Quotes From Shaun’s Champion Speeches

Everyone is talking about Shaun Hays, Chicago Chalk Champ

Everyone is talking about Shaun Hays, Chicago Chalk Champ

Over the years, I have seen my presentations amaze and impress, but there is nothing like hearing that what you do made a true difference. Here are a few people who’d like to share with you what they shared with me after an event.


“None of my friends were at the speech you gave and
I was really bummed that they weren’t, because they
missed sooo much!!! You have no idea what an
impact you had on me Thursday. It was amazing!!! I
wanted you to know I was the one person who
needed to hear that speech. You said yourself before
you left that you could guarantee that at least one
person needed to hear what you had to say and I
wanted u to know that I was one of them.” –Krystie

“Thank you for coming here. You made a lot of
people think differently.” Tamira, PA

“Your mural is prominently displayed in our main
hallway, where everyone can admire it (and
remember your inspirational message) on a daily
basis. In all my years here, I have never seen a
program so well received as yours! I was thrilled
when our students gave you not 1 but 2 standing
ovations during your presentation. Thanks again,
Shaun!” – Janet Craig, IL

“You’re an awesome artist and have given me lots of
inspiration to keep up my own artwork. Thank you so
much!” –Shelly Benson, PA

“You’re a big inspiration to everyone. Good luck
with everything.” Heather Boltz, PA

“Great message!” – Mrs. Zyler

“You have the most amazing story I have ever heard.
I was moved by it and wish you the very best in life.”
-Mary, Tampa, FL

“The assembly was awesome! Thank you for coming
to our school! You’re very talented! – Kristine, PA

“Dear Shaun, my name is Kellie Snyder and I go to
Maine West H.S. I saw your presentation last week
and thought it was very moving. We don’t have many
speakers that make a lasting impact on you once they
have left and the presentation is over. Most of our
speakers just stand up in front of us and babble on
about their personal lives, not even trying to reach us
on a personal level. Yours was definitely one of the
best I’ve seen and it was very unique the way in
which you went about getting your point across. Your
artwork is awesome and you truly have a lot of
talent…I look forward to seeing you again at our
school. Thank you for coming.” – Des Plaines, IL

“Thank you for your inspiration!” – Cindy Yanchick,

“You’re super awesome! Keep making the
difference!” – Sylvia, Arizona student Council

“Hey, holla! Great job!” – North STUGO, AZ

“Keep doing what you do!” – Ryan, AZ

“Your speech was AMAZING! Thank you for
everything!” – A. Tibbs, Senior

“Dude, SWEET! No, seriously- I’ve never seen or
heard anything like it. Keep reaching my generation
as they say. It was awesome!” – Evan R., WI
“Thanks so much for the wonderful paintings. You
are an inspiration. I admire your bold stance,
willingness to listen and do the right thing.” – Ian, IL
“You so totally rock, dude!” – Liz, student WI

“Thanks a lot for coming Shaun, and sharing. Have
pride in knowing you are one of the few people who I
cannot fall asleep to. Both your drawings and
messages inspired me. Thanks.” –Jay B., IL

“I’m sure you have reached a lot of people. You
should come guest speak at our school – we need
help.” – Kelsey Lyons, (camp attendant)

“Thanks a lot for talking, it worked.” – Ryan Wirth

“You’re an awesome speaker! I enjoyed your visit.” –
Mary Jo, Ignacio High school

“Thank you so much. You made the conference
awesome!” – Laura Elliot, IL

“You were so awesome. It’s good to have someone
like you come & talk but work comedy into it. Thanx
so much!!” – Brittany, St Joe, MI

“I just wanted to respond and let you know what a great
assembly you put on, I’m a student at Norwin, and to be
honest, I went in with the intention of sleeping. Your story,
message, and funny jokes not only kept me awake, but I
actually enjoyed it. It is almost impossible to put how much I
liked it in words, but it was just plain awesome. Anyways,
great job with the assembly, you’re a fantastic artist and i
hope to see your presentation again.”
-Ben M, Student, PA

“What can I say? THAT WAS AWESOME! AWESOME!!!!”
-Jeff Parks, CT

“You’re going to think I’m exaggerating, but it’s true: Shaun,
you saved my life!!! I didn’t think there was any hope for
somebody like me and have often considered (and
attempted) suicide. You are my H-E-R-O. If you think about
quitting what you do…don’t. I needed you to show me the
truth that day because no one else could. It’s a gift you have.
It’s been 3 years since that day and I am stronger and wiser
with my whole life ahead of me! (scary) If you didn’t come
speak to us, I would be just another sad statistic. Please
don’t ever quit, Shaun. You are a lighthouse in the storm.”
-Jasmine, MA

“I just wanted to add in how awesome your assembly was on
Friday. I seriously enjoyed it, and understanded so much of
it. You kept my attention longer then any other motivational
speaker we’ve had, and the same goes with all of my friends.
Thank you very much for coming, I had a great time. You are
a wonderful artist too! “Brandyn C> (Student PA)

“The talks and the art were perfect in each of our three
meetings. It made them all a hit.” – Paul, Reno, NV

“Thanks, once again for making our CRT conference
spectacular. The lighthouse was beautiful and symbolic and
then the way you made it come to life with the lightshow at
the end was unbelievable!” -Debbie ACRT, IL

And thats just a few…

Will yours be next? :)


Be a “RO”!!!

I have shared this story in many of my presentations and it always seems to inspire someone. I hope this written version will accurately convey the energy in which it should be delivered.


It pretty much goes like this:


Years ago I took a job selling Kirby vacuum cleaners door to door. (Yes, I was desperate.) I didn’t have much confidence in my abilities.

No one thought I would make it more than a week. In fact I heard from someone, years later,  that they had taken bets on how long I’d last. Obviously I wasn’t very impressive to them. The job was worse than difficult for me…sometimes, it was downright humiliating. I had no idea how I ended up in this place with Vaccuum people or what they were so amped up about.  Who gets excited over a vacuum? Did I mention it was a ridiculously overpriced vacuum that looked like something my grandmother might have owned when my mother was young? I wasn’t impressed on first take and it was difficult to get over that first impression no matter how much they showed me it could do. All I could think was: “No one’s gonna buy this if you just show up with it and tell them it’s well over a thousand dollars!” Guess how many I sold in my first month? I believe I sold three. Maybe four and all to family members who were “helping me”. It was weird.


After a month of discouragement and one very real meltdown, the manager decided that since I kept coming back, they would throw me a bone. He sent me out with a guy who called himself “Ken Ro”. In fact, he announced his arrival everyday by yelling to the top of his lungs in true Samuel L. Jackson-esque style: “Ken-RO is here! Whoo!” At first he scared me a little, but it seemed to always get people smiling and laughing, so I accepted his total insanity as just part of the ambiance. I hadn’t spent any real time with him however, and this day with Ken Ro was sure to be unforgettable.


Kenny looked just like Montel Williams but WAY less mature!. He talked of himself in third person. That’s not easy to get away with. Somehow it seemed to fit him. He was a riot and I learned alot about people from him. I asked him what the heck RO meant and he gave me a long winded and very enthusiastic (southern Baptist preacher style) explanation that really made no sense at all but made everyone very electrified! We were all ready to be RO’s when he was done but he concluded on a hushed and dramatic note: “You don’t just get to be RO for no reason, son.” He said. “You gots to go out there and earrrrrn that title! You… you aint earned it yet.” I laughed a bit and then asked him: “Ok, I’ll bite. Haha! What do I have to do to earrrrn it?” (He was so serious about all this too.) He looked at me totally intense (maybe it was a look of insanity?) and he said: ” You gotta outsell the BEST! You gotta outsell KEN-ROOO!!! WHOOOO!!!!!!!”


I wish you could hear the voice he did all this in too it was priceless!


For some reason, I took that challenge and even though I’m usually not much of a competitor, I went out and did just that. It took me about two months but I finally outsold him one week by nearly double his numbers and in one day (same week), I matched his daily sales record.


I couldn’t wait to see his face when he saw the numbers posted. I waited quietly off to the side to see it. Sure enough, cocky and up to that point – undefeated – Ken-RO approached the wall. He was checking his chart against the usual suspects of top sellers and his face remained quite normal… until he saw it. By this time everyone in the office had gathered to see what was going to happen. Ken-Ro’s jaw dropped so fast I thought his brain was going to melt. He stood dumbfounded for only a second and then realized he was the center of attention and quickly composed himself. Turning over his shoulder to look at me he forced a big frown that looked more like a grin and said: “OK… OK…” nodding as he sauntered my way. “SO!” nodding again but this time more menacing like he was going to hurt me now. “SHAUN…” (His fist raised over his shoulder and eyes now popping out all scary like) “ROOOOOOOOO!!!!!!” and his hand came down into my hand catching me in a bro-style hand shake that seemed to never end as the whole office began to cheer and applaud. It was awesome.


And from that moment on when I walked into work, I was greeted with a round of “Shaun-RO!” by everyone.


Why am I telling you this? Because I think you can be a RO. Just remember: YOU GOTS TO EARN IT! You aren’t as limited in life as you think. Go be a RO!

061205-N-8148A-074 - Montel Williams, a talk s...

061205-N-8148A-074 – Montel Williams, a talk show host and former U.S. Navy lieutenant commander, spends time aboard guided-missile destroyer USS Howard (DDG-83) while traveling through the 5th Fleet area of operations to collect footage for a holiday special dedicated to U.S. service members. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Burning Heart DM Chapter 9

The following is from my book The Burning Heart: of a difference maker . Installment one of a series of three Burning Heart books.

Burning Heart_Shaun Hays_cover Front

Inspirational book for teens and young adults gives youth the power to forge their future using healthy life choices that are easy to understand and apply.

Chapter 9

The Negative Flame

When we are little, our lessons are simple. Don’t touch things in the store when mommy says. Don’t play in the street. Live good and life will be good. Don’t pour chemicals you found in the trash on daddy’s new car again! (sorry flashback!) Then, as we grow older we notice things aren’t as simple as they were taught to us. You can live your whole life trying to make perfect choices and someone can come along and be terrible to you. It hurts. I call it “gettin’ burned”. Life can burn us in a number of ways. Things happen to us. Let’s just be honest: life can be really tough sometimes. Some people go through their whole life wounded from the burns life has given them. Some people seem to march on like it never happened…untouched by the negative flame.

(Read my blog entry “Untouched by the Flame”.)

The worst is when a burn comes from someone you looked up to. Sometimes the very people we think should protect us, hurt us. Most of the time it isn’t on purpose. You see, we all effect each other. In a moment of anger or fear, words or actions are chosen that hurt and burn. Your words are chosen and they effect me. Other choices you make effect my life. It really does. If you decide to do something bad or negative, it hurts people around you. Think about someone who hurt you. They could have chosen differently. You can choose too. The Negative Flame is when something that could be used to help, is used to harm… or just simply isn’t used at all.

If you choose to do nothing with your talents and gifts to help others make a difference in the world, it effects everyone. It spreads a Negative Flame. You may think it’s a small matter, but let me explain it like this:

Story Time Kiddos!

Train Land had a problem. Trains all over the country were unemployed and hungry. A huge shipment of train food was loaded into boxcars to be carried across the country to the hungry trains who needed it. A wise train man who looks like the monopoly man suggests that 5 trains split the load up. 1 to go to the Northeast. 1 to go to the Southeast. 1 to go to the Northwest. 1 to go to the Southwest and 1 to go through the Midwest. From there the shipments would be taken to every town in the country. Every one in train land agreed.

Upon hearing the plan the trains all held a grand meeting and decided to pick from among them the mightiest of trains. Five trains were selected and they set off for their destinations. One train that was selected really didn’t care about the plan or the hungry trains so, he left his boxcars sitting on the track until the next day. He went to a local hangout for trains and danced to really bad techno music all night long. The second train came to the spot on the tracks where Train #1 left his boxcars and she said “That’s not fair! How am I going to get through?” So she gave up and left her boxcars right there too. The next train came along and said “This is not good, but I will wait for help.” He slept there all night long.

The next day when Train #3 saw train number #1 he called out “Are you coming back to get your boxcars?” Train #1 just yawned “I really need some sleep! I’m tired. I’ll get it later.” Just then, train #4 appeared. “What’s all this?” She asked. “Everyone left” said train #3, “Where have you been?” Train #4 replied: “Train #5 got sick and couldn’t come so I offered to carry the extra boxcars. It’s slowing me down, but I’m feeling good. Maybe we can work together and get this done.”

The two trains worked tirelessly all day and night and into the next morning to get the boxcars to the first stop, but there was a mountain ahead and when they got over the first hill they could not go on. In fact the weight of the food was so great that they got stuck in the valley. The food rotted and the trains rusted and there was no happy ending.

Are you kidding me? That’s a horrible story, Shaun! What’s wrong with you?

Its a parable: a story with a message. The message is that every choice you make every action you take…effects the people around you. EVEN the action of doing nothing.


To order this book and receive bulk discounts for your group, please visit http://www.shaunhays.com