Shelly St John

International Speaker, National Fundraising Auctioneer

A successful benefit auctioneer is about more than just talking fast, it’s about thinking like an event guest and this is where Shelly stands out. She understands the demographic of an audience at a core level, and can connect with them through engaging story development and compelling messaging delivery. She uses intellectual facts, emotional intuition, and the psychology of charitable giving to inspire guests to give at the highest level possible.

Shelly unites her fundraising experience, event planning skills, public speaking practice and stand-up comedy routine into a high-energy benefit auctioneer performance that achieves record-breaking fundraising results nationwide.

Fundraising and Benefit Auction Groundwork

Sales, marketing and public relations is where Shelly has spent much of her career. Twenty of those years were spent working for her own marketing company Primary Objective, LLC, serving both for-profit and non-profit organizations. In 2007, Shelly began her auction career in Real Estate Auctions with Sheldon Good and Company, Real Estate Auctioneers. Early in her tenure, she was asked to conduct a few benefit auctions and soon discovered she had found her calling.

Keynoter and Training

She has a talk “Audience = Performance + Stage”, An Intentional Method of Asking for YES, and Getting It, that she delivers to diverse industries across the nation to help sales teams understand their audiences on core level to increase sales and effectiveness. Click on the video thumbnail  to get a snapshot of how Shelly performs.

Shelly speaks at trade shows, conferences, seminars and corporate training events. She delivered a powerful TEDx talk “Fundraising is a Performance, Play it Like an Auctioneer” focused on Nonprofit Fundraising.

Jump over to Shelly St John INSPIRES for more information on Keynoting, Training and Performance Coaching!

The Early Years

Shelly excelled in front of a crowd as a runway model in Minneapolis, Chicago and LA. She then transitioned into the hospitality industry in marketing/public relations, catering and conference services. Planning special events from 10 – 10,000 guests, she knows her way around every aspect of planning and executing a successful live auction or fundraising gala.


As a victim of bullying as a child, and brain tumor survivor as an adult, Shelly feels that she has truly found her calling. “In all seriousness, this is the career I have waited for all my life and I have so much gratitude for the opportunity to help tens of thousands of people annually as a benefit auctioneer,” Shelly explained.

“Because of what I’ve experienced in my life, I’ve learned that everyone, no matter what educational background or socioeconomic status needs help at some point in their life. It could be a baby needing a heart transplant before the age of one; a scholarship to a special school for a reading disability; help with rent or bills while experiencing breast cancer; help with an aging parent who lives too many miles away or the adoring eyes of a dog, cat or horse in danger of euthanasia. We all need help now and then.” says Shelly.

The Beginning

When Shelly launched The Auction Divas, she did so with her dear friend and business partner, T. Sammi Diva. Unfortunately, Sammi lost her battle with cancer on Wednesday September 2, 2009. Her friendship was rare, her talent immense and her heart as big as Texas. She is incredibly missed, and will never be forgotten!

Education and Professional Development

  • Graduate — Heroic Public Speaking, a Michael and Amy Port Company
  • Auctioneer Licensing in Colorado, Texas, Illinois, Washington DC and Florida and 22 other states . . .
  • Member — Volunteers of America Guild
  • Member – Emerging Woman, United Way Denver
  • Graduate — Worldwide College of Auctioneering
  • Graduate —  VanEd Real Estate School
  • Graduate — Lowthian College

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