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Faceplant: Lessons For When Life Trips You Up

The one-of-a-kind presentation that teaches students to take big risks, overcome the fear of failure, and launch themselves to success.


Hi! I’m Amanda, and I’m a youth motivational speaker. I created this presentation to contain the message I wish I had heard as a young person, before I experienced risk, failure and success in the “real world.” But before I get to that, let me tell you about the core messages of my talk.

The Faceplant presentation:

  • Shares my story of expectations, failure and finding the right kind of success (there’s more than one!)
  • Encourages students to dream and pursue the goals they’ve been too scared to attempt
  • Takes the fear out of failing by showing how easy it is to turn negative experiences into positive ones
  • Demonstrates that success follows failure (so get to trying!)
  • Shows what resilience means and why it is so important in all aspects of reaching your goals
  • Asks students to live up to their fullest potential


Unique in its approach, this talk stems from my own hard-won wisdom.


Let me explain.

I wouldn’t be the joyful, successful youth motivational speaker today if it weren’t for a life-altering failure.

A few years back, I took a huge risk to start my own business selling tickets to international sporting events. It was the achievement of a lifelong goal. Owning my own business. Having no boss. Life on my own terms. And yes, even making lots of money.

At some point along the way, my motivation for continuing on this journey changed. Instead of working to serve people, I started to do it out of greed. A deep part of me knew that there was more out there—a life of purpose and service—but I just couldn’t leave the money.

To make a long story short (and to spare myself from writing out all of the gory details), someone destroyed my business, slandered my name in international headlines, and put me at risk of going to jail for potentially decades. It was the lowest point in my life. I didn’t know how I’d ever recover.

I felt like a complete failure. Not only was my business a failure, but I could no longer provide for my family, my name was ruined to the point where I didn’t know if I’d ever be able to work again, and I was depressed.

Through lots of determination, support and rebuilding from the ground up, I got myself back on track.

After a few years of dusting myself off, I had an epiphany about why this event shook me so hard. Prior to this incident, I had no experience with failure.

See, I don’t remember taking big risks as a kid. I remember playing it safe, doing what was expected of me and not rocking the boat. Because of that, I never really had the experience of failing. Also, for that reason, I never really felt success that comes with doing something I believed in, strived for and achieved.

This story—taking no risks and feeling no failure—is all too common in young people right now.


While not ill intentioned, we’ve set up failure barriers for our students. We’ve done away with red ink. We’ve stopped keeping score. We give everyone a trophy. We hover so close to our kids so we can step in whenever even a small problem arises.

This is an emerging reality that, if left unchecked, can disrupt the young person’s growth and future success.

The life lessons that stem from the so-called “bad” stuff—like criticism, falling down, losing, etc.—will be MUCH more painful to learn out in the real world. Trust me!

I guarantee you that after my presentation, students will find the courage, inspiration, confidence and know-how to take charge of their dreams, conquer failure and ultimately reach the potential you know is within them.

To discuss how I can tailor this presentation to your goal or event, or to learn how to book me, please contact me.  I speak to groups ranging from 20-person classes to packed auditoriums.


Still curious if I can make a difference? Hear what teachers, counselors and administrators have said about me. Not sure you can afford to bring someone in? Check out my 7 Funding Strategies.