Alvin challenges his audience members to examine their current perceptions of themselves, other people and the world around them so they can then overcome the same obstacles that Alvin was able to overcome – not how to live and function with no arms, but how to be a successful, compassionate, positive and engaged human being that leaves the world a better place than how they found it.
Born with no arms as a result of the drug Thalidomide, Alvin was adopted by a family who taught him to use his feet for hands – and who by doing so gave him the gift of freedom. Alvin’s mission is to spark a worldwide Attitude Revolution. Attitude Revolutions happen because people are inspired, from within themselves, to practice cultivating a more proactive and effective outlook on their lives. Alvin knows, and demonstrates to his audiences, that attitude is not about touchy-feely platitudes or ‘thinking positive’ – attitude is how we look at and interpret life overall. It is a skill that can be learned, and that must be practiced. It is a tool that can be used. Most importantly, it can’t be imposed upon people – it has to come from a genuine place.
Alvin uses his story to challenge audiences to rewrite the negative stories they tell themselves about themselves; to stop feeling like victims in their lives and get proactive; to stop making excuses and start making choices. His fusion of storytelling, musical performance and down-to-earth humour connect with his audiences at an intimate, intense and individual level. Over 7,500 organizations on five continents have used Alvin to ignite, engage and transform their people.
In addition to being a professional speaker, he is a trained broadcaster, fundraiser, award-winning musician and bestselling author. He has earned the designation of Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), an honour possessed by less than ten percent of professional speakers worldwide. In 2009, Alvin was inducted into the Canadian Association of Speakers (CAPS) Hall of Fame.
He has appeared on countless telethons and media features, and has been the subject of two award-winning television documentaries. He has played a direct role in raising over $175,000,000 for charity.