When Executives Keep The Promise – The Legend of Troy Nix AMBA

Troy Nix of AMBA pre ice plunge, ice bags in hand, audience not knowing what’s coming


This week I witnessed something I’ve never seen done on stage at any event in my nearly 25 years of attending conferences worldwide.

In Grand Rapids, MI, the Executive Director of AMBA, arrived on stage in a suit and tie, delivering a stirring motivational speech as good as any of my hall of fame speakers could give, and proceeded to prove his point about leaning into the discomfort by climbing into an ice barrel after filling it with water and ice, while cranking out more of his speech. Amazing!


Troy Nix of AMBA, submerged in front of 200 attendees, in an ice plunge giving his speech


He challenged the audience to commit to something at this conference, by standing and declaring into the mic what their promise would be, which would finally allow him to remove himself from the ice plunge. I was stunned to see the audience sit there and somewhat enjoy knowing he was suffering! A small chuckle came over the group…and eventually, a generous soul, made the commitment Troy was looking for, as he leaped from the ice tub.

Incredibly, he somewhat toweled off, and delivered the rest of his keynote in ice cold clothing, dripping and soaked, which no doubt was the tougher part of the speech!


Troy Nix of AMBA, post ice plunge, soaking and freezing, delivering the remainder of his talk from stage!


This was an incredible metaphor in his teaching, and the perfect visual to inspire and ignite a most powerful conference of learning while doing hard things.

To say this was a tough act to follow is an understatement.  Usually I get to follow executives who do their best to muster a speech, which may be the most uncomfortable thing they’ve done all year, and it’s up to me to bring the conference back up after they’ve done their best. I’m always impressed when these executives, CEO’s, founders and owners who give their big speech, and find that part a great honor to follow them.

But follow Troy Nix?  I knew I was following one of the best speakers out there, and he continues to knock me out every time I see him.

A little under 2 years ago, following my knee surgery, I took the stage in Indianapolis, IN, after seeing the Legend of Troy Nix for the first time. I was so astounded by his presentation I spent the first 5 minutes of my speech reiterating his points and performance. Even the audience didn’t realize how great it was to have him speak for them, although they gave him a nice ovation.

Here we were, less than 2 years later, when the event planner and I did the pre-event call, I asked, “Who is speaking before me?” and she said, “Troy Nix, our Executive Director”.  I had no idea he was the leader of this group! I said, “Wait? You mean THE Troy Nix? The greatest speaking executive I’ve ever seen?” She laughed and said yes, as he leads a few organizations. I was stunned he runs this one, as well, and that I would have the honor of seeing him again, and the challenge of following him.

That’s The Promise. Expectation of greatness, and then overdelivered to the audience. That is Troy.  And he did not disappoint. This time Troy created another incredible speech, one he’d never given, one I returned home and shared with my children. He gave stories of his daughter reaching Rainbow Mountain, his son doing the ice plunge as well, and the ways in which we need to Keep The Promise in all we do.

The man is a Leader, a Doer, an Example, and a Legend in Concert. This is his Signature Move and I got to see him again do something even more epic.

It was one of my favorite speeches I’ve seen a non-professional speaker give. Upon seeing it, I believe he never needs to hire me again, and should just do the slot himself. But I’m honored he thinks I’m worthy of sharing the stage with him.

How are you keeping The Promise to your Audience? We can all take a page from the Troy Nix example of leadership, and dare to do something insane to teach, inspire, and move those we lead to greatness.

I can hardly explain how special it is to see myself described as “Keynote” for any and every conference. Do you know how much work I’ve put in to have that happen? I wish there were an easier route, but simply keeping the Promise enough times has been the secret.


Enjoy SUBSCRIBING to my NEW YouTube Channel when you’re ready to improve upon Your Leadership Promise!

~ Jason Hewlett

Husband, Father, Writer, Mentor, Hiker

  • Speaker Hall of Fame * Award-Winning Entertainer * Mentor
  • World’s Only Keynote Speaker utilizing entertainment, musical impressions, and comedy to teach The Promise
  • Author of “The Promise To The One”
  • President of Cardio Miracle.  Go to CardioMiracle.com to take your health back!





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2 thoughts on “When Executives Keep The Promise – The Legend of Troy Nix AMBA”

  1. Wow! I love everything about this, Jason. You painted such a descriptive picture that not only do I feel that I was there, I feel like I was in the ice bath!!

    What a beautiful question – what insane thing am I willing to do to serve my audience?? Hummm….

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