“Billy was absolutely amazing. The feedback has been off the charts! I would love to have him join us for future events. The minute he started… it was pure magic!”
— Chance Garrity, General Manager, North Central District, Microsoft Corporation
“It was our honor to have you join us in Orlando and frankly, you stole the show…you did awesome! Changing lives with your music and life’s journey. Pretty cool! You’re the one changing lives Billy. Yours and then others. That is how it goes. Change the man and the world changes. Focus on what matters and people begin to focus on making you matter. That is what is happening to you. Thanks for your gift.”
— Gary Keller, founder Keller Williams Realty
“I am mailing from India and I had seen Billy perform live in Accenture office Bangalore 3 years back. I should tell you that day changed my life… My life has been really inspired by his achievements and how he faced life head on! He has inspired me when I was going through my lows in life.”
— Vishnu Padmanabhan, Accenture India Employee
“Billy has a unique ability to weave levity and music into this serious subject… He created the perfect platform to make an impact. Billy helped to rally our people behind our goal; he let them know that everything they do helps to fuel our success. The results were better than I had anticipated. Billy aligned our organization. The feedback we received was exceptional.”
— David Stefanoni, Head of Early-Stage Commercialization & Advocacy, Upsher-Smith Laboratories, Inc.
“People did not expect to be as captivated as they were by Billy. I looked around the audience and all eyes were fixed on him as he told his story. This is unusual during an after-hours event where people like to visit and chat. Whatever expectations they may have had were blown away, mine included.”
— Mark Evenstad, President & CEO, Upsher-Smith Laboratories, Inc.
“Billy forced my brain to switch to the right side and for one hour allowed me to open up the gates of creativity and innovation. Billy helped me to see business concepts I already knew, but in a creative way. My mind started racing, thinking about those concepts differently and actually applying some ideas right there on the spot. This presenter opened me up to accept the other presenters for the rest of the day. No wonder he got a standing ovation.”
— Terri Wilcox, SPHR Certified, Business Advisor, Resultants for Business, Inc. at the Spirit of Success Entrepreneurial Summit
“WOW is all I can say…thank you so much for adding the most amazing element to our Annual Sales Meeting. I cannot begin to describe the impact you made on 250+people…This is my 9th year at LSI and [this] was our best meeting ever…will you come again next year?”
— Jane Jenewein, Sales Strategic Alliances Manager, Landscape Structures Inc.
“Repeated thanks for all you added to TEDxAtlanta. It was so great having you here and having the chance to get to know you. Not only was everyone amazed by your talent and inspired by your story, but I think it fair to say most were also charmed by disposition.”
— Tod Martin, President & Chief Executive Unboundary
“Billy McLaughlin made the night magical for our guests and his efforts did not go unnoticed – so I am not surprised at the outpouring of support he received at the conclusion of his performance! He is such a ray of light and hope for so many and I am glad that he is sharing his message through his gift of music and the warm way in which he interacts with his audiences. He illuminates joy and that helps people keep the faith!”
— Koleen M. Roach, Director, Meetings & Conference Management, Securian Financial Group
“Billy’s story and music inspired and moved our members, each of whom provides services to people with disabilities. ARRM members have witnessed and supported a lot of people with great courage, yet Billy’s courage and outlook on life touched us all and renewed our energy to support people to live meaningful lives.”
— Bruce Nelson, ARRM CEO, ARRM Leadership Conference
“We deeply appreciate your visit and performance to Excelsior Elementary on Friday, April 20th. Our students and staff were spellbound and expressed being greatly inspired by your story as well as your music. Thank you for coming to our school. You made a difference in our children’s lives and their way of seeing the world.”
— Lee Drolet, Principal, Excelsior Elementary School, Minnetonka Public Schools
“Billy spoke to students as part of a keynote address called, Take The Plunge which was about encouraging students to strive to reach personal and career goals. Through the explanation of his own disability, Billy connected with our special education students in a beautiful way. His use of music and his personal story of disability and re-learning the guitar encouraged our students to try hard even though they have disabilities. It was an excellent demonstration of what a person can do with a commitment to hard work, in spite of having a disability. The students enjoyed the music even though it was a unique style with which they were not familiar. Billy encouraged the students to work hard toward their goals in career and life, even though how they do things may not look exactly like how someone else does things. We found Billy’s message to be appropriate and inspiring.”
— Shaun Adamski, Ramsey County Community Transition Inter-agency Committee (CTIC) Co-Chair and Treasurer
“Billy did a magnificent job and we’ve received so many positive comments about his presentation. A lot of our customers were quite awestruck and inspired with how passionate he is! Our company President, commented to me that we need to end all of our conferences with someone like Billy so I’m sure we’ll be working together again in the future!”
— Maria Cabrera, Event Planner, Unitron
“Billy was the highlight of our Annual Meeting making it one of the best we’ve ever had!”
— Tina M. Novack – American Academy of Neurology
“Billy was able to engage and inspire our audience with his music and story. No matter what struggle in life you are facing, Billy will give you hope and reassurance. Overall, Billy was an incredible speaker and musician who is able to capture any audience.”
— Lindsay Anderson, Corporate Engagement Senior Manager, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Upper Midwest Chapter
“Billy provided a wonderful experience for our convention attendees. His message of overcoming adversity through perseverance and determination was well received by those in the audience. His unique ability of mixing his music with his message is powerful and effective.”
— Dan Tjornehoj, Executive Director, Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association, Minnesota Veterinary Medical Foundation
Survey comments left by attendees for an Ameriprise event:
- Billy is [a] very engaging, inspirational speaker.
- Great job tying into some of our corporate principals!
- I thought this event was excellent. Billy’s message of courage, resilience and adaptation to change was excellent and relevant in so many ways. I could relate it to both my personal and professional lives. Thank you for having him come here.
- It was very appropriate and uplifting.
- Billy McLaughlin’s performance and message was excellent. It was a good reminder of overcoming adversity.
- I thought this was an amazing event and I am SO happy that I was able to attend. VERY inspirational. I heard lots of positive comments from people as I left the room.
“Billy was warm and approachable. His message adapted beautifully with the mission of our Women’s Fund. We exist to help women and girls in our area overcome obstacles to successful lives. His story spoke to us all and his lighthearted anecdotes and choice of music was appropriate and touching.”
— Suzanne Napgezek, Foundation President, Willmar Area Community Foundation Women’s Fund
“Billy, you lived up to and beyond expectations. Many thanks for making the event so memorable!”
— Connie Spartz, Board Member, Willmar Community Women’s Fund
“We loved having Billy here. [He] is an incredible musician and a great storyteller. I can’t image picking a better role model for resiliency than Billy McLaughlin–he inspired us all with his storytelling and his amazing music.
— Colleen Hagerman, Director of Programming, The Marsh
“Billy presented at our annual breakfast event honoring the work that our partners do to improve the lives of those affected by chronic illness. Billy and his staff were responsive and easy to work with and his remarks and presentation were spot on. Billy was able to mold his message into our goals for the event without losing any of his originality or personal story. It was the perfect fit for our event and we can’t wait to work with him again someday.”
— Andrea Mac Arthur, Senior Manager, Corporate Relations, Community Health Charities
“Billy recently preformed at UMR CONNECTS, a professional speaker series offered through the University of Minnesota Rochester. We hired Billy to kick off our July theme “Remarkable Life Stories”. And indeed his story and experiences not only encapsulated the remarkable but combined with his humility, compassion, raw talent, and gritty determination, transcended into the realm of astonishing. His music was breath taking but it was his spirit and genuine compassion that shone through to elevate his performance to the spectacular. As he eloquently shared in a song, his performance was beyond words and touched a place within our listeners that defied language. Thank you to Billy for an evening that exceeded all expectations. We are looking forward to having him back on campus in the future.”
— Kris Barry, M.S., Speaker Series Coordinator, UMR CONNECTS, University of Minnesota Rochester
“Billy had an uncanny way of connecting with our entire audience – through his music, his humor, his body language, and especially his very touching and relevant stories that are well placed throughout his talk. We had fun, we were inspired, we are looking forward to having him back.” August 2013.
“It was different and just as good the 2nd time! [Billy] is able to update and adjust his messages and stories for the crowd and situation and keep the humor while completely mesmerizing us with the wonderful music. Unbelievable how many people wanted to talk with him afterward, get a copy of his CD, and positive comments and reaction from everyone who attended afterward.” February 2013.
— Dan Brennan, Vice-President of Neurology, Lundbeck
— Mary Beth Clark, Supervisor, Rehabilitation Services, Mayo Clinic Health System-Northwest Region, Aphasia Camp
“[Billy’s] ability to be open, disarming, funny and engaging is rare. Often in a presentation, you get what feels like canned commentary. While I am sure that Billy knew what he was going to say, it felt more like we were having a conversation with him. The same is true when he plays guitar, it comes through him and is very soulful. I had never seen him play before; I was mesmerized. It is clear that he is a unique talent. You can’t appreciate what he has lost until you hear what he has gotten back. All we can do is deliver the message. I don’t think that I could have found anyone better to do that than Billy.”
— George Davidson, President, Secura Consultants
“Over the years I have come to realize that college students are one of the most difficult groups to find speakers that can connect with them. Billy McLaughlin’s connection with them was very apparent when I spanned the audience from the back of room and saw rows and rows of student with their phones out capturing the experience-something we have never seen before at our prior conferences. Billy not only connected with them he transformed their perspective and the energy in the room. His message was engaging, inspiring and a tremendous learning opportunity for our students. It was exactly what they needed to hear but packaged in a way that they would listen.”
—Holly Portner, Executive Director, Minnesota Collegiate DECA
“Billy’s masterful performance captivated every single person attending FPX’s customer appreciation banquet. But his humble yet incredible testimony of refusing to quit inspired all of us to our feet in applause. I have never heard a more powerful speaker and performer in my 25-year career.”
—Glenn Seaberg, Marketing Director, FPX
“Billy delivered as expected and more! Everyone was so engaged in his message and he made so many amazing connections. Billy was funny, motivational, and so incredibly talented. The audience was deeply moved by Billy’s presentation and music. The issue of FASD is a huge challenge and can often leave people feeling isolated, depressed and anxious about their future. Billy’s message of hope and resilience really hit the nail on the head for so many in attendance. It was a true gift to all of us! I would highly recommend Billy. His message and music have universal appeal and everyone needs to hear him! I cannot brag enough about what a great event we had because of Billy. Many thanks!”
—Sara Messelt, Executive Director, MOFAS
“Billy exceeded our expectations. We appreciated his professionalism and the time he took to visit with us to get background information for incorporating into his presentation, making it more personable for our attendees to relate to. We were also well pleased with his humor and musical performances intermingled throughout the presentation.The attendees listened so very intently and gave Billy a standing ovation at the end, which doesn’t happen all too often at the closing of our conference. With his gripping story, inspiring message, and his talent for unconventionally producing such a beautiful sound from his guitar, Billy certainly gave one of the best closing presentations that our event has ever had. He gets my top recommendation, hands down.”
—Marla K. Moszer, AAP, Marketing & Communications, UMACHA
“Billy did an excellent job! Everyone loved his presentations.”
—Todd Christenson, Program Manager Property & Casualty, Safety & Loss Control Risk Management Division, MN Deptartment of Administration
Survey Comments left by attendees at Otter Tail Human Services event:
- Amazing! One of the best speakers I’ve ever heard.
- So engaging!
- Inspiring, fun, funny, relatable, interesting, please have him come back!!
- Unique and different speaker than in previous years.
- Excellent – motivating speaker
- Excellent speaker, very well informed of his disability
- Great presentation!
- I loved the musical aspect to break up the monotony of just speaking
Survey Comments left by attendees at Scrum Alliance’s Global SCRUM GATHERING® Minneapolis:2018 event:
- Amazing, unique way of showing scrum practices in the real world.
- An inspiring start to the conference
- Awesome job, really paralleled his story well to what we do!
- Best Keynote I have heard in years. Clear connection, craft, great story telling.
- Billy was an unconventional speaker but perfect fit!
- Finally keynote that I left compelled!
- Great to have a non-IT person presenting.
- He was fantastic! Hearing his story really puts things into perspective. I can’t imagine a better way to open the Gathering.
- I had never looked at agile or scrum from that perspective. It opened up some interesting avenues I can use with my team. I actually had an “aha ” moment about something in my own life to which I can apply agile and scrum.
- It was a great session! I enjoyed learning about Mr McLaughlin and how his life fell into Scrum.
- So empowering!! I will use his story to motivate others as well!
- Start where you are. This quote resonated with me. Thanks so much for sharing your story.
- Such a refreshing and relatable application of scrum.
- This was one of the best speakers here.
- Loved his application of Agile.
- What a great way to kick off a conference!