Providing you with the team to create your individual success!

Linda Larsen, CSP, CPAE

Kidnapping Survivor and Funny Motivational Speaker

Kate Holgate has completed more CSP applications than anyone on earth

Meet Linda...

Linda Larsen is, without a doubt, one of the funniest motivational speakers on the planet. Her humor belies the fact that she was kidnapped and held hostage at gunpoint before escaping 5 hours later. She has a dramatic story to tell and you may be asking yourself: “How can being kidnapped be funny?” and that’s a very good question. Linda learned a lot about life and communication and how to soar above challenges that day. And after a while, she learned to find the funny even in such a traumatic event. Lessons she shares with her audiences. Her audiences laugh; they hold their breath; they laugh some more. Sometimes they dance. And they always, always learn!

I am especially and personally grateful to Linda since it is because of her that I do what I do now. I went to work with her in 2005 and was with her exclusively for three years. Due to a family emergency, I had to leave for an extended stay in Virginia and because the situation was still tenuous, I felt that I needed to have a certain amount of portability.

So, with no infrastructure and no business plan, I created Alliance for Success Speaker Management. Linda’s support was immediate and complete and she was, of course, the first speaker to join my AFS speaker family. Because of her, I discovered the speaking world and I have the honor and privilege of working with speakers who help me make the world better.

I am always touched when I see her speak. Meeting planners hire her because they want a funny motivational speaker with a message. And I love it when I see the moment that the audience members say to themselves “If she can overcome THAT, then I can overcome what I’m going through too.” It’s a powerful moment and I have seen it over and over again. I always tell meeting planners that when you first see Linda, you think that the worst thing that has ever happened to her is a hangnail. She is always smiling and laughing and full of light. And she never says “hey you there, you think you have it bad…let me tell you what happened to me!” No, she just shares her story with humor and she does it in such a way that she creates a profound connection with her audiences. Audiences who love her!

  • American Association of Dental Office Managers
  • American Payroll Association
  • Association of School Business Officials
  • Chevron Women Drilling and Completion Engineers
  • Federal Reserve Bank
  • Future Farmers of America
  • Nanston Dental
  • National Apartment Association
  • National Assoc. of Health Care Recruitment
  • Ortho Biotech
  • Texas Self Storage Association
  • Women’s International Network of Utility Professionals


Linda Larsen’s poignant message and fantastic delivery was the perfect combination to bring us near the close of an outstanding meeting. Attendees left the meeting knowing that they controlled their destiny by the scenes they write for themselves! Linda was an absolute delight!

SARAH, J. KAELBERER, Platform Chair
MDRT/Million Dollar Round Table

Linda Larsen was awesome to work with! She was high energy, funny and engaging. We have worked with many motivational speakers and have never received the type of positive feedback from participants as we did from Linda’s presentation. Her impact was so great that weeks later people are still quoting her.

LORI PRYMAK, Regional Training Director

We were blown away… You made everyone laugh and some even cried, but the best part of it was, you made people stop and think! Every day now when I am in conflict I think of your words and it helps me slow down and regroup.

Women’s Council of Realtors; Rochester, NY Network

You will forever go down in history as our top speaker for the best event ever!!!

VERONICA VICARS, Conference Chair
eBay Women’s European Leadership Initiative

Promo Video

Speaker Topics

Staying Right Side Up When Everything Is Upside Down: Achieving Excellence in Challenging Times

It is absolutely possible to achieve excellence when the world around you seems to be falling apart – IF you know the secrets. In this fast paced, fun program, Linda will give participants practical ways to light their own fire of excellence and motivate themselves to take positive, consistent action when they just want to give up. Attendees will learn what the most successful, effective people throughout history have all known and consciously applied. They will leave knowing:

  • How to acknowledge and enhance skills they already have
  • How to recognize, own and change behaviors that don’t serve them
  • How to stay level, calm and professional when their instincts make them want to scream
  • How to communicate effectively to resolve differences
  • How to take 100% responsibility for the interpretations they place on situations, circumstances and other people’s actions
Breaking the Silence: One Woman's Ongoing Journey to Mental Well-being

Linda Larsen believes strongly in the power of engaging in critical conversations about mental well-being. For too long, she, like many others, felt shrouded in shame about revealing her deepest fears. Fear that there was something profoundly wrong with her. Fear that she couldn’t possibly live with the gripping terror and depression that seemed to come out of nowhere. And fear that speaking up about it would confirm just how sick and hopeless her life really was. Those fears drove her to the brink of suicide several times, up to and including the day she was taken hostage by an escaped convict and held at gunpoint for six hours – a truly life-changing experience that dramatically shifted her perspective about life and death.

Linda’s gripping and powerful story is one of truth and hope. It’s a story that is all too familiar considering depression and anxiety have increased 20% since Covid and there is one suicide death in the U.S. every 10.9 minutes.

Mostly, Linda’s story is about the healing and life-affirming transformation that can occur when people are no longer afraid to have a critical conversation about mental well-being. It’s also about the positive impact of consciously coming from a place of empathy and compassion. She hopes that by sharing her ongoing journey to mental well-being, people will be inspired to speak up and not only ask for help, but to also offer it when they suspect it may be needed.

The Art of Providing Positively Outstanding Customer Service: How to Create Unprecedented Buyer Loyalty

Every single person in your organization IS your organization. Does everyone understand the vital role they have in creating and keeping customers who want to do business with you for life – AND refer all their friends to you? In this information-packed presentation, people will learn very specific skills to help create the kind of environment that makes people LOVE you and your product or service and sing your praises to anyone who will listen. Attendees will learn:

  • Three things about every human being that they MUST know before they ever interact with any customer
  • The #1 thing people will ALWAYS remember about their experience with you
  • The customer service words that work miracles – and the ones that create problems
  • How to de-escalate any potential problem really quickly
  • How to say “no” to a customer, or decline their request in such a way that actually leaves the person happy
Innovate! Generate! Accelerate!: Inspiring Yourself and Others to New Heights of Innovation and Creative Problem Solving

In business today, we cannot rely on past successes to keep us going. We must be continually thinking ahead, and in different and more creative ways. In this session, attendees learn how to inspire individuals, teams (and themselves, if necessary!) to new heights of productivity by challenging old assumptions and shifting perspectives. This presentation gives people the 5 essential tools they need to break out of their comfortable little boxes and be exponentially more creative. Interactive, fun and revealing!

Attendees will also learn:

  • The #1 thing that stops most people from expressing their creativity and finding that next new idea!
  • “Killer Phrases” – What they are and why they absolutely MUST be eliminated.
  • The one essential creativity ingredient that is absent in most uninspired, uncreative, lackluster workplaces.
  • Why change is resisted so fiercely – AND how to get people to actually welcome it!
  • Ten qualities of highly creative people – that they ALREADY possess. How to bring them out of hiding and put them to work.

Print & Audio

True Power – Get it, Use it, Share it: Ten Smart Strategies to Get What You Want Out of Life

As a young woman, at a time in her life when she was clinically depressed and suffering from severe, debilitating panic attacks, Linda was kidnapped by an escaped convict and held hostage for over 5 hours. In True Power, Linda writes about that terrifying, dramatic experience, along with how she escaped and the powerful life lessons she learned in the process.

12 Secrets to High Self-Esteem: Powerful Tools to Build Self-Respect, Gain Confidence and Communicate Assertively

In this dynamic presentation, Linda brings new awareness of the inner obstacles you may have allowed to get in the way of your success or happiness. Linda’s powerful real life examples of her triumph over tremendous obstacles help you better appreciate what you have and understand that you can make your life a true reflection of your finest and best qualities.

Beyond the Platform

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