Everyone Is a Public Speaker

I am pleased to welcome my friend and neighbor, Jim Cathcart, as my guest blogger. Jim is one of the Top 5 most award-winning speakers in the world and an author who recently released his 25th book, “What To Do When You’re The Speaker”.  

Jim says that everyone is a public speaker sometimes. If you are addressing more than one person, then you are speaking in public. Whether we are a good public speaker is a separate issue, but ALL of us do it. In this book, Jim shares how to be natural on stage, gives preparation tips, and teaches readers how to end a speech.   

The Speaker’s Professional Pledge

He also created The Speaker’s Professional Pledge, a document that he sends to clients each time he is booked for a speaking engagement. You may find it helpful as a checklist, even as a non-paid speaker, to assure that you are truly focused on providing value at the events where you speak. He graciously shares it here for all of us. 

The Speaker’s Professional Pledge
Here is what I will do when I speak for you. 

“My Service Commitment” by Jim Cathcart, CSP, CPAE  


  • Be available to discuss plans for my speech.
  • Know what your organization does and why it does it.
  • Know why I am there and have a specific plan to accomplish your goals for my presentation.
  • Know the theme of your meeting and relate my presentation to it.
  • Know why your people would want to hear what I have to say on this topic.
  • Coordinate with other speakers or the speaker’s bureau to assure your goals are met.
  • Notify you in advance of my travel itinerary.


ON-SITE, I Will 

  • Notify you when I arrive on site and contact you immediately should any serious delays occur.
  • Be accessible to you from the time I arrive until I leave.
  • Tell you the truth 100% of the time.
  • Retire early the night before my speech.
  • Be reasonable and considerate in my use of room charges and incidental expenses.
  • Be in the meeting room for a sound check at least one hour before I speak.
  • Coordinate with the set-up crew and other presenters to make sure my needs fit your overall needs.
  • Stay out of the way until it is my turn to speak.
  • Study your audience and the other speakers to align my message with them.
  • Be dressed appropriately, always one-step more formal or business-like than the audience.
  • Provide an easy, brief introduction and be available to coach my introducer.
  • Make suggestions to the crew as to how to maximize audience impact through creative use of lights, sound or staging.
  • Be in the room, seated and visible to you even before my introduction begins.



  • Walk on stage cheerfully and open my speech with energy and purpose.
  • Never use off-color language or material.
  • Interact constantly with the audience and involve them through questions, a show of hands, eye contact and exercises as appropriate.
  • Present well-researched, profound information.
  • Use stories and humor liberally.
  • Use appropriate slides and audio clips or video clips to enhance the look, feel and impact of my speech.
  • React maturely, good-naturedly and flexibly to any problems that arise. This includes audio-visuals, lights, sounds, emergencies, etc.
  • Never be rude to an audience member.
  • Allow for questions and comments from the audience during my presentation.
  • Summarize my points and give ways to remember my key points.
  • Relate my points to your organization and people.
  • Never abuse my assignment by turning my speech into a sales pitch.
  • Only offer my books and products if approved or requested in advance.
  • Stick to my time frame and adjust if needed.



  • Stay around after my speech briefly to answer questions or hear comments.
  • Check out and depart with minimal effort to you.
  • Itemize my expenses and bill you promptly after the speech.
  • Provide receipts if needed.
  • Promptly fill any orders for my products.
  • Send a PDF copy of my slides for you to distribute to each audience member as a follow-up, if desired.
  • Discuss with you strategies to continue the impact of my message during follow-up.
  • Never disclose any sensitive information about your organization.
  • Be willing to accept personal phone calls to follow up on the speech from individual audience members or executives.



  • I will deliver an exceptionally good presentation in a highly professional manner.


©1999, 2022 Jim Cathcart, CSP, CPAE, Cathcart Institute LLC.  


As I said in my endorsement for the book, if Jim gives you speaking advice, I suggest you take it!

You can learn more about Jim Cathcart at https://cathcart.com/ 

4 thoughts on “Everyone Is a Public Speaker

  1. Talk about cutting to the chase! This pledge is a keeper. Who knows? I may be asked to speak in public one of these days – I’ve done it once in a while, as part of a hobby, but it’s great to be armed with the details of preparation and presentation.

  2. Dear Dr. Ivan Misner Sir,

    I hope this email finds you in good health and high spirits. My name is Janarthanan A ( Q-hills chapter , Erode, Tamilnadu )- Author of the book “Master The Art of Being Rich” , and I had the pleasure of meeting you at the Indian National Conference event where we discussed about my upcoming book while taking picture with you( Image has been attached Below ). I am reaching out to request an interview with you as one of the top 200 entrepreneurs featured in my book.

    After attending your insightful session at the conference, I was truly inspired by your journey and achievements as the founder of BNI. Your entrepreneurial expertise, leadership, and dedication have made a significant impact on the business community worldwide. As I compile the stories of the top 200 entrepreneurs from various industries, I believe your invaluable insights would provide great value to my readers. My Goal is to help 1 Million entrepreneur By sharing the Knowledge.

    I am writing to kindly request a Zoom call interview with you, where we can delve deeper into your entrepreneurial journey and the principles that have guided your success. I believe your experiences and perspectives will serve as a source of inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs, and your contribution will greatly enrich the content of my book.

    I understand that your time is valuable, and I assure you that the interview will be conducted at your convenience. Please let me know a date and time that works best for you, and I will be more than happy to accommodate your schedule. If you prefer any specific format or have any specific requirements for the interview, please do let me know, and I will be glad to accommodate them.

    I am confident that your participation in this project will greatly enhance its quality and provide immense value to readers worldwide. I sincerely hope that you will grant me the honor of interviewing you for my book.

    Thank you very much for considering my request, and I look forward to your positive response. Please feel free to reach me at janarthananayyasamy@gmail.com or +917010857305 if you require any further information or have any questions.

    Warm regards,

    Janarthanan Ayyasamy

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