Become An AMAZING Public Speaker (And Win More Business)

Jim Cathcart is an American entrepreneur, speaker and author. In 2017 Jim was voted a Top 25 Speaker (#9) out of 1,300 speakers in an online survey by Speaking.com. 27,000 people voted in this survey to isolate the Top 25. This is the 3rd year in a row that Jim achieved this ranking.

On this episode of The Salesman Podcast, Jim shares his top tips for crushing it both on stage and in the boardroom when presenting to others.

You'll learn:

Sponsored by:

Featured on this episode:

Host - Will Barron
Founder of Salesman.org
Guest - Jim Cathcart
World-Leading Speaker

Resources:

Transcript

Jim Cathcart:

A great speaker influences the audience in a way that produces better outcomes. Impact is making a difference, not just affecting people momentarily. So preparation compensates for a lack of talent. So even when you have the talent, prepare anyway.

 

Will Barron:

Hello sales nation. I'm Will Barron, host of The Salesman Podcast, the world's biggest B2B sales show, where we help you not just hit your sales target, but really thrive in sales. If you haven't already, hit that big subscribe button and become a member of sales nation. And with that said, let's meet today's guest.

 

Jim Cathcart:

Hi, I'm Jim Cathcart. I'm a professional speaker and author. Today, I'm going to be sharing special techniques, hacks as they call them, to help you increase your confidence as a speaker

 

Will Barron:

On this episode of the show, you're going to learn how to have an impact with your sales presentations, how to become a better public speaker in general, and how to get rid of the fear of speaking in front of people. Let's jump right in.

 

The Difference Between an Average Public Speaker and a Professional Public Speaker · [00:58]

 

Will Barron:

What's the difference between an average public speaker in the business world and a great public speaker in the business world?

 

Jim Cathcart:

Impact. An average speaker gets up there and delivers a respectable presentation. A great speaker influences the audience in a way that produces better outcomes.

 

How to Have an Impact Every Time You Deliver a Business Presentation · [01:28]

 

Will Barron:

And clearly this is the whole crux of the conversation here and we'll dive into … I like the word impact specifically. What does impact look like, perhaps not on a stage, what does impact look like if someone's public speaking, they're presenting to the C suite? They're doing a business presentation of sorts. What does that impact look like in that context?

 

“Impact is making a difference, not just affecting people momentarily, but making an impression that's going to last and stimulating a whole new thought activity that's going to lead to new behaviours.” – Jim Cathcart · [02:04] 

 

Jim Cathcart:

It looks like this. People, instead of watching you and listening to you speak, they're writing notes, they're nudging each other. They're silently saying, “We need to act on that.” And then at the end of your presentation, they're saying, “How would this apply to X? Or how would this …” In other words, they're thinking implementation. So impact is making a difference, not just affecting people momentarily, but making an impression that's going to last and stimulating a whole new thought activity that's going to lead to new behaviours. My son was at a recent conference and he said the presenter posed a question that had the whole audience engaged. And his audience was all very high level executives with a luxury hotel chain. And the question was, what behaviours do we do that tell people how little we trust them? Think of that. When you double check something, when you ask for a written report on something, when you do a lot of things, it's done with good intentions to document things, but a lot of times the way it comes across to the people having to do it is, “You don't trust me, therefore, I have to do this. And this is a meaningless activity. Is there another way we could prove I'm trustworthy?”

 

Want to Become Amazing at Public Speaking? Prepare in Advance · [03:28] 

 

Will Barron:

I'm going to come onto the confidence element of this in a little bit, because clearly that's the first barrier to getting up in front of people, being confident and happy in yourself being on the stage, the boardroom, wherever we are. I want to come onto the structure of this in a second as well. But is there a methodology to getting up on stage in the boardroom and making this happen every single time? What I mean by this Jim is, is the-

 

Jim Cathcart:

Yes.

 

Will Barron:

Hold on, hold on. Does this occur because we have prepared well or is this because we're in the moment and we're reactive to the audience as we're doing the presentation?

 

Jim Cathcart:

Yes.

 

“Preparation compensates for a lack of talent. So even when you have the talent, prepare anyway.” – Jom Cathcart · [04:13] 

 

Jim Cathcart:

In other words, yes we it's because we've prepared well. Because if you're not prepared, then everything's going to be spontaneous and sort of a coin toss as to whether it's going to be done well or not. So preparation compensates for a lack of talent, as a friend of mine, Joel Weldon often says. I love that. Preparation compensates for a lack of talent. So even when you have the talent, prepare anyway. I am a disciplined preparation guy. Have been for 41 years as a full-time professional speaker in over 3,100 engagements all over the world to groups as small as two and as large as 13,500. So I've had all kinds of scenarios, whether it's boardrooms or in a person's living room or in a bar or in a noisy convention hall or in … All the way up to huge venues where you're surrounded by an enormous audience in a sports arena.

 

Jim Cathcart:

But preparation is so key. But that at the same time, you've got to have the presence of mind to do what's appropriate at the moment. To understand enough about protocols and things like that to remain just a little bit detached from your performance, if you will, so that you can do what's appropriate to the moment. When I spoke for the USA Special Olympics opening ceremonies, I was the featured speaker in front of 13,500 people in the year 2010. And I had that great honour to come into that arena and address all those people and the cameras as well as the 3,800 Special Olympics athletes who were there to be celebrated. And I walked onto the stage and I knew exactly what I was going to talk about and how I was going to talk about it. But when I got up there, I felt the power of that room, the enthusiasm. And I was speaking in the sports arena and I just walked around the stage and I looked at the people and I said, “Feel the energy in this room. Just take a moment and drink it in. This is the most motivated audience I've ever addressed in my life because we all realise why we're here. We're here for these athletes.” And the audience just started applauding. It was a powerful moment, but it had no part in my script whatsoever.

 

How to Prepare For a Presentation the Jim Cathcart Way · [06:54]

 

Will Barron:

Wow. Wow. Okay. So we'll come onto the mental element of prepping before and whether you've got any person that you've … And we'll get some industry secrets from you or Jim secrets. We'll get anything you do to get yourself pumped up, motivated, warmed up to speak in front of an audience in a second. But what do you do to prep before from a content standpoint? What do you need to know about the event? What do you need to know about the boardroom meeting? What do you need to know about the audience? And what do you do to pull all that together so you've got a good idea, great idea of what you're going to … At least the gist of what you're going to say before you get on stage.

 

Jim Cathcart:

The listeners need to understand that I've been paid, well paid, to speak 3,100 times. So you don't get those kind of gigs without having a system that assures that every time you're going to be good. Good enough to pay for. A lot of people say to me, “I'm a good speaker so how do I get engagements? I say, “Well, are you a good speaker when the building catches on fire and you're the only one with a microphone and you have to evacuate the audience?” I've had that happen. Are you a good speaker when someone in the audience has a medical emergency right in the middle of your most meaningful and poignant story, and you have to stop and help this person stay alive? Are you a good speaker when the introducer insults the audience, really hurts their feelings and disgusts them and then says, “Here's a motivational speaker. Maybe he can do something with you.”

 

Will Barron:

Wow.

 

Jim Cathcart:

And walks off the stage. All of these things have happened to me. Are you a good speaker when the room is so cold, people are huddling together because they're miserably cold or when it's so hot that everyone's picking up pieces of paper and fanning themselves? And are you a good speaker when they told you had a one hour presentation and now your speaker before you and the one before him or her went overtime badly and no one told them to stop and you've got 10 minutes to give your one hour talk? Are you a good speaker when someone comes into the room and says, “Ladies and gentlemen, the president's been shot.”? That happened to me when Ronald Reagan was shot. Are you a good speaker when the deal changes? You get to the meeting and they say, “We changed our mind. There's been a hostile takeover and we're no longer trying to increase our customer service satisfaction numbers. What we're trying to do now is figure out whether we're still going to have a job next Monday.”

 

“The speaker doesn't count. The audience doesn't count. The message doesn't count. What counts is only one thing: what this audience can do with this message when you're through. That's the only thing that matters.” – Jim Cathcart · [09:29] 

 

Jim Cathcart:

All of these things have occurred for me. And that's what I mean. Good speaker. Yeah. Well, the speaker doesn't count. The audience doesn't count. The message doesn't count. What counts is only one thing. What this audience can do with this message when you're through. That's the only thing that matters. So if you understand that, then you don't have to get up there and be a perfect presenter. And sit there or stand there and make sure each gesture is meaningful and that your eye contact goes to this side and to that side. No. Be genuine. Tell the truth for heaven's sakes. I mean, if you get up and let's say there's some horrible smell in the room coming from a factory down the road, and it's coming through the windows.

 

Will Barron:

I thought you were going to say from out of a speaker then.

 

Jim Cathcart:

Yeah. If no one acknowledges that, everyone in the audience is going to be talking about it anyway. Nonverbally or verbally, they're going to be communicating with each other about it. So if it were me and let's say some paper factory down the road, the wind has changed and it's blowing that awful smell into the room, then I would get up on the stage and if nobody else had said anything, I would say, “Whew, what are you guys cooking for lunch?” Or something like that. And then I'd get a laugh out of the audience and I'd say, “I'm hoping my message doesn't have the same aroma that that factory down the road has. Let me tell you what I'm here for today.” And then I'd shift to business. Well, sometimes there's things you should ignore, but usually you should acknowledge whatever is distracting to the group and then go right ahead.

 

Jim Cathcart:

But in your preparation, you need to know who they are, what they do, why it matters, why it matters to their customer, why it matters in the world, why it matters to them personally. Okay. And why your message would be useful for them to understand. So that means go to their website and read every single page. “Well, I don't have to.” Yeah, I know you don't have to, but I do. And my colleagues who are at my level in the hall of fame for professional speakers, that's what we do. We read every single page of a customer's website. We want to know who they are, how they say that to the world, what's the language they use. Because there's always some lingo, some internal jargon that is used by the group. I want to know what their products or services are, how they describe the way that those are valuable to their clients, who are their clients, things like that.

 

Jim Cathcart:

Now, most of the people listening to this broadcast are going to be not doing big presentations to thousands of people. They're going to be doing presentations in boardrooms and in company meeting rooms and at trade shows and things like that. They're going to be doing a breakout seminar at a convention to maybe 100 or less people. They're going to be occasionally presenting to a board of directors or to a buying committee, a bunch of purchasing agents or something. And in that case the same thing's true. Know their business and know it well going in. Like when the Harley Davidson people called me years ago and said, “We want to come hear you speak.” I said, “No, you don't. You've heard me speak on video and you've seen me at other conventions. You don't want to come hear me speak. You want to know if I get it who Harley Davidson is.”

 

Jim Cathcart:

And they said, “Well, yeah. Actually, that's true. That's what we want to know before we hire you as a speaker.” And I said, “Well, put a motorcycle under me and let's ride.” And they called me back and said, “Bring a helmet and come to Denver, Colorado. We'll tour the Rockies for three days on Harley Davidsons.” And we did, and I got the job and I was the keynote speaker for the 100 year dealer convention of Harley Davidson. I mean, that was one of the best sales calls in my life because I didn't try to give a pitch about me as a speaker. I said, “You already know from my website and the material that I sent you and the video that you saw that I'm confident on stage, and I'm a good communicator, and I have a meaningful message. But what you really care about … I understand your company, who you are, why it matters, why you care about it and why others would get excited about it. And the best way I can show you that …” In the case of Harley Davidson was by convincing them that I too am a motorcyclist. As a matter of fact, I'm a life member of the American Motorcyclists Association. I've toured much of the world on a motorcycle.

 

Will Barron:

I thought you were going to say you were a lifetime member of the Hell's Angels then Jim.

 

Jim Cathcart:

No, they're a little rough for me.

 

Will Barron:

Jim, let me ask you this.

 

Jim Cathcart:

And by the way, my favourite motorcycle brand is Triumph.

 

Will Barron:

Yeah. Oh, I don't think we've talked about this before. My dad's got a Triumph Bonneville, so that's his favourite bike as well. In the UK, there's two separate lessons to get your motorbike licence. One part of it, I think you can maximum have a 125 CC motorbike or scooter essentially. You almost essentially get that. Then you have to an actual test and a theory test to get a bigger bike. Totally off tangent here, but now you mentioned it, because there's probably people listening to the show who are into riding bikes, like complete nutters like you are seemingly Jim. I did the first part of my bike test and was like, “Hell no. This is the most dangerous, ridiculous thing.” Maybe it was the British roads that are only 14, seven foot or whatever wide they are versus these big American highways that I imagine you're rattling around on a Harley Davidson, but no chance, mate. I'll stick to my Nissan GTR and BMW straight six three litre, what I've got at the moment. But coming back to-

 

Jim Cathcart:

I've got four Triumphs, and I've had Suzuki's, Kawasaki's, Yamaha's, Harley Davidsons, BMWs. And I've toured the Alps and I've toured the Rocky Mountains. And I've been in the little twisty, windy roads as well as the big highways. So I love motorcycles. If you get on the subject of motorcycles or guitars, then the whole show is going to be consumed [inaudible 00:16:01].

 

Public Speaking 101: What is a Meaningful Message? · [16:07]

 

Will Barron:

I'm going to derail us. I'm going to pull us back to public speaking. Okay. So it seems like we can work backwards. If we can reverse engineer the message that we want to leave people with, we can then suss out how we're going to give an impactful talk, message, interview, conversation, board meeting, whatever it is. So if that's the end point and we're going to reverse engineer our way from there, and we can touch on the confidence element of this in a second because I know that's clearly important to people if they are new to public speaking or podcasts, whatever the platform is where you've got an audience in front of you. What is a meaningful message? Clearly this is subjective. And is it more important to have a message which is heartfelt and meaningful, or is it the impact that the message is given in that gives it the meaning? If that makes sense.

 

“During a presentation, it's not about the message. It's about the value of the message to the people.” – Jim Cathcart · [17:02]

 

Jim Cathcart:

Remember what I said earlier. The only thing that matters is what this audience can do with this message once you're done. So it's not about the message. It's about the value of the message to the people. And this is kind of like selling. You're talking about reverse engineering. Well, a good salesperson sort of reverse engineers a purchase. They go in and they talk with a person about the value of the product in use. And then they back up from that to what do you have to do to get to that level? And what does it take and what are your options? And what makes ours the best option? And why is our pricing reasonable and how can you afford that pricing? And so on. And so you go from the value in use to the audience, to the buyer all the way back to your preparation.

 

Jim Cathcart:

And that's the way I do a speech. Someone will call me and they say, “Jim, we need a keynote speaker for our conference in Pismo Beach, California next week.” Which literally is the case, by the way. And I'll say, “All right. Tell me what you can about the nature of your event.” And by the way, before this phone call, I've already found out who the client is and I've been to their website and I've studied many pages of their website, just making observations about what seems obvious and what is the underlying running theme or thread that goes throughout the entire website. And so I've got that in mind and I can ask questions. I don't do a written summary of the entire website and waste a great deal of time just duplicating what I see on the screen.

 

Jim Cathcart:

I ask, “What does this mean? How is this valuable? Why would they say that? It seems like every third page of the website, they say that same thing again. I wonder what that means.” And those sort of things. Or I'll say, “Wait a minute, this was flowing one, two, three. 17? What happened to four, five, six, et cetera?” So I'll make those notes. And then when I'm on the phone with them, I'll say, “Well, tell me a little about your conference. Who's attending the conference and what are they coming for?” And, “Oh, they have to be at the conference. It's required for educational credentials each year, otherwise you don't get re-certified.” Ah, okay, this is required education. That's one answer. Here's another one. “They're coming to the conference because we've got a new owner and the board of directors has told us we're going to have to reconsider many of the things we do.”

 

Jim Cathcart:

So this is a whole new open minded thinking thing, plus a what are the marching orders going to be from this person? There's a thousand reasons that they could come up with for their conference. And then I say, “Well, I was on your website and I noticed a couple of things.” And I point those out to them and they say, “Oh yeah, you have already been to our website?” Bing. All of a sudden they're impressed with one thing. I've done my homework. Two, they say, “Oh, we hadn't updated our website in a while so I didn't know that was still on there. Hey, make sure we take that off the website, will you? Okay. Yeah. Now back to you, Jim.” Right? And so I'm helping them already. And then they say, “Well, something Jim, that most people don't understand about our industry is …” Blank. And they tell me something and maybe that changes the whole context of what I was going to be discussing with them. Now, what you and I just went through in that little dialogue, monologue I guess, was what goes on for me, a professional speaker. What goes on with most people when they're preparing for a presentation is so very different from that.

 

How to Have an Impactful Presentation every time · [20:57] 

 

Will Barron:

Well, Jim, let's put it in the context of, and this is what I've experienced when I worked in medical device sales. Here in the UK, we have the NHS government organisation. If they spend, I think it was like 57 grand, which was essentially every deal I ever did, we'd have to go to tender. In which case, hopefully we've got the tenders written around our product and we've already won the business. So that's one side for a second. I would occasionally get a phone call of, “We'd love you to come in, present to a …” So there'd be a mixed group of the key surgeon, the hospital director, perhaps the CFO in the room as well, then nursing staff and end users. And essentially you'd maybe bring in products. You wouldn't have to the whole time. And you'd have to present to them the value of the product, the service, the organisation, the back end of the organisation and what we can do to keep everything running and moving.

 

Will Barron:

And as we're talking here, I literally would describe every single thing I've just went through then. The presentation would be, “We do this, this, this, and this. Please work with me.” Which clearly isn't an impactful presentation. So let's speak in that context. It doesn't have to be medical devices, but you've been asked to come in to present on the back of there's a tender going out for a huge corporate enterprise deal. What should we be trying to leave in the minds of our potential customers? If we have to narrow things down to one message, one impactful, meaningful message, what should that be?

 

“When presenting, most people think about what am I going to say? Wrong thinking. You shouldn't be thinking about what am I going to say. You should be thinking, what do they need and want? What do they fear that I can help assure them that we will avoid? So you've got to be more concerned about them than you are about yourself. If you're concerned about yourself, and if you're focused on your message, I can assure you, you will become excellent at nervousness. You will become a skilled unconfident person” – Jim Cathcart · [23:17] 

 

Jim Cathcart:

There's not a simple answer to that because the answer is in them, it's not in you. See, there's the difference between professional speakers and presenters. Presenters, as a rule, most people, they think about what am I going to say? Wrong thinking. You shouldn't be thinking about what am I going to say. You should be thinking, what do they need and want? What do they fear that I can help assure them that we will avoid? What have they not considered yet that they really ought to pause and give some thought to? Because they could be wandering down a dangerous road and not even realise it, and your presentation could help them avoid a huge problem. So you've got to be more concerned about them than you are about yourself. If you're concerned about yourself, and if you're focused on your message, I can assure you, you will become excellent at nervousness. You will become a skilled unconfident person. Because you're focused on you. And that's definitely not the way to do it. It's like when I was performing the other night, playing guitar and singing. I wasn't thinking, “Okay, how am I going to play this song? Or what song should I play?” I was thinking, “What do they want to feel?”

 

Jim Cathcart:

Touching songs that'll capture their heart? Or do they want to be up and dancing or reminiscing and remembering some good times from the past or something like that? So I chose my music based on what I felt the audience wanted or needed at that particular moment. And it turned out to work just ideally.

 

Why You Need to Ask Questions That Uncover Your Prospect’s Pain Points Before a Presentation · [24:23] 

 

Will Barron:

Okay. So let's put this into a structure for the audience. And myself. I'm going to be using some of this next presentation I have to do. This goes back to just sales 101, right? That we need to, before the meeting, ask great questions to uncover what the problem is, and I like this, and I'm going to steal this. What they've not considered, because if we can illuminate that, that's a light bulb moment, right? That's a shit, the game's changed. And as soon as you go in and do that, when everyone else is talking about their products, features and benefits, you're immediately elevated to be not just a good presenter, not just a good public speaker, but then you're the expert and price goes out the window and they want to deal with you regardless, right?

 

Jim Cathcart:

I have a perfect example of that in the speaker context. Years ago, a guy … I send in advance a list of what I need for the presentation. If I'm going to do images, I'll ask to have a screen of this type and have it positioned in this place so I'm not standing in the middle of the slide projector's beam. And I give them the details that I need for my presentation. Well, one of the things that I request is a wireless microphone. In old days it was a lavalier, a neck microphone. Because all microphones had wires back then. Well, this one guy, I got to the meeting and I said, “I'd like to see the meeting room before the event starts. I want to make sure everything's positioned right and that there's time to change it if needed.” And a lot of times I have had to change them myself. Anyway, I went into the meeting room and it's, I don't know, 30 minutes or an hour before the meeting. And he said, “Oh, and by the way, do you really need a microphone?” I said, “No. I'll hear everything.”

 

Jim Cathcart:

And he said, “Oh no.” I said, “Yeah, microphone's not for me. I don't need a microphone. I'm going to hear every word I say. They need me to have a microphone.” He said, “I'll be back.” Which means I didn't get a microphone because I didn't think you really should want one. And so I said, “Please get a neck microphone. Because I use my hands and I have some props and I advance the slides myself.” And he said, “Okay.” So he comes back and I've got to step off camera for a second. Wait.

 

Will Barron:

Okay. Could be anything folks. He's going to bring out-

 

Jim Cathcart:

He comes back with one of these. A radio station microphone, which weighs about, I don't know, six or seven pounds. And he has a shoestring tied to the base of it. He says, “You can put it on your chest and tie it around your neck like this.” Seriously? That's what the guy did. And I said, “Nevermind.” And so I held it in my hand and I did the presentation to that awkward microphone in that way. But most people have no experience with meetings. They don't understand why things matter. And that's why we have to help them understand. “Do you really need lighting on your face? I mean, for heaven sakes, they're going to see your slides.” Well, excuse me, but if the slides were the presentation, you could just send them or post them online. The presentation is you. The slides just help. And I've had so many meetings where the technical person would spend all their time trying to make the images on the screen perfect. And they'd make the room so dark that the audience couldn't see my face. Well, my number one audio visual is this. My own face. Eye contact, facial gestures, hand movements, things like that. So I need to be in the light.

 

Will Barron:

Well, I've literally done what you're just describing myself with the show. And just before we clicked record, sales nation, me and Jim we're going back and forth and I mentioned that we've been working with a YouTube consultant to improve the video quality of the show. The first thing he said to me … It was two things he said. One, “I don't want to see as much of your face at the beginning of the show. Get the guests in as soon as possible.” So we've resolved that and with the future episodes, and hopefully with this episode with Jim, you're going to see a new introduction to the show. The other thing he said, which surprised me, made total sense and I don't know why I hadn't thought of this prior. No one's ever mentioned this either in the comments. But we've got this big, beautiful … My dad actually made this desk. A big beautiful desk and we've got the screens and all that.

 

The Three Things You Need to Improve Your Public Speaking Ability · [29:38] 

 

Will Barron:

The second thing he said to me was, “I don't give a shit about that desk. I don't care about the background. I want you to move the camera seven foot closer and just have essentially your chest, maybe a bit of the desk, but chest and head in the shot.” And I then pulled the footage into our video editor. As soon as I got off the phone with him and he said this, I pulled it, zoomed in. Makes total sense. You can see everything a lot clearer. I'm communicating a lot better from it. So a lot of this, perhaps sometimes you need the outside perspective. You need a mentor. You need someone to give you that guidance. So we're going to wrap up with the confidence piece in a second, Jim, but final thing on this. How do we improve? If we think that we're getting okay at this, if we're having good results, if we're leaving some impact, if we've got that starting point sorted, how do we improve the art, the skill of becoming a better public speaker, if we're on the right tracks at all? Because clearly only 1% of public speakers could do any of what you're describing anyway.

 

Will Barron:

So assuming we're on the right tracks, how do we improve?

 

Jim Cathcart:

You need three things. You need a message that people want to hear. You need a market. In other words, people. You need to know who the people are who would be interested in and willing to pay for or pay to hear that message by buying your product or service. And you need mileage. Meaning you need time in front of groups. I used to play and sing in nightclubs when I was young. I still do it occasionally now, but when I was younger, I had given no presentations anywhere ever. And yet I was playing the guitar and singing in clubs. Well, I got very comfortable in front of a group. And so that increased my confidence when I was giving a speech. But the first few speeches I gave, I was bluffing. I was talking about things I didn't know about. I was thinking only about me and I didn't have the song to hide within, whereas with a performance you can kind of get lost in the music.

 

“If you're a jerk when you're talking to people who don't have power, then you're going to lose the respect of the people who do have power.” – Jim Cathcart · [31:47] 

 

Jim Cathcart:

And so I did some embarrassingly unprofessional things and I felt horrible about it and learned to be more audience focused and more prepared and more professional in what I was doing. So I did that and I got better. But the presentation itself, it has identifiable parts. Your speech begins when you arrive on site. Because they see you getting out of your car, they see you talking to the service staff. If you're a jerk, when you're talking to people who don't have power, then you're going to lose the respect of the people who do have power. So treat all people with respect and arrive early and have your materials together and be a low maintenance speaker. Don't eat up all the air in the room. Don't require that this all be about you and accommodating you. You are there to accommodate them.

 

Jim Cathcart:

You're the presenter. A lot of people say, “Oh no, you're the VIP.” Well good. Very important preparation. Go get ready. And then when you arrive on site, be there for them. I had someone ask me in Las Vegas once, “Mr. Cathcart, we're going to be doing a run through at a rehearsal on this event opening session at 7:00 PM. Would it be okay with you …” And I stopped him in the middle of the sentence. I said, “Would it be … I work for you.” I said, “I'm day labour. I'm your guest speaker, of course. But I'm here for you. Not for me. Of course it would be okay, whatever it was you were just about to ask.” And they said, “Well, thank you for that. But would you mind coming to our rehearsal?” “Not at all.” And some speakers will say, “Well, no. I know what I'm going to do. I don't need to be there for their rehearsal.”

 

Jim Cathcart:

Well, no, not all of it, but you need to be there enough to show them you care, show them that you're a professional, and to see any last minute things that might have been a surprise to you if you had waited until later when your actual presentation was beginning. So always prepare like that. And also I write in the corner of my speech notes, L-R-A-M-A. Like, respect, and admire my audience. L-R-A-M-A. Like, respect, and admire my audience. And I always look for things to like about them that I could comment on. Don't have to, but could. Things that I respect about their company, their industry, their product, their whatever. And things that I could admire about how they're handling something or how they did handle something in the past or something.

 

Jim Cathcart:

But I look for things that I can genuinely, not superficially, genuinely like, respect, and admire. And I always have that in my mind so that if it's appropriate, I share that in the presentation. And the earlier you share that, genuinely, because it's got to be sincere, the earlier they will bond with you. Because they're sitting there wondering, “Who are you? Why should I waste my time paying attention to you? What does this have to do with me?” And I even put up a slide the other day in a presentation in San Diego. And it was the first slide of my entire presentation. And this was done in workshop style for a small group, like 30 people. And the slide said, “What this means to you is …” And so I put that slide up and I said, “By the way, today, I'm going to be presenting a lot of ideas and I want you to be asking yourself, ‘What does this mean to me?' So if I don't say what this means to you is, and then fill in that blank, then raise your hand or interrupt me and say, ‘What does this mean to us?' And trust me, I won't consider that rude and I will answer your question.”

 

Will Barron:

That's almost a good way to practise a sales present … I don't want to call it sales presentation. An impactful-

 

Jim Cathcart:

Well, it is a sales presentation though.

 

Will Barron:

But if we get rid of the word presentation and we call it, rather than sales presentation, sales pitch, some kind of impactful sales conversation. However we're going to frame it up. That seems like a good way to practise it, of having someone who you're comfortable … Because they're going to get on your nerves every five seconds when they go, “What does that mean for me? What does that mean for me? What does it …” And then you can get rid of all the filler from your presentation and you can just focus down on the elements of it that are going to have impact. I love that.

 

How to Build More Confidence When Speaking In Front of an Audience · [36:05] 

 

Will Barron:

All right. So Jim, one final thing, mate, and we'll wrap up with this. And I don't want to just gloss over it because we've been teasing it the whole up for the show here. What do we do when we get up or we're just about to get up on stage and for want of a better phrase and I apologise, close your ears, we're shitting our pants. We are nervous. We're scared. We're terrified. All hell's breaking loose. Our heart's pounding. Because I've been in that scenario. Because I speak fast anyway. If I'm like that and I don't manage to calm myself down, I'll get up and go a million mile an hour and no one can hear anything I'm saying, no one understands my British accent anyways. So it's a terrible state to get yourself in. This happened quite recently in a presentation so we could talk about that off-air another time. So how do we calm ourselves down? How do we get ourselves to get in the right state to put ourselves out there to be somewhat vulnerable, to be charismatic, to be our best self or whatever we want to call it on the stage?

 

Jim Cathcart:

Let me paint a scenario. We'll do large meeting and then we'll do small meeting. We'll start with small meeting. You're in the boardroom and you're going to be introduced in a moment and everyone in the room is looking at you. Okay? First off, have enough self-awareness to know when you're afraid or nervous like that and remind yourself anytime you feel that way the problem is you're thinking about you. Stop thinking about yourself. Stop thinking about getting your message perfect. Start taking an interest in them. Like my son said to me when he was in college and worked at a Mail Boxes Etc. store. He said, “Dad, I've noticed the people that get the most mail send the most mail.” Focus on the other people for heaven sakes. Don't just stand there and expect to receive or expect to have to be perfect. So when I walk into a boardroom, if someone makes eye contact with me, I immediately acknowledge them. Now, if someone else is speaking, I don't speak, but I'll nod and I'll smile.

 

Jim Cathcart:

And so just communicate nonverbally, or verbally if appropriate, the instant you get in the room. And pay attention. If people are looking at you, but someone else is speaking, pay attention to the speaker and they will stop looking at you and they'll follow your lead and they'll look at the speaker too. So be the best audience member in the room. And then when it's your turn to be introduced, don't start by talking about yourself. Start by acknowledging something that you like, respect, or admire about them, or make some observation about the meeting. You might be introduced and you step to the front of the boardroom and it's one of those awkward things where you have to kind of snake along the wall and get up to the spot where you're going to be presenting. And you say, “I noticed that Jane had mentioned you're running overtime and so I'll keep this brief. The reason I'm here is to give you information on the medical systems that you've been using and how the new version of it changes the game for many of you.”

 

Jim Cathcart:

And then you just present whatever it is you have to present. Or if you're presenting a services contract to somebody, it's not about the services contract. Even if you're one in a lineup of 15 presenters, all of which are pitching some kind of a product or a service. When you get up, acknowledge the people, acknowledge the reality of the circumstances, even compliment someone else. If they did a good job before you, you say, “Well, that's a hard act to follow. Nicely done.” And you look at that person and compliment them.

 

Jim Cathcart:

And then you say, “I especially liked what Will said just a moment ago about blank. And that is one of the strongest features in our product line. Let me explain how that works.” And then you just go into that. Just do what's appropriate. That's the thing. People say, “Well, how should I stand?” Excuse me. “How should I dress?” Excuse me. Be appropriate. “Should I dress in a three piece suit?” Well, yeah, if that's what's expected. But if it's appropriate to be business casual, then be one step more business like than they are. Like, if they're all in polo shirts and khakis, then you wear some slacks, maybe a polo shirt, but also a sport coat or a dress shirt or something. But not a lot more packaged than they are, but a little bit more consciously, intentionally professional than them.

 

Jim Cathcart:

Don't use profanity in your presentation. Don't use any off-coloured stories in your presentation. “Well, but I got a great one.” Yeah, I know. Save it for the bar. That's for the pub. Those kind of things. And then if it's a big meeting, when you're sitting there and you're nervous, start breathing from your stomach to relax your diaphragm and start listening to what's going on in the room instead of filling your head with, “Oh my God, what was my opening line? What was I going to say? What was I going to …” No, no, no, no, no, no, no. Walk on stage briskly, shake the hand of your introducer if he or she's staying there, turn to the audience and smile, if it's appropriate for your presentation, and greet them. “Good morning. There are five things and five things only that will keep a person from buying from you today.”

 

Jim Cathcart:

By the way, that that I just did, Will, was a direct quote from Zig Ziglar in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1979. And I was in the audience and he was the presenter. And he had a long flowery introduction given that was way too much. And he walked out and instead of saying something about the introduction, he just smiled and looked at us and he said, “Good morning. There are five reasons and five reasons only that your customer would not buy from you today.” And then he went through no need, no money, no hurry, no trust, no time, no authority. And I remember it. What? '79? I remember it many, many, many, many, many, many years later. A generation later. One presentation. Wow.

 

Will Barron:

I'm glad you said that Jim, because the only thing I was going to add to this conversation was my hack for not being nervous in meetings, sales calls. Obviously I'd be doing it in person dropping in on surgeons and saying hello to them. My only hack was just say hello to everyone and just then you're in this flow of conversation so when you meet the person who actually, as you describe, is power or has the power, you're already chatting to all the colleagues around them. It's a natural transition for them to go, “Hey, how's it going?” Versus if you drop in to an organisation, if you're sat there, not talking to the receptionist when the potential buyer walks in the room or comes across the corridor and you're just sat there staring at your phone, which is as a millennial, what I'm programmed to do. I'm trying to avoid not to do my best. Yeah, you've got your back up to them.

 

Parting Thoughts · [44:00] 

 

Will Barron:

So that Jim, we'll wrap up here, mate. I want you to tell us a little bit about your latest book and if anyone's interested now, after hearing all these insights, where we can book you as a speaker as well. And anything else you want to share.

 

Jim Cathcart:

Well, thank you. Gosh, I could go on all day. Well, first off, you know that I enjoy our dialogue more than most podcasts and webinars that I do all over the world. You're a delightful guy and I love being on your show. The latest book is called The Self-Motivation Handbook and it's 336 hacks. That's not the way I describe it in the book, but 336 simple ways to get yourself to do what's needed when you don't feel like doing it yet. And the same thing applies to getting other people to do things when they don't feel like it yet. The principles are the same. So it's The Self-Motivation Handbook. And it just came out in Mandarin Chinese for heaven's sake. I mean, it's really caught on and it's doing very well.

 

Jim Cathcart:

If people would like me to be their presenter, whether it's for a formal presentation or a training session, or whether it's a motivational event or an informational event, all they've got to do is go to cathcart, C-A-T-H-C-A-R-T, .com. And there are 730 pages to explore there. They can also find me on LinkedIn, on Facebook, on YouTube, on … You know. So if you want to watch videos of me, you can watch them on my website or on YouTube or on LinkedIn. I'm easy to find. Just Jim Cathcart. And the reason I exist as a business resource is to help you do what you need to do so that you and your business live more fully and more abundantly and gain greater rewards from the efforts you're putting in.

 

Will Barron:

Amazing stuff. Well, I'll link to that as always over at salesman.org in the show notes. And with that Jim, pleasure as always mate. And I want to thank you for joining us again on The Salesman Podcast.

 

Jim Cathcart:

Good to be home, as I said earlier. Thank you.

Table of contents
Get your free book today:
Untitled-4
Selling Made Simple
Find and close more sales, like clockwork, using 15 proven, step-by-step frameworks.
100% Free sales skill quiz:
Do you have the 15 traits of high performing sellers?
Learn your strengths and weaknesses in an instant. Don't get left behind.
illustration-web-4 1
Do you have the 15 traits of high performing sales people?
Learn your strengths and weaknesses in an instant. Taken by over 10,000+ of your competitors. Don't get left behind.
22_LINKEDIN SUCCESS FRAMEWORK (3) 1