About Benjamin

Benjamin Mathes is a coach, artist, author, listener, and speaker who helps people maximize their creativity. He has delivered keynote addresses and led workshops for schools and organizations across the country, including Citrix, Vistage, Girl Scouts of America, PrimePower Services, WeWork, AdVentures, DePauw University, Auburn University, University of California–Irvine, and many more.


Book Benjamin to speak at your organization or event


Keynotes & Workshops

Story: A GueRrilLa Approach to Presentation Skills, Networking and Executive Presence

KEYNOTE  •  1 to 3 hours

Developed in one of the most influential underground acting studios in Los Angeles, Benjamin Mathes' approach to presentations, networking, and executive presence has been called “dynamic,” “bleeding edge,” and “a little scary.” In this presentation, he will demystify the art of acting and give you solid foundation to develop, communicate, and maintain your voice, your presence, and your story. From networking, presenting, and inspiring belief in their employees, participants will walk away with a solid process for lessening nerves and heightening effectiveness in their presentations and pitches. Whereas other presentations offer robotic approaches to presenting, Benjamin’s work focuses on identifying individual issues blocking presentation effectiveness, and gives each participant tools that can be applied immediately to tap unrealized potential.

Are You Listening: Listening to Win in Business and Life

KEYNOTE  •  1 to 3 hours

Drawing from over five years of Free Listening on the streets, Urban Confessional founder Benjamin Mathes will give you the tools you need to effectively listen in business and life.  Straight from the streets, his out-of-the-box approach will challenge you to embrace a new understanding of active listening that will help you more accurately diagnose your customer’s problems and more efficiently meet their needs. At the end of his presentation, you will know the four things that stop you from listening, how to remain hospitable in the face of conflict, and the true meaning of intentional listening.

The Career Matrix: Don’t Just Book the Job, Build the Career

KEYNOTE  •  1 to 3 hours•  Ideal for theatre students at major universities

Designed as a holistic approach to career administration for actors, this course will give each actor the tools necessary to start, maintain, and continue a career in the entertainment industry. Rooted in artistic principles developed in one of Los Angeles’ most influential acting studios, this workshop will teach you have to have the career you want without losing the life you have. Participants will leave with a clear understanding of an actor’s foundation, relating to the industry, and who to build a path towards a lasting career as an actor.

Free Listening Workshop

WORKSHOP  •  3 to 6 hours  •  10 to 20 participants  •  Ideal for students, community small groups, and workplace morale-building

Nothing translates like experience. In this active workshop, Urban Confessional founder Benjamin Mathes will lead your group through the entire Free Listening experience. The workshop begins with a detailed training on listening; Free Listening signs are made, and participants are prepped for the unique experience of listening to strangers on the streets.  After the training, participants take to the streets to Free Listen. For up to two hours, participants will offer themselves to their community as Free Listeners. After the Free Listening experience, Benjamin will guide a personal and extensive debrief. During the debrief, participants are challenged to translate the experience into their lives, leaving them with a deeper understanding of their listening abilities, the blocks that prevent them from listening, and how to apply these lessons to their relationships at home, work, or school.  





Hire Benjamin to Speak

Contact bcmathes@gmail.com for rates and details.

“Every organization could use Benjamin's work.
There's not a space too big or a moment too small.”

– Evans Jarnefeldt, Assistant Professor, Chatanooga State University

Benjamin collaborated with the Citrix Learning and Development team to produce a “Listening to Win” workshop at our largest sales event of the year. His passion and empathy resonated with sales people, systems engineers, and support employees of all levels, from front line to Executive. His ability to walk the line between creative, “real-world” research from the streets and a corporate, highly visible corporate presentation demonstrated talent and flexibility. Our organization values integrity and having the “courage” to go beyond what’s typical. Benjamin personified those values and used “real world” research that mattered to sales and those they interact with. He makes a difference in a way I haven’t seen before and hope to see again.
— Jill Hymson — Learning and Development Manager, Citrix
Benjamin Mathes is alive and ready to listen. He has a rare ability to electrify an entire audience while simultaneously making each individual feel seen, valued, and empowered. My college was lucky enough to host him recently. After each session, students swarmed him, hoping for contact with this relative stranger they instantly knew would hear things they didn’t know needed telling. As testimony poured in from students I’d taught all year long, I realized I was the stranger. I never knew I had a student who believed he was going to build a robot to help all mankind. Until he told Mathes. Or that the quietest girl in my class had a burning desire to make films. Until she told Mathes. He helped me see my students and, more importantly, helped them see themselves. Every organization could use Benjamin’s work. There is not a space too big or a moment too small.
— Evans Jarnefeldt – Assistant Professor, Chatanooga State University
Benjamin’s presence and contribution as a speaker at our event were invaluable. Being President and Chief Creative Officer of an advertising agency for nearly thirty years, I know full well the qualities it takes to engage and hold an audience. Benjamin is a true professional. With the demographic makeup of our event ranging from 15-19-year-old campers and 21-70-year-old staff, he impressively had all 1200 in attendance riveted to his message. Benjamin promotes the very basic concept of simply listening. Throughout my entire experience with Benjamin, I saw him touch a countless number of individuals who basked in his positive and accepting attitude as he provided guidance, encouragement and the knowledge of his training and experience. And even though we know intellect and experience are key, it only works and becomes real in living it. Benjamin lives and exudes an attitude of professionalism and assurance to those he comes in contact with that values them. You are wise to be considering Benjamin Mathes. I’ve already booked him for our next event!
— Jamie Varvaro – President, ‎AdVentures Advertising Consultants
We brought Benjamin to lead a session for our third annual Day of Dialogue. The students, faculty, and staff who attended his session raved about how ‘Free Listening’ inspired them to be more intentional and empathetic in their communication with each other. I wholeheartedly recommend him.
— Jeannette Johnson-Licon – Associate Dean of Students, DePauw University, Indiana
Wow! Ben put on a great presentation for our international group of 250+ qualitative researchers—people who interview individuals and groups for a living—and gave us “professional listeners” some new perspective. He reinforced that the “art” of listening is so critical to the work we do and reminded us to keep our egos out of our interactions with our participants/respondents—and he shared this all with an energy and humor that had us laughing along the way.
— Kate Wagenlander Watson — Principal, KCW Global Research
Our time with Benjamin was much more than a workshop. His refined methods of communication and teaching go beyond inspiration. He instantly pulls you in on his rich experiences, while walking right beside you on your own journey. We not only came away more aware of our personal areas for growth, but on an existential level, we grew in awareness of humanity’s need for one another. I would highly recommend anyone seeking to improve their own story of interpersonal life to explore what Benjamin has to offer.
— Trip Hughes – Arts Chair, Fellowship Christian School, Atlanta
Ben is a compelling speaker with a transformative message. He managed to artfully engage 150 middle schoolers with layers of insight, anecdotes and teaching anchored in his broad experiences. He was able to connect with and impact our community by focusing on the importance and humanity of listening. Our students still talk about him.
— Mark Vickers-Willis – Dean of Students, New Roads Middle School, Los Angeles
Benjamin Mathes is a truly inspirational speaker. When you invite him into your classroom, you get so much more than a “speaker”. He gives all of himself to the students with honesty, sincerity, humor and warmth. What is most special about his work is not necessarily what you learn from his experiences and motivational advice, but the incredible amount that you learn about your students. Ben has a natural gift for creating and fostering a positive and accepting community with a call to action. It doesn’t matter if you have a group of artists, designers, nurses or engineers, the work that Ben promotes is inspirational and relevant to any industry since his focus is on the human behind the work, not the work itself. In just an hour and a half, students (and their teachers) feel uplifted and connected to one another in a unique way that usually takes instructors an entire semester to achieve. Ben Mathes is a motivating speaker, mentor, listener, and friend to the entire group. His message of inclusiveness and self-exploration is needed now more than ever for people of all ages and backgrounds.
— Jessica Hansen – Associate Professor of Theatre, East LA College
It is not your typical sales training. It is fun and engaging. Motivated my sales team to be better just by helping them be comfortable with themselves. Feedback from the team was very positive. Immediate improvement in the performance of the team especially in meetings and presentations to customers.
— Rodrigo Valencia – SVP Sales Prime Power Services


Book Benjamin to Speak at your organization or event