100% of our conference survey responses rated your presentation as excellent! Comments included, ‘Enrapturing, inspiring, and relevant’, ‘Enlightening / good for the soul’, and a number of, ‘Great way to start our conference!’ Your keynote set the tone for the entire conference, as we knew it would
Sonny Melendrez has been the featured motivational speaker and/or master of ceremonies at over 5,000 events during the past 25 years.
8 Questions with Sonny Melendrez
What is your vision statement?
As an inspirational speaker I strive to follow the high calling of my daily work by using my gift to lift all who are placed in my path. I take great pride in spreading a message of encouragement, service, passion, potential, and kindness. Much of teaching is reminding people what they already know.
Who is your target audience and what are your topics?
- Conferences: "Living with Enthusiasm!" based on Sonny's book, The Art of Living with Enthusiasm!, "How to Create A Culture of Kindness: Secrets behind top brands like Southwest Airlines and Disney"
- Colleges & Universities: "Big Dreams begin with Small Actions"
- Companies: "A Wave of Change, An Ocean of Opportunity: How to Cope with Change"
- Non-Profits: "How Your Volunteerism Can Change the World", "Your Greatest Gift is Time", "Volunteerism Has A Sister: Her Name Is Philanthropy"
- Teachers: "Teaching With Enthusiasm! :: Rekindling Your Why"
- Students: "Conceive. Believe. Achieve. :: Big Dreams Begin with Small Steps"
It’s unusual for a motivational speaker to present to such a wide age range of audiences. Do you see that as a challenge?
Absolutely not! I believe that we are not simply our current age. We are every age we ever were. I relish in being able to reach into my file cabinet of “age perspectives” and use them to relate to my audiences on many levels. In relating to those older than me, I try to see the world through the eyes of my parents, who come from The Greatest Generation. I have a presentation for seniors titled, “At What Age Should You Stop Dreaming?”. The answer is never. To dream is to grow; to grow we must give; and to give is to live.
As an inspirational speaker, what gives you the most satisfaction?
Perhaps the most meaningful part of my experiences as a speaker are my conversations with those I meet and visit with after my presentations, especially when they tell me how I have touched their lives. At a recent conference in Texas, I had a teacher say, “I want to show you something.” She proceeded to let me read her letter of resignation, as a teacher of 11 years, that she had planned to submit. She said, “You changed my mind and have inspired me to continue to follow my purpose.” I cannot tell you how much this teacher inspired me!
You have hosted and presented at thousands of events in the past 30 years. Who are some of your clients?
I've had the honor and pleasure to work with some of the finest companies, organizations, and schools in America. Here is a partial list:
- Southwest Airlines
- USO (United Service Organization)
- The Walt Disney Company
- HR Southwest
- Los Angeles Unified School District
- The University of Dayton
- American Cancer Society
- City of Los Angeles
- Gas Processors Association
- U.S. Air Force
- North American Transportation Association
What is your mindset before delivering an inspirational presentation?
Before anything, I offer a prayer, simply asking, “How may I serve this audience?” In doing so, I ask for the strength, guidance, and inspiration to do my best. I see each person as a candle. Some need lighting, some are flickering and need to be fanned, and even those who are shining bright can benefit from validation. The wonderful part of it all is that my efforts never diminish the light of my own candle.
Who has inspired you?
The late Dick Clark was a tremendous role model. He taught me to create and grow opportunity, rather than wait for it to come my way. I admired and continue to share his passion for broadcasting, showmanship, and especially, for helping others along the way.