"As the school counselor , I overheard countless conversations about what a remarkable speech Austin gave, and about the fact that his speech will no doubt serve as a reminder to think before making decisions, especially pertaining to drinking and driving. I can not thank Austin enough for his incredible ability to identify with the audience, share a very personal story, and perhaps change the outcome of someone's life as a result of his message. "
Jason Gregory, School Counselor, Sage Hill School
" Mr. Whitney has a firm
grasp on his audience, and he commands attention. His youth serves his purpose well; high
school-aged students, at a time in their lives when they are fully convinced of
their own invincibility, relate to him as a peer. His matter-of-fact reliving of the events
that have changed his life forever hit home for even the most
" Mr. Whitney has a firm grasp on his audience, and he commands attention. His youth serves his purpose well; high school-aged students, at a time in their lives when they are fully convinced of their own invincibility, relate to him as a peer. His matter-of-fact reliving of the events that have changed his life forever hit home for even the most seemingly-unreachable students.
What I love most about his program is that, while his speech is a harsh and sobering warning, it is even more a message of hope and inspiration. While he does talk about the effects of drinking and driving, he also focuses on overcoming obstacles and on never giving up, regardless of life’s twists and turns. In this way, I believe that he reaches every student who has the unique opportunity to meet him. I enthusiastically recommend Austin Whitney as a motivational speaker."
Amber Linehan, Co-Activities Director, University High School
What makes Austin's speech so unique is student's ability to relate to everything he says. It was just a couple years ago that he was sitting exactly where they are. Drunk driving is so rampant among Californian high schoolers and multiple strategies to combat this are discussed. His speech covers three main topics (at your choice what he can place emphasis on or what he can omit) :
The first part is about the accident, the choices made that led to it, drinking and driving (its prevalence among Californian teenagers) and its related dangers. He breaks down all the myths of youth immortality (“it will never happen to me”) and not just about being a drunk driver but also the dangers of riding in the car with someone who’s been drinking. Also with this he goes into personal detail about how drunk driving affected him and all the horrible consequences it can have.
The second part of the speech is about recovery. Austin spent 41 days in a hospital and learned many lessons that you can only learn after a traumatic life changing event. He shares what he learned mostly in regard to attitude and how it is the one thing you have control of even in the darkest of situations. Also connected with this is living in the present and not concerning one’s self with the past and the future and just gathering strength and living in the moment.
The last part of the speech is about wheelchair awareness. Before the accident, Austin didn’t know anyone in a wheelchair and since has found out that most people are very confused on how to treat people with disabilities. Austin clears up some myths and talks about life in a chair and how shares just how full his new life is.
The speech runs about 40 minutes with an audio/visual presentation incorporated. Of course it can be adapted to be shorter or longer if there is a Q & A (between 20 minutes and 80 minutes). Experiences in the past, is that the Q & A is sometimes the most fun part. Also he has experiences talking with college students and leading parent discussions.
For more information including a full speech on DVD please request a prospective client package by contacting Austin at firstname.lastname@example.org or another method of communication as shown on the contact page
Previous High School Speaking Engagements
( E15 = Every 15 Minutes Program Speech )