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Todd Waites, Cancer Speaker

Todd Waites

    • Cancer Survivor, Arm Amputee
    • Keyboardist and Motivational Speaker
Full Bio
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$7,500 and Under

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Todd Waites Speaker Biography

People who know Todd Waites say he has already lived the life of 10 men. Ask Todd, and he says he’s just getting started. After losing his complete arm and shoulder to cancer at 14 years of age followed by nearly two years of rigorous treatments, Todd has made the best of the cards dealt to him. 


Playing the keyboards since age 4 then having to re-learn how to play with one arm, Todd has gained worldwide respect and notoriety.  As a professional musician/keyboardist he has toured all over the U.S. playing in front of thousands of people each year, has appeared on numerous CD releases (both domestic and internationally), a double live DVD, and is a main character in a motivational book "I Work with Crabby Crappy People" published in 2012 in which he also wrote/recorded the digital soundtrack. He’s been featured in Keyboard Magazine, various news outlets, and even had the great honor of helping David Bryan, keyboardist for multi-platinum band Bon Jovi learn how to compensate when he suffered a finger injury. 


In the business world Todd has built and managed successful sales teams as Director/VP of Sales that resulted in unprecedented growth for the companies he’s worked for. Although he has success in the sales arena, the presentation to Corporations does not cover sales techniques or process. His passion is the people behind it all and their own self worth. The salesperson,  the assistant, the  warehouse staff, the receptionist, the leadership, the accounting folks, etc. If people just knew how significant they are in both their personal and professional lives regardless of title, the team would be an unstoppable force.


As a motivational speaker Todd inspires people of all ages in various settings to overcome obstacles, make the best of any situation, gain/sustain self-esteem, and to know that everyone…regardless of background, social status, job title, physical appearance, etc…matters. He brings a keyboard to the events and incorporates music into the program as he discusses his journey of going from a two handed keyboardist to only have one arm...and still playing. To book inspirational speaker Todd Waites call Executive Speakers Bureau at 901-754-9404.

Help your staff to be their individual best...and build an unstoppable team

Todd Waites has built and managed successful teams as Director/VP of Sales that resulted in unprecedented growth for the companies he’s worked for. He attributes those successes to helping individuals understand that they have it within them to reach greatness they never thought they could reach, and that regardless of position or title...EVERYONE MATTERS in the greater good.

In his professional career, Todd has worked with and developed relationships with notable companies such as Walmart, Procter & Gamble, Loreal, Merck Pharmaceuticals, Disney, Coca-Cola, and several others.

Although he has had much success in sales and sales leadership, the presentation does not cover sales techniques or process. His passion is the people behind it all and their own self worth. The salesperson,  the assistant, the  warehouse staff, the receptionist, leadership, IT, accounting, etc. If people just knew how significant they are in both their personal and professional lives regardless of title, the team would be an unstoppable force.

This is illustrated at the end of Todd's presentation when he talks about how every single note, part and instrument of a song in unique...bet they all need each other to be complete. He then records the chorus to a popular song part by part ...ending with the audience completing the song by singing along.

Have Todd speak at your church or event

Todd speaks at many churches/events and is a great message for all ages. He brings a keyboard and shares the story of when he was young and taking lessons...not understanding why he had to learn notes, scales, etc. while at the same time not understanding why he had to learn certain parts of the Bible. He demonstrates the progression of re-learning to play with one hand and how the things he learned as a kid helped him to achieve that. The same applies to learning God's word and that as time goes on…the things which may not make sense will all matter someday. He then talks about finding his purpose in Christ, and how God has a plan for every single person. He incorporates humor, inspiration, and is relevant to all ages. Todd can accompany your worship team if desired, and can do multiple speaking engagements in the same day/weekend.

Speaking at schools and events

As the father of 3 children, Todd has a passion to help kids and youth develop a positive self-perception and also learn to accept others just the way they are. He speaks at schools and events promoting the message that regardless of who you are, what obstacles you face, and what anybody else tells you…EVERYONE MATTERS AND CAN ACHIEVE GREATNESS.  

Once too self conscious to even go into any store or public event because of the stares and quiet whispers (and the not so quiet ones!), he now speaks in front of thousands of people every year. Getting from point A (arm amputation) to point B (where he is today) was quite a mountain to climb, and Todd learned very valuable and teachable lessons in overcoming obstacles, achieving and maintaining a positive self-image, the effects of bullying short and long term, and that being “different” is not negative. In each 30 minute session he shares his story, and the message that his arm isn’t what made him whole…that getting it back would not make him any better. That people who have everything often times have a poor self-image. This message is shared with personal stories incorporating comedy, inspiration, and a keyboard is brought as Todd demonstrates being a one armed keyboardist. 

His inspiration, humor, and the common ground of music sets him apart from rest and K-12 kids are drawn to him.

"The Pledge"

Todd closes the program with encouraging each member of the audience to make the pledge to:

  • Not let hurtful words or actions make them feel bad about themselves...
  • Not make others feel bad about themselves...
  • Not let other people make others feel bad about themselves...
  • Overcome obstacles and achieve greatness...
  • Not create obstacles with drugs/alcohol

He then leaves rubber wristbands (if feasible) for the audience with the words “IMakeThePledge” imprinted to wear as a daily reminder of what they pledged, and to see they are surrounded by people who took the same pledge. This is positive peer pressure!

Todd can do multiple speaking engagements/assemblies in the same day and modifies his message to fit each age group.

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