Expert Speaker, Author & Coach

How Close Will You Stand to Kelly STANDING?

Based on all her brushes with death on the personal side, you may not want to stand too close to Kelly Standing.

Professionally, however, you’ll want to keep her very nearby for the uncommon wit and wisdom she has to share. For more than 15 years, when Kelly wasn’t facing death or natural disasters, as a speechwriter and presentation coach, she worked with other speakers — CEOs, sales professionals, corporate and not-for-profit spokespeople and other professional speakers –to bring their own stories to life. As a successful entrepreneur with a corporate speechwriting and coaching practice, she helped America’s top executives and even a few celebrities make good impressions everywhere they went.

STANDING Ovations for Kelly STANDING …

She enjoyed extraordinary success as a speaker herself. She set, stretched for and reached one of the toughest goals in her specialty– competing in the World Championship of Public Speaking in 2001. Kelly Standing ranked among the top nine speakers in the world out of 25,000 contestants and 180,000 Toastmasters.

Kelly has worked in a broad range of industries: healthcare, financial services, agriculture, oil & gas refining and marketing, restaurants, consumer foods, real estate and retail. She helped executives find their authentic voices. They often responded to Kelly’s first drafts saying, “This sounds just like me … as if I could have written it myself … but better.” Clients appreciated Kelly’s rare ability to capture each speaker’s unique cadence and character and to combine it with their organization’s culture in the words she wrote for them.

Kelly STANDING Helps Clients See the Big Picture … Really Big…

Now, Kelly works with individuals and organizations to go deeper… to consider and craft the legacies they hope to leave, the marks they hope to make. With corporate character under attack, she urges organizations to figure out who they

are … who they want to be … where they do and do not live up to that vision … and …

how they hope key audiences will remember them. Kelly has an uncanny ability to detect overlooked strengths and unexplored opportunities

and to help correct disconnects between what people and organizations say and what they do.

Canfield’s Chicken Soup for Kelly’s Soul …

More than a decade ago, Kelly encountered Jack Canfield at a speaking industry conference, right after his first round of success with his Chicken Soup for the Soul series. She remembers him saying, “As a speaker, you’ve got to have product to sell at the back of the room. When you give a good speech, audience members want a piece of you. Even if they never open your book or listen to your CD, in that moment, they want to own a piece of you.”

Kelly knew he was right. She had experienced that public-speaking phenomenon of people “wanting to own a piece of” her after a standing ovation. At that point, she didn’t feel she had a book in her … yet … so she went home with Jack Canfield’s recipe and produced a CD titled, STANDING at the Microphone: Tips, Tricks and Tactics for Becoming a Better Speaker. The very next time she spoke, just as Canfield predicted, people lined up asking her to autograph the CD case.

Kelly admits it freaked her out. She suspected she could lose her soul or at least lose her way in their often money-driven, ego-driven industry and decided, before she took even one more step down that potentially slippery slope, she needed to get better philosophical and theological grounding. She wanted to remember why she did what she did (to help other people) and what legacy she hoped to leave. Remember, more than mostof us, she knows she might kick the bucket at any moment, so legacy matters.

A BIG Step that Made a BIG Difference for Kelly AND Her Clients …

Kelly felt called to graduate school … to seminary, wondering if she might be destined for hospice chaplaincy, given all her brushes with death … or … would she return to her speaking career with the grounding she felt she lacked? She took a seemingly drastic but intuitively inspired and ultimately perfect step. She took down her speechwriter’s shingle, dismantled her company and devoted four years to seminary, preparing herself for … what?

She didn’t know, but she listened to and trusted her instincts. To paraphrase Martin Luther King, Jr., “Courage is taking the first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase.” Kelly took that courageous first step. As part of her coursework, she spent a year as a chaplain to criminal youth. She traveled on extensive life-changing, perspective-shifting third-world mission trips. She served a large suburban mainstream church for a year, preaching, teaching and conducting older adult ministry … helping people as they approached death and presiding at their funerals. She served for a year as a hospital chaplain in a Level One trauma center dishing out pastoral care and soaking up every speck of wisdom and self-knowledge those places and programs had to offer. She says she emerged from seminary with less certainty and more clarity – a good trade off … very good, she says. If you’re already certain of something, you have no room to grow.

What Can a Captain of Industry Learn from a Former Chaplain?

If you think there’s little a captain of industry can learn from a former hospital chaplain, think again! Lately, corporate America appears to need bedside hand-holding and truth telling more than ever … and even life support and crisis intervention in some cases. Ultimately, Kelly felt as strenuously called out of seminary as she had felt called in … back to her professional speaking and coaching practice but with a new set of unconventional skills and insights that translate remarkably well into corporate settings. For example, as a chaplain, she learned the seemingly simple but profoundly powerful secret to being “the non-anxious presence in the room.” In today’s corporate atmosphere, what organization couldn’t benefit from that?

Through her professional lens Kelly has seen organizations sink or soar based on the attitudes their people hold toward change, adversity and uncertainty. She’s an expert … grounded, authentic, wise, intuitive and really really funny. Kelly’s brushes with death on the personal side have given her an uncommonly positive, even a fearless attitude toward change and adversity – one she realized she could teach because her parents and, later, her professors, patients and parishioners inspired it, taught it, modeled it to her.

Kelly recently went from speechwriter to speaker to author with the publication of her memoir, I’M STILL STANDING: How One Woman’s Brushes with Death Taught Her How To Live, already getting rave reviews.

Kelly STANDING in Your Corner …

No, you may not want to stand too close to Kelly Standing, but you will want to invite her into your office and stand her up in front of your audiences. She offers fun, practical, even life-altering lessons in resilience, overcoming adversity, adapting to change, self-mastery and legacy. She delivers keynotes, seminars and one-on-one coaching sessions that have encouraged thousands of speakers and countless executives on two continents to stand and deliver their best.


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