Making Friendlies

Olympic motivational speaker Ruben Gonzalez

In Lake Tahoe after a Presentation

I spend a lot of time in airplanes. A couple of times a year something happens that makes me feel the pilot is pretty cool. Instead of staying in the cockpit, the pilot will step outside, grab a mike and introduce himself to the passengers. Sometimes they will walk down the aisle and personally say hello to some of the passengers. That always makes me feel good about the pilot. Makes me feel he’s a cool guy.

Whenever possible, a few minutes before speaking for an audience, I do the same thing. I take 3-5 minutes to walk across the tables closest to the stage and I introduce myself to the people at the tables. All I say is something like, “Hi guys, just wanted to introduce myself. I’ll be speaking for you all in a few minutes and we’re going to have a great time. Glad you’re here.”

People love it. I’m sure the feel just like I feel when a pilot personally introduces himself on a plane.

The Benefit?

It’s huge. I get better response from the crowd. And if the audience is a tough one, I can just make eye at the people in the front row and they flash these huge smiles which energize me.

And by the way, if there is someone in the front row who does not show any emotion and has his arms crossed and a frown on his face, I pretend they are not there. I focus on my “friendlies.” Who knows? maybe he just had a big argument with his wife.

What about the lady right in the middle of the front row who can barely keep her eyes open? I don’t focus on her either. Maybe last night her baby had a high fever and she didn’t get any sleep.

So make a few friends before your presentation and don’t focus on the people who are sleeping of frowning.

Keep it simple and you’ll have more fun.


Ruben Gonzalez

Public Speaking Tips from Ruben


How To Take Your Public Speaking to the Next Level

(2006 Interview with Johnny Blue Star)


Ruben Gonzalez brings a unique experience to public speaking. As a three time Olympian in the field of luge racing, a sledding event where the contestant lies supine on a sled and hurtles, feet first, down an ice track at 90 miles. Unlike other Olympians in this area, Ruben started when he was twenty-one, an age where few would dare to enter into an Olympian version of any sport.

In this interview, Ruben brings his own unique approach to public speaking- from creating a carefully structured and intimately understood version of a basic speech, to preparing for an actual performance, from the details of handling an audience to dealing with ones own fears and goals.

Even more helpful, Ruben addresses your over-all training for the formidable task of inspiring and informing strangers about your own specialized message. His website, , supports and amplifies his credentials for bringing to this book and validating a number of our important keys to unlocking the secrets of public speaking.

Read the interview below…

Continue reading

Professional Speaking Resources and Tips


So… You Want to Become a Professional Speaker?


Several times a year, someone asks me to help them out getting started in the speaking business. I’ve created this post to direct you to some great resources to help you get started. Read on only if you’re serious about becoming a speaker…

Continue reading