Robert Paylor

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In one moment, Robert Paylor was experiencing the pinnacle of athletic achievement, competing for the collegiate rugby national championship. In the next moment, his life took an unexpected and devastating turn. Robert suffered a severe spinal cord injury due to foul play, leaving him unable to move or feel anything below his neck. His doctor's prognosis was grim: he would never walk or move his hands for the rest of his life.


Even in the face of tremendous adversity, Robert maintained the drive to reclaim his life, but his challenges had only just begun. His rehabilitation journey began with battling spinal fusion surgery, pneumonia, and an inability to swallow, losing 60 pounds in only one month. He had to re-learn almost every basic human function, from feeding himself, to getting dressed, to brushing his teeth. 


Rather than let this tragedy define him, Robert used it as a catalyst for an extraordinary journey of redefining what is possible. Through an unbreakable vision and years of relentless determination, Robert can now walk 400 yards, he stood to receive his diploma from UC Berkeley’s top-ranked Haas School of Business, and is sharing the mental tools that have helped him persevere through paralysis as an inspirational speaker. 


Robert’s story has captivated millions around the world, being shared by major outlets including Sports Illustrated, People Magazine, Fox News, and The San Francisco Chronicle. As a sought-after speaker, his message has stirred leading Fortune 500 companies like Visa, Intel, Samsung, Accenture, Edward Jones, and Meta, as well as collegiate and professional sports teams, schools, and associations around the country.


Everyone is paralyzed by something, whether it be mental, emotional, or organizational. In his keynote, Paralyzed to Powerful, Robert authentically relives his journey with the audience and shares the invaluable tools that he gained in overcoming quadriplegia. His message stirs organizations and individuals to both identify and conquer that which paralyzes them by cultivating purpose in their work, fully accessing the collective resilience of their team, developing a reflexive sense of gratitude, and maintaining positivity through even the most daunting challenges.

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Inspiring, moving, and brilliant. Those are just three of the words used to describe Rob Paylor’s moving keynote delivered as a fireside chat at our company virtual company kickoff. So moving were his words around “mindset”, “the mental diet”, “gratitude”, and “resiliency” that it moved me, the CEO of the company, to tears during the interview. His story as a top collegiate championship athlete paralyzed during a game, along with the years of hard daily work to defy the doctor’s predictions is one that will move any employee, especially sales team members. HIs gentle giant spirit, manner of speech, perfect pauses, modulation, the tone was the icing on the cake. As a professional keynote speaker myself, I can say, he is one of the best speakers I have had the pleasure of seeing on stage. A key takeaway for me was his practice of a clean mental diet. If you want to feel inspired to push yourself and employees to their fullest, contact Rob Paylor.

Mario Martinez

I’ve been organizing dental meetings for nearly 30 years. Some of the keynote speakers I have had in the past included Robert Vaughn (Man from Uncle), Coach Don Shula, Cal Ripkin Jr., and Leonard Nimoy (Spok). They were all amazing. However, without hesitation, I can say that my audience loved Robert more than any other keynote I’ve ever put on stage. I would urge you to consider Robert for your next event, whether medical, dental, corporate or other... every living, breathing human being should hear Robert’s inspirational message!

Dr. Tom Orent

Robert far exceeded my expectations with his message, professionalism, and willingness to engage with the audience before, during, and after his speech. No matter what industry you’re in, you’ll be amazed at what Robert can achieve as a keynote speaker for your next event. The inspiring message will stay with your audience long after they leave your conference.

James Carrick

Rob enthralled, challenged, motivated, and inspired a room full of hardened tech professionals who have sat through too many keynote speakers to count. His message "Paralyzed to Powerful" is one everyone should hear and from which they will all benefit. Rob's stature, presence, and command of the room belie his young years. Do yourself a favor - book Rob for your next event, whether big or small. When he implores you to face "What paralyzes you..." you'll see the power of his message.

Ken Montgomery

Robert has told his story many times, but not once during my event did he seem rehearsed or insincere. In fact, Robert was so engaged and invested in the audience he voluntarily stayed beyond his allotted time to answer questions and share advice. From the pre-planning stages to the event itself, Robert's communication, generosity, energy, and kindness far exceeded all of my expectations. If you need a speaker who is amazing to work with and who cares about your audience as much as you do, I highly recommend booking Robert.

Kera Wright

Robert is simply wonderful to work with and listen to. He’s the type of guy who makes you feel like you’ve known him your whole life – chatting with a friend, type feel. He does such a great job of inspiring others and making sure he can relate to anything anyone has going on at any given moment. He truly reminds you of how much there is to be thankful for each and every day. He left our team in awe, and everyone walked away with a more positive outlook on life and their current day-to-day struggles.

Meredith Batterham