Richard Todd Devens is a professional pianist, piano instructor, award-winning writer, and speaker. His latest book, "Rational Polemics" was the recipient of four awards, and is considered must reading for open-minded people who think outside the box. As a speaker, he speaks on a wide array of topics, but his favorite genre is motivational speaking. As a child, he was put away in an institution from the age of 7 to 13. He has endured physical and emotional abuse, feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness, extreme poverty and debt, and severe depression. But he is a firm believer in the power of the human spirit, self-responsibility, and transcendence, and loves delivering this message to others. He stresses that you can learn from the past, but you cannot do it over. The present and the future is all we have.
Unlike many motivational speakers, he does not tell people only what they want to hear. He tells the truth without sugarcoating anything. Shouting slogans such as "Believe in yourself," "You can be anything you want to be," etc. are not enough if a person does not have clearly defined goals and takes specific action toward those goals. In his speeches (whether to children at a school or employees of a corporation), he delivers specific strategies that can be implemented after the speech is over, and throughout one's life. Sample topics include: The Law of Averages: When does it work, and when does it NOT work; Time management: When we are faced with many options, how do we decide which activity or task is most important to us? When faced with many tasks to complete at work, how do we prioritize? How do we deal with inevitable criticism? How do we deal with people who don't like us? How do we deal with negative people...who will tell you every reason in the world that what you want to do or accomplish is impossible or unrealistic? How do we persevere in the face of massive rejection and setbacks? He gives real-life examples of "rags" to "riches" stories, and of people who were considered to have had devastating handicaps, but went on to achieve amazing things.
Another favorite topic of his is how to maximize performance, whether as a musician, a tennis player, a prize fighter, or someone who wants to get into the best shape of his life. He explains why the most talented people, those with the highest IQ's, and those with the best genetics are often NOT the most successful. These, and many more topics are addressed. In addition, Richard tailors each speech to the specific needs of his audience, and spends hours in preparation. But he is anything but "academic" and dull. His speeches are full of personal anecdotes, and although very informative, his speeches are always laced with humor. His goal is to always have his audiences remember his speeches long after the speech is over...and most importantly, to utilize the information to maximize their success and happiness.
Inwood Speech to Student Group
"Richard did a great job at our annual orientation during May 5, 2018. We had a group of 250 young adults between the ages of 16-24. He spoke to them about work readiness and success. We are very grateful for input on improving the lives of many young adults."
Review by Yandra C. From NEW YORK CITY, NY on 5/5/20185/2018