John O'Leary

  • Award-Winning Motivational Speaker, Burn Survivor & Author of On Fire: The 7 Choices to Ignite a Radically Inspired Life

John O'Leary was nine years old when he accidentally set a massive explosion in his home and was only given a one percent chance to live. Today, he is an award-winning motivational speaker. He is consistently given industry-defying gold stars across the board for his emotional storytelling, genuine humor and ability to empower his audiences to take back their lives and change their world. John intimately illustrates how the greatest challenges can be transformed into outstanding growth. His presentations are described as “captivating, amazing and life-changing.” 

 

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Rave Reviews About John O'Leary
Learning your story has opened up my eyes to all the possibilities in life. The three keys to overcoming adversity will keep me focused on the end result: success.

A Sample of the Groups That Have Hosted John O'Leary
  • Accenture
  • Pricewaterhouse Coopers
  • Pepsi
  • Emergency Nurses Association (ENA)
  • Midland National Life Insurance Company
  • Federal Reserve Bank
  • Keiser Permanente
  • YPO
  • Arbonne
  • Northern Illinois University
Keynote: The Power of One | [16:18] - Get Sharable Link
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In Awe

Rediscover Your Childlike Wonder to Unleash Inspiration, Meaning, and Joy There was a time when we once joyfully raised our hand high to answer every question, connected more easily with others around us, believed that anything was possible and fearlessly jumped into new experiences; when we experie ...

Rediscover Your Childlike Wonder to Unleash Inspiration, Meaning, and Joy

There was a time when we once joyfully raised our hand high to answer every question, connected more easily with others around us, believed that anything was possible and fearlessly jumped into new experiences; when we experienced our days, not as something to endure, but as a marvelous gift to absorb and savor; when we danced through our days In Awe of the ordinary moments of the day and eager for the promise of tomorrow.

Unfortunately, many of us experience life very differently today. The pace of change has never been so stunningly rapid, and it will never be this slow again. With engagement within our professional organizations waning and burnout rising, many of us find ourselves caught in a life of dogged responsibility and mind-numbing repetition, we feel disconnected and burned out. Social media reminds us we don’t measure up and mainstream media barrages us with constant negativity. The years of test-taking, relentless striving toward someone else’s goals, and the daily struggle to earn a living, have caused us to lose the sense of wonder that we once awoke with every day.

In his new book, In Awe, John O’Leary invites us to return to the joy of navigating life like a child. He identifies the five senses children innately possess, explains why those senses fade, and shares emotional, humorous and inspirational stories of how we can return to them.

Where John’s first book On Fire leveraged his life experiences and challenges as a mirror for readers to better navigate their own, In Awe specifically identifies the most substantial challenges readers face in living more fully. It then calls out the cause of those challenges, while providing practical and inspired solutions to address them.

Strengthened by the past, and empowered for the future, In Awe shows us how to seek fresh insights, reach for new solutions, and live our best lives.

Objectives:

INNOVATION: Whether they want to play professional sports, think they can fly, or expect there is a solution to every problem, children are born with a naturally curious spirit that challenges the status quo. John invites us to explore what might happen when we no longer see obstacles as impossibilities, or rely on what has always been done, but reengage our natural curiosity that asks questions, pushes boundaries, and liberates us to innovate with new ways of thinking, solving, leading, and living.

COLLABORATION: Many of us find ourselves in a society where we feel isolated, alone, and enduring an epidemic of loneliness. Yet, we once were in touch with our sense of openness. Kids are always looking to expand their world, see potential friends everywhere and aren’t afraid to start conversations with those around them. John invites us to stop building fences focusing on our differences, and instead show our vulnerability and need for others, which resuscitates the feeling of acceptance, belonging and community. Learn how to reignite an environment built on shared goals, values and focus.

EMPOWERMENT AND ACCOUNTABILITY: Despite our best exhortations, kids don’t like to play it safe, but are natural risk-takers and adventurers, dreaming big and boldly going after what they want. John invites to see what’s possible when we set aside the protectionism that keeps us safe, begin to own our choices, claim our power, and live again as if anything is possible.

The Power of One

How One Attitude, One action, And One Person Can Change the World Expected to die, John O’Leary now teaches others how to truly live. John was a curious nine-year-old boy. Playing with fire and gasoline, he created a massive explosion in his garage and was burned on 100% of his body. Given less than ...

How One Attitude, One action, And One Person Can Change the World

Expected to die, John O’Leary now teaches others how to truly live.

John was a curious nine-year-old boy. Playing with fire and gasoline, he created a massive explosion in his garage and was burned on 100% of his body. Given less than 1% chance of survival, John is proof of the power of the human spirit.

His unlikely recovery meant a journey of pain and loss that could have easily been insurmountable. However, far from being an example of someone who simply endured tragedy, John is a luminous example of thriving through adversity.

Surprisingly, this “survivor” story isn’t focused on John – rather, it is a celebration of heroes who intimately served him and his family. From a dedicated Hall of Fame sports announcer to a visionary burn nurse (and countless others), every individual involved in this 1987 fire teaches us this truth: one person can make a profound difference in the lives of others.

With emotional storytelling and unexpected humor, John reminds audiences of the significance of daily attitudes, the power of gratitude, and the impact of serving others with courage. He reawakens audiences to realize the gift of today and the possibility of tomorrow.

Objectives:

John illustrates this truth: one attitude, one action and one person can absolutely change the world.

EMPLOYEE ENGAGMENT: 70% of the workforce is not engaged. John dramatically “wakes people up” to realize their role and responsibility is significant.

CULTURE: John helps organizations build a positive atmosphere to increase creativity and productivity. Audiences learn how to reignite an environment built on shared goals, values and focus.

COMMUNICATION: John outlines unconventional communication methods to dramatically (and positively) impact relationships.

On Fire

The 7 Choices to Ignite Your Radically Inspired Life We live in a world where “accidental living” – mindlessly moving through routines, wasting countless hours on social media, or complaining about what’s wrong in our jobs, families and society – has become the norm. But John O’Leary reminds us that ...

The 7 Choices to Ignite Your Radically Inspired Life

We live in a world where “accidental living” – mindlessly moving through routines, wasting countless hours on social media, or complaining about what’s wrong in our jobs, families and society – has become the norm. But John O’Leary reminds us that just because we got out of bed this morning, does not mean that we are truly living.

What would our day, impact and output look like if we lived a radically inspired life, every, single day?

Living radically inspired means you learn from past mistakes, rise above challenges and thrive no matter the circumstances. No one embodies this more than powerhouse inspirational speaker John O’Leary – who was nearly killed in a devastating fire at age nine. Today, John inspires 50,000+ people each year around the world.

In his #1 national bestselling book ON FIRE: The 7 Choices to Ignite a Radically Inspired Life, John has identified choices to transform your life and business.

John shares the critical truth that “inflection points” – moments in time that change everything that follows – occur daily. He empowers you to realize that your life has far less to do with what happens to you, and much more to do with how you respond. Although you can’t always choose the path you walk, you can always choose the manner in which you walk it.  Are you ready to live on fire?

Objectives:

ACCOUNTABILITY: Own your wins and your failures to truly celebrate your outcomes. Discover the power of taking ownership of your life and the impact it will have on your bottom-line. Your team will replace blame-shifting and apathy with taking ownership and living bravely.

VICTOR-MINDSET: Shift your perspective to leverage your strength and reclaim freedom. First, see how perspective is coloring each of your interactions. Strive for progress (not perfection) and learn from defeat. With a new common mindset, your organization will achieve unbridled success.

Be the Light

How to Follow Your Calling to “Be Light” in the Modern World It is easy to feel like we are living in a period of darkness, with the current global tensions, political unrest, fragmented communities and intensifying violence. Be The Light reminds us that light pushes back darkness, love destroys evi ...

How to Follow Your Calling to “Be Light” in the Modern World

It is easy to feel like we are living in a period of darkness, with the current global tensions, political unrest, fragmented communities and intensifying violence.

Be The Light reminds us that light pushes back darkness, love destroys evil, God still reigns and the best is yet to come.

Most importantly, we’re reminded that as Christians, we are called to be the light. In his keynote, John shares 8 keys to empower you to fulfill this calling.

No one understands the importance of having light in a dark world more than powerhouse inspirational speaker John O’Leary – who was nearly killed in a devastating fire at age nine. Today, John inspires 50,000+ people each year around the world.

John’s poignant storytelling is a blend of emotion, humor and authenticity. His faith testimony beautifully illustrates the power of prayer and God’s presence during our times of greatest challenge.

Objectives:

DISCIPLE ENGAGEMENT: Each year, 2.7 million American church members fall into inactivity.* John “wakes people up” to realize their role and responsibility in “being the light” is significant. *ChurchLeadership.org

FELLOWSHIP: John helps organizations build a positive atmosphere to increase dialogue and connection. Audiences learn how to reignite an environment built on prayer, values and hope.

COMMUNICATION: John outlines unconventional communication methods to dramatically (and positively) impact relationships.

Healthcare

As a former trauma patient and hospital chaplain, John O’Leary is a popular speaker choice for hospital systems, healthcare associations and medical/EMS conferences around the world. John understands the healthcare profession demands quality individuals dedicated to the service of patients an ...

As a former trauma patient and hospital chaplain, John O’Leary is a popular speaker choice for hospital systems, healthcare associations and medical/EMS conferences around the world. 

John understands the healthcare profession demands quality individuals dedicated to the service of patients and families — in an environment often filled with limited resources and exhaustive schedules. Sharing from his personal experience as a burn victim, John reveals the difference between curing and healing patients. In addition, John will reignite participants’ passion for their healthcare careers — illustrating the crucial role they have in the patients they serve and the departments they work with.

For Students and Schools

From student assemblies to faculty in-service retreats, John inspires audiences to fully realize the possibility of how one can serve, love and impact more profoundly. John’s youth presentations focuses on celebrating individual uniqueness, the power of everyday heroes, and developing strong ...

From student assemblies to faculty in-service retreats, John inspires audiences to fully realize the possibility of how one can serve, love and impact more profoundly. 

John’s youth presentations focuses on celebrating individual uniqueness, the power of everyday heroes, and developing strong character. John’s humor and story-telling mesmerizes student audiences and empowers them to make a positive difference in the lives they lead at school and at home. This one program may be the most important gift you provide your students, your staff, and yourself this year!

Safety

As John O’Leary so intimately knows, one poor decision can dramatically affect the rest of your life. This poor decision not only impacts the life of the individual injured, it also impacts their entire family, organization and community. Leading the mission to eliminate all employee accident ...

As John O’Leary so intimately knows, one poor decision can dramatically affect the rest of your life. This poor decision not only impacts the life of the individual injured, it also impacts their entire family, organization and community. 

Leading the mission to eliminate all employee accidents, John challenges audiences in manufacturing and utilities to improve their safety by personal accountability — one employee, one decision at a time. While many safety programs focus on what not to do in order to not get injured, John O’Leary focuses on what to do in order to work safe, lead others, and thrive in life.

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Biography

 

In 1987, John O’Leary was a curious nine-year-old boy. Playing with fire and gasoline, John created a massive explosion in his home and was burned on 100% of his body. He was given 1% chance to live.

This epic story of survival was first showcased in his parents’ book, Overwhelming Odds, in 2006. Originally printing 200 copies for friends and family, his parents have sold 60,000+ copies, most in back-of-room sales at John’s speaking events. It was this book that first invited John to embrace his miraculous recovery and share it with the world.

John inspires 50,000+ people at 100+ events each year. He speaks to companies and organizations across industries, such as: sales, healthcare, business, safety, marketing, financial services, faith, education and insurance.

Consistently described as “the best speaker we’ve ever had,” John receives nearly 100% of his engagements from referrals. His schedule is a testament to the power of his message and who he is as an individual. His emotional story-telling, unexpected humor and authenticity make each of his presentations truly transformational.

John’s first book, On Fire: The 7 Choices to Ignite a Radically Inspired Life, was an instant #1 national best-seller; 100,000+ copies have sold and it has been translated into 12 languages. John’s Live Inspired Podcast is a top 20 for business on iTunes & Inc. magazine. His online community is 200,000 strong.

John considers his greatest success to be his marriage to his wife Beth, their four children, and his relationships with friends and family.