Because most audiences are so familiar with JR Martinez whether from Dancing With The Stars or his numerous TV appearances, it’s very common for him to take the stage to a boisterous standing ovation. That ovation is mostly for his service to our country and for what most people know he went through – the horror and scars of being burned during a military operation in Iraq. However, when he leaves the stage to a blistering standing ovation, that ovation is for the high impact and quality of his dynamic keynote speech on change, adaptability and inspiring others to overcome their own challenges.
While he could solely focus his talk on what he calls ‘the big boom’ (the bomb that hit the tank, the subsequent explosion and fire, his rehab etc) and he certainly does discuss it, his keynote speech is more focused on the change (and resultant need to adapt) he’s faced his entire life. As such, this is one inspirational keynote!
JR Martinez’s keynote speech tells his life story and even from a very young age, it’s been one of constant change, where JR has always been actually seeking out change and adapting to new environments and new challenges. This is the reason his keynote is so appropriate for any group that’s facing anything new whether it be a merger, a new team, a new competitor, a changing marketplace or a new marketing strategy or product.
JR will tell you that early on he strengthened his own core response to change, so that when the biggest change came (the big boom!), he was already prepared and strong enough to get back up (much like those who do sit-ups are able to get themselves up easier than those who don’t). He believes that you have to work on your core, so that when that big moment comes (and it probably will), you can cope with anything.
That’s the heart of his message.
His story is one of finding himself in a comfort zone and either intentionally (in the spirit of growth) or unintentionally (cause life happens) moving out of that comfort zone.
JR Martinez is a true patriot. His single mom (who had already lost a child, his only sister, when JR was 3 years old) came from El Salvador and as such, she was very acquainted with the terror and the losses involved in war. And, at the time JR was thinking of becoming a Marine, we were at war. JR prevailed over his mom’s objections (the military offered a scholarship) and he became a Marine – mostly because he believes in this country and from the time he was born, he was impressed with the idea of America and the freedoms that many of us take for granted.
At the end of his entertaining and inspiring speech, JR takes questions from the audience and that’s where he really shines. He’s a great improv actor and his off the cuff answers are laugh out loud funny and touching. During his time on stage with your group, expect to both laugh out loud and to be deeply moved. This is a keynote speech you won’t soon forget.