Why Content Doesn’t Sell The Speaker

As a motivational speaker with the mantra "Stand Up and Stick Out In a Crowded Market: Because nobody notices normal" I speak endlessly about the need to be different in today's economy.  And it should be the kind of different that gets us REMEMBERED – because just being different to be different doesn't always mean they will remember you. Just because you wore red shoes doesn't mean you cast a lasting impression. And what we want is to be remembered by our clients. Right?

While I speak to lots of groups, today's message is aimed directly at speakers. I believe that being different is one of the key ingredients to being heard above the noise and being booked repeatedly. Notice I didn't say "being good" is the key ingredient. Because I assume you are already full aware that if you aren't incredible on stage, you aren't even in the game. Period. 

I've seen a trend recently in my bookings. Clients are using YOUR content, but they are paying ME to deliver it. Three recent clients are using your book as the basis of their program content – but they aren't paying you to come deliver it. Now don't get your panties in a wad. I'm not stealing your material. I'm not even taking it and tweaking it. I'm telling you this to illustrate the point that content doesn't sell you. (Unless you are the original one and only nobody can touch your knowledge content author – like Sally Hogshead who is the author of her Fascinating Concept. And I still believe that if you aren't good on stage, eventually they will just use the content and not you.)

Why bring you in if they can just buy your book? 

Let me say this: There is nothing wrong with being a creator of content and selling that content. GOOD FOR YOU! ROCK ON! But if you want to be the one paid to deliver that content in person, then you need to think about how to deliver it like nobody else. That's a winning combination. And that's how you get booked repeatedly as a speaker. At least that's my secret.

That, and the fact that I'm cheap.


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.
To book motivational speaker Kelly Swanson:
Motivational speaker Kelly Swanson's website

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  1. As a motivational speaker who was fortunate to be at the Laugh Lab recently and hear/see you once more, these words are your truth. No one can deliver the Kelly Swanson show but Kelly Swanson — even if they are cheap!

  2. Absolutely right on.  We pretty much are, as motivational speakers, saying the same thing as every other motivational speaker.  So it's not WHAT we are saying – but rather HOW we are saying it.  Thanks Kelly, not only for the reminder, but for walking your "Outside the Box" talk!

  3. You are absolutly right, Kelly, and you have raised the bar for the rest of us on how we can deliver our message like no one else!  

  4. Glad you agree ladies! But not at all surprised. Because each of you already has this quality – the ability to take that content and MAKE IT YOUR OWN. We may be able to teach your content – but nobody can or will do it like you. And one of those unique elements in each one of you that I believe makes you truly incredible as motivational speakers, is your sense of humor. Funny is in such high demand, and all of you have the funny bone. You can't buy it or even learn it. It's just something you've got. And you ladies have it! 

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