So simple, but so unique. What better way to help people understand – show them who you are. Thank you for the great insight!

  3. Thanks ladies for SHOWING me the love with your kind posts. But next time could you please use chocolate?

    Your wacky motivational speaker who will do almost anything for food.

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