speaking

Declare Who You Are

Three years ago, I announced a website for my speaking. It wasn’t an extra page on my filmmaking website. It was something new. 

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The website wasn’t great. But it was a declaration: THIS is who I am & THIS is where I am going. 

It was the moment I got serious about keynote speaking. 

Since then, I have spoken at 98 events. I’ve shared my stories & my heart with tens of thousands of people. I’ve given hugs to countless new friends. 

Stop playing small. If you really believe, make a daring move & declare who you are. 

It might not work out the way you planned. Yes, you might fall on your face. But your life cannot change until YOU are willing to change.

Deepest gratitude to everyone who has supported my journey. Thank you for helping me be ME.

2018 was beautiful!

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This year, I spoke at 42 events across the country. 

One day, I talked to 5,000 people in an arena. 
On another day, I traveled for 8 hours & no one showed up for my session. 

Sometimes, I stayed at luxury hotels. 
Sometimes, I had to change clothes in the airport bathroom. 

I received some standing ovations. I also had people criticize me in the lobby after my keynote. 

I traveled nearly 150,000 miles this year. Some days were easier than others. 

But every moment was beautiful. 

I loved all of it. 

I’m grateful for every opportunity to share my heart & help others see the inspiring truth about themselves.

Next year will be filled with speeches all over the U.S. I can’t wait to hug the new friends I will make in 2019!

Special thanks to my wife Tricia, my family, & the team at Keppler Speakers. I couldn’t have done it without you!

Opportunity in the Unexpected

During my keynote yesterday, a bee got in the room. It landed on a guy in the 3rd row who is allergic to bees.

As I was telling a story on stage, he started shouting “Bee! Bee! Bee!”, but he sat totally still.

It took me a few moments to figure out exactly what was going on. I calmly explained the situation to the 1,200 people in the audience as we waited.

The person next to him slowly pushed the bee off with the printed program.

When it flew away, I asked if he was ok. 
Then I asked the audience if they were ok. 
We all laughed together.

I invited everyone to applaud his bravery. 
They smiled & clapping.

And I finished the story.

Every day is an adventure. Nothing goes quite as expected.

Don’t worry. These unexpected moments are opportunities to help, affirm, and applaud the beautiful souls around you.

Here’s an ARTICLE about this keynote at Heidelberg University.

Inspiring young people through Boys & Girls Clubs

I spoke at the national conference for Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

Afterward, 300 clubs requested screenings of my uplifting film LOOK TO THE SKY.

My heart is about to explode with joy!

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The film is available to them at no cost. Honored to support these heroic leaders!

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Thanks to everyone who helped make this beautiful moment possible. I love you.

And special thanks to my friends at Sony for inviting me.

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Grateful for the Moment

After one of my recent speeches, a man stood in line for 30 minutes to see me. He was in his 60's, wearing a conservative suit & tie.

He immediately hugged me. He whispered "thank you" and started crying. We stood like that for at least a minute.

Then, he looked me in the eyes, thanked me again, and walked away.

I will probably never know what our experience together meant to him. I don't need to know. I'm just grateful I could be with him in that moment.

Speaking Adventures with Heroes Everywhere!

Such a joy sharing inspiration & insights with all types of organizations!  My keynotes are filled with uplifting stories from my filmmaking adventures about the power all of us have to make a positive impact & bring more hope into the world.

My recent travels have included Sonoma, Jacksonville, Philadelphia, Orlando, and Madison, WI.

I continue to be privileged to share these experiences with heroes around the country!

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We Are Starlight

This week I was honored to present the opening keynote address at the NCSHA conference at the Fontainebleau in Miami Beach.

Watch a VIDEO CLIP from the event

I continue to have incredible opportunities to speak to business leaders, educators, and community heroes around the country. I share stories from my filmmaking adventures that show the potential all of us have to be leaders & bring more hope into the world.

After each presentation, people feel inspired to tell me their personal stories. Sometimes we smile and celebrate the successes. Often, we hug and cry about the struggles. I try to speak a blessing to each of them. Yesterday it took 3 hours to meet everyone who wanted a moment together.

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There are many things I don't understand about my life, but I know for certain that I was made to do this. And it brings me great joy.

I hope today you are using your extraordinary gifts to bless others and make the world a more compassionate & loving place. It will help others, and your heart will be so full!

Return to Hope

Today I spoke to a group of educators near Green Bay, WI.

After the presentation one of the attendees found me. With tears in her eyes she said: "Last year was my first year teaching. It was such a difficult time, and I almost lost my faith. Thank you for being here this morning. You really helped me in my return to hope."

I gave her a big hug, and I cried a little too.

As I drove to the airport, I thought about the career ahead for this heroic teacher, and the sense of possibility she will spread to hundreds of students in the years to come. What a joy to affirm her heart and play a small role in multiplying hope in the world!

So, I'm really glad I visited Wisconsin today! 

Leadership is NOT a Title

This morning I spoke in Washington DC to leaders who are defining what housing & care for seniors will look like in the next decade. 

Using my filmmaking projects as a starting point, we had an uplifting discussion about embracing our humanity and infusing a heroic spirit into their organizations. Their thoughtful questions about my work showed their heart to use their industry to make the world a better place. 

We had a wonderful time together!

A Gathering of Heroes in Kentucky

Last night I spoke in Bowling Green, Kentucky at a United Way event honoring 60 local heroes who have made an impact with their everyday leadership. 

The world is FULL of good people who are committed to the beautiful possibilities they see in their communities. Such a joy to share thoughts about leadership, compassion, & hope!

And I love my grin in this photo! 

In 1999, I graduated with a degree in Journalism from Western Kentucky University, so it was a joy to be back in Bowling Green speaking to 250 community leaders about my filmmaking journeys. 

And the President of the University sat on the front row & led the standing ovation when I was finished. I thought Dr. Gary Ransdell was a cool guy when I was in school, & it was such a unique, affirming moment for me. 

I have a feeling I am going to be back in Bowling Green for the release of our next film, Look to the Sky.

Here's a clip from the local news about the event...

When Things Go Wrong

This makes me LAUGH! 

I recently spoke at an event in Washington DC. Just as I reached the climax of an emotional story, the stage spotlights starting fading in & out. This video shows my response.

In life, stuff goes wrong. Sometimes it’s your fault, sometimes it isn’t. Either way, I find the best approach is to stay cool, smile, authentically acknowledge the craziness, and then use it as an opportunity to build personal connection and bring people together into a shared adventure.

... and, blame the Bat-Signal. 

Speaking for the Association of Wish Granting Organizations

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I recently spoke in Orlando at the annual conference of the Association of Wish Granting Organizations. These real-life superheroes are focused on bringing joy to children and adults with seemingly insurmountable health challenges.

I was honored affirm the value of their work and share perspectives on leadership, storytelling, and relationship building.

The world is FILLED with heroes!

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