Kit Welchlin has been a student of public speaking since he was a child, and he even taught public speaking for more than twenty years as a college instructor for the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.
Kit was the youngest of four sons. His oldest brother was seven years older than him and joined 4-H at the age of nine. Because Kit was too little to be out in the barns doing chores, he tagged along to the monthly 4-H club meetings with his mom, who happened to be an adult leader.
He watched kids lead meetings using parliamentary procedures, giving demonstration speeches, and delivering committee reports. Long before he was consciously aware of what he was learning through observation, he was absorbing the knowledge and skills of public speaking and leadership.
Later, Kit was elected club president of the Rosendale Skippers, then elected president of the Watonwan County 4-H Federation, and finally as a State Ambassador for the 4-H. In high school, Kit also became involved in the FFA where he won proficiency awards, the State Farmer Degree, was elected Chapter President, and later was elected State Treasurer of the Minnesota FFA Association during his freshman year in college.
Kit studied speech communication in college mainly because he was delivery banquet speeches in the evenings and facilitating leadership development camps throughout the summers. In college he was a member of the college forensics team, a nationally recognized speech team.
When a small manufacturing company came up for sale in Kit’s hometown, he dropped out of college. So, at age twenty-one he purchased his first manufacturing company, he was the youngest employee, had no technical expertise, was CEO and Chairman of the Board, and $450,000 in debt. Things turned out just fine. The business grew to three companies in three states over the next six years.
During those years when he and a brother were growing those businesses, Kit would attend professional association meetings. He and his staff would attend professional development seminars and workshops. That’s when the light went off for him to become a professional speaker. Kit left manufacturing in 1989 to launch his professional speaking career.
These are the principles about being a keynote speaker he discovered and has never forgotten:
- Top keynote speakers share practical strategies that people can put into practice right away.
- You don’t pay the price for hiring the best keynote speaker, you pay the price for hiring a bad one.
- For your events, you want to be sure to hire the best keynote speaker you can afford, because it has a tremendous positive impact on the attendance of your next event.
- You want to be sure to select from the top keynote speakers in the country, because there is probably a good reason why they are so busy.
Since Kit started speaking for a living, he has shared the stage with many top keynote speakers across dozens of industries including agriculture, manufacturing, healthcare, long term care, financial services, banking, real estate, education, construction, printing, dental, technology, telecommunications, and city, county, state, and federal agencies. He has delivered hundreds of presentations to corporate clients.
Kit a best motivational speaker has delivered more that 3,500 speeches, seminars, workshops, breakout sessions, concurrent sessions, and plenary sessions; in-person or virtually.
Kit is often referred to as the best keynote speaker participants have ever heard. Here is a sample of what people say about Kit’s presentations.
“On behalf of the Iowa Land Title Association Board of Directors and convention attendees, thank you for your presentation on “Change and Chaos” at the ILTA Annual Convention in Waterloo, Iowa. Your interactive message was inspirational and humorous, and the ILTA received excellent evaluation results regarding your presentation. Your participation in our convention helped to ensure the success of the meeting by exceeding our expectations.”
Jan Gemar, Executive Director, Iowa Land Title Association
“The content of Kit’s programs are 100% customized to our clients. He puts in a great deal of work and research to thoroughly understand our client’s culture, mission and climate and is able to deliver relevant, useful, and applicable information to the audiences. Aside from his professional approach, Kit is a gem of a guy and is one of the most enjoyable personalities with whom I have had the chance to collaborate. I would recommend Kit to any organization looking to improve their team’s service and communication. He has the very rare ability to impart serious subjects in a fun, humorous and entertaining way. His purposeful message sticks with his listeners, and there’s not much more you could ask of a speaker. I look forward to working with Kit for years to come. And to hearing many, many more praises from my clients about his outstanding work.”
Angela Cox, Midwest Speakers Bureau, Inc.
“I have worked with Kit for years. I have booked him with many clients in many industries on a wide variety of topics, and one thing always remains the same: my clients are always happy with Kit’s presentations. He consistently shows up prepared to deliver and my clients are always satisfied with the results. He’s smart, talented, funny, relevant and trustworthy! A VERY hard act to follow!”
Sheila Harris, Preferred Speakers and Entertainment
“Kit Welchlin is a speaker who is very easy to work with, and who sincerely cares about the success of each organization’s event. He takes the time to make sure his content will be right on target. My team and I recommend him regularly to our clients.”
Holly Zelinsky, Nationally Speaking Inc.
“I have had the honor & pleasure of working with Kit Welchlin as a professional speaker, trainer, workshop facilitator for 5 years and he always exceeds the expectations for my clients. It’s so much fun for me to contact a client after Kit’s presentation and hear all the glowing reviews – his great energy – his wit and humor – and the important takeaways that the audience gleans from his presentations. Clients will bring him back several times because they learn so much each time. Kit truly “walks the talk” – nothing ever seems to stress him out – he is always pleasant – thoughtful – and looks at challenges in a positive, innovative manner. He is on a never-ending quest for knowledge –always reading new business books – attending seminars and learning from everyone around him. His information is truly cutting edge. Kit garners raving fans daily – people remember him after 20 years – he’s timeless! A true – genuine – high energy – educational journey with Kit Welchlin!”
Devie Hagen, Elan Speakers Agency
“Not only was your presentation educational and informative, you were very high energy and extremely funny in presenting the material. You kept us all entertained and we walked away with skills to deal with communicating across the generations at work.”
Linda F. Stageberg, President, Upper Midwest Membership Directors Association
“We appreciate your willingness to share your knowledge and experience with our attendees. Feedback from session participants: ‘Kit Welchlin has always been a wonderful motivating and educational speaker. I really enjoyed this session!’ ‘This is the second time I have heard Kit speak and no matter what he is speaking about I think I would attend just to hear him!’”
Jodi Roesler, WISHRM
“Thank you for being a part of the conference. Comments we heard at the show, from attendees, moderators and exhibitors have been fantastic. You do tremendous work!!!”
Cary Swenson, Director, South Dakota Safety Council, Inc.
“We received feedback from several people that their favorite element of this year’s convention was your presentation. The laughter during your session was great to see.”
Lori Laiduly, Paralegal Association
“Kit, it was a pleasure working with you. Thank you again for speaking at this conference and contributing to its overall success. Your sessions received the following comments: ‘The energy and humor is appreciated.’ ‘Excellent speaker. Very entertaining and knowledgeable!’ ‘Covered lots of information quickly and in an entertaining fashion – nice job.’”
Lynn Kletscher, Society of Certified Public Accountants
“I want to extend my most sincere gratitude to you for your excellent presentation entitled, ‘Change! Are You Surviving or Thriving?’ Your presentation was informative, interesting, and most importantly, thought provoking.”
Ron Gjerde, Association of Cemeteries
Sometimes people are tasked to find a keynote speaker. If you do an internet search and type in something like “keynote speaker hire” you may find four or five pages of ads about how to hire a keynote speaker.
If you do an internet search such as “keynote speaker for conference” you might not find the perfect speaker for your event. If you need to hire a corporate keynote speaker for your next event or association meeting, you can’t go wrong if you hire Kit Welchlin.