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Apr 17, 2018

Richard Mulholland is a speaker, author, entrepreneur, and blogger, who kicked off his career as a rock n roll roadie. Today on the EO Podcast, Rich reveals his thoughts on higher education, his definition of “purpose,” and how an embarrassing moment with a flight attendant inspired him to reframe his elevator speech. Tune-in to learn how Rich powerfully and successfully speaks to top corporations, how he prepares, and how he combats nervousness on stage.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 00:50 – Introduction
  • 01:00 – Rich was a roadie for bands like Iron Maiden and Def Leppard, started South Africa’s largest presentation firm, Missing Link, co-founded 21 Tanks, SA’s first perspective lab, and started a digital agency called Firing Squad
  • 01:55 – Rich wrote “Legacide” with the theme of innovation, is a blogger and speaker, and has been featured in various publication
  • 02:32 – The introduction before he enters the stage ends with “...and he has a tattoo of your mum on his left bum cheek”
  • 03:35 – What’s with Iron Maiden in Europe
  • 04:00 – Iron Maiden was in Frankfort in 2017 and they were still popular; Europe is not as spoiled and they are fathers of metal music
  • 05:08 – Rock stars are often very intellectual
  • 05:30 – The rock n’ roll phase of Rich’s life: A happy accident
  • 05:33 – Depeche Mode was going to South Africa, his father had contacts and got him a job in the crew doing lighting
  • 06:11 – He paid truck drivers to go to different gigs and started selling merchandise, too; he was offered a full-time job to go on tour with bands for 2 years
  • 07:08 – He never considered higher education, he always knew he wanted to start a business; he’ll send his kids to university if they know what they want to do
  • 08:20 – They are working on starting a business called the Freshmen Foundation which places kids in 10 business for 10 months so they can determine what they really like
  • 09:02 – Rich feels higher education is good for relationships; his clients all seem to land in a job after school that wasn’t what they ultimately wanted
  • 09:45 – When you invest years and money, you get emotionally locked in to the investment
  • 10:50 – Rich’s filter and self-control (or lack thereof?)
  • 10:54 – He has full control; he tries to remove people from their comfort zone
  • 11:45 – The purpose of a presentation is to change people
  • 12:04 – The job is to drop the theme; a standing ovation feels good but doesn’t mean the job is done
  • 13:01 – There’s a reason why people are investing time in you; act accordingly and act with purpose and intention
  • 13:28 – Even as a CEO of a company, speak with purpose
  • 13:50 – How do you measure your success as a speaker?
  • 14:02 – When people want to engage after a talk; they either approach Rich, email, or, even better, email a few months later with an update because of what he said
  • 15:20 – He tries to open and close with something fun, but the middle is the actual message
  • 15:40 – Rich doesn’t believe he has a purpose, he believes that all purpose is what he crates for himself
  • 16:00 – He has the ability to drive change and opinion in people
  • 16:30 – Keys to successfully influencing people
  • 16:40 – Buy their attention with your opening by giving them a reason to care and believe, a credibility statement, and telling them what they need to know and do
  • 17:29 – How to get someone to care: Create a way to sell the accident (ambulance example)
  • 19:00 – “Don’t sell the ambulance, sell the accident”
  • 20: 00 – How to create a great elevator pitch
  • 20:29 – Story about how Rich decided how to format what he does
  • 21:25 – “You know how when you (blank)? Well, what I do is (blank).”
  • 22:13 – Fill the gas tank; make it about their problem, not your solution
  • 22:45 – Subscribe to Rich’s email list for tips and techniques by visiting com
  • 23:03 – The difference between an elevator speech and a sales pitch: In sales the goal is to get the audience asking questions
  • 23:15 – When you’re talking you’re selling, when they’re asking they’re buying: the 2/3 rule to leave time for questions and provide your best content
  • 24:00 – Stop selling earlier
  • 24:10 – The difference between a sales pitch and an investment pitch
  • 24:17 – Shorter “care, believe, know, do”
  • 25:00 – How Rich convinces his family members
  • 25:20 – He still uses the core principle of addressing the problem before proposing a solution
  • 26:00 – You have to create the itch first then the scratch is a given
  • 26:50 – His son doesn’t like being told what to do, he wants to know why so he can rationalize it
  • 27:50 – Rich’s son asked why he was learning about checkbooks in school: The school doesn’t give him a reason to care first, they just give the knowledge
  • 28:28 – The care isn’t simply to get to the next grade
  • 29:20 – Timing in presentations: Speaking first or last at a conference makes the job different
  • 30:10 – Primacy vs recency: If you are pitching and they have to decide in a short time, you want to go later (recency effect), if they have time to decide, go sooner
  • 31:20 – Make the timing work in your favor
  • 31:45 – Presenting to 1,000 vs presenting to 15
  • 31:56 – It’s more difficult to present to 15; 1,000 people are more of a controlled entity
  • 32:30 – You can stare in general directions when you speak to 1,000; with 15 you are speaking to individuals and it is much more unforgiving
  • 33:10 – You can often make more impact with a smaller group; prepare well, don’t be nervous
  • 35:08 – Handling nerves: You are supposed to feel nervous, it means that you care
  • 35:40 – The key is to be prepared enough so that your nervousness melts away with confidents
  • 37:12 – Tips to ease nerves
  • 37:25 – Do not over-rehearse but do talks as often as you can
  • 38:15 – The more often you talk, the less nervous you’ll get for bigger talks
  • 39:20 – How to tell a good story
  • 39:33 – Understand why you are telling the story; putting a pill in peanut butter so a dog will take it analogy
  • 40:36 – Use a story that is relatable and entertaining
  • 41:02 – Flaw: Using a film format
  • 41:23 – Why his family moved from Scotland to South Africa: His grandmother passed away in South Africa and his father got a job while he visited and his parents were in a tough place
  • 42:05 – His parents wanted a fresh start and are now on their 50th anniversary
  • 42:50 – His parents are an inspiration; Rich is divorced and happily remarried
  • 43:50 – When Rich found his personality
  • 44:20 – When he was young he wanted to be an actor; he looked up to Michael J. Fox
  • 45:04 – He always wanted to be a salesman and was always selling
  • 45:35 – Rich’s tattoos: He got involved in punk rock and loved the ethic except the idea that you had to be a financial failure
  • 46:35 – He started a blog called “Capitalist Punk” where he formed that he could be different and successful
  • 46:55 – This formation germinated in his early 20s
  • 47:26 – com
  • 48:00 – Rich went to a forum where a video was shown instead a man presenting himself
  • 48:23 – He’s writing a book with Howard Mann, the author of “Your Business Brickyard” where the premise is that businesses are 90% the same
  • 48:50 – They created a platform with pre-made presentations to turn managers into leaders
  • 50:11 – It is a subscription model
  • 50:35 – Boxers or Briefs
  • Video or text? Video
  • Movie or book? Book
  • Kindle or paper? Kindle
  • Def Leppard or Iron Maiden? Iron Maiden
  • Harley or Ducati? Neither, Triumph
  • Vespa or bicycle with a motor? Vespa
  • Dog or cat? Dog
  • Khakis or jeans? Jeans
  • Tesla or Porche? Tesla
  • Pickup or Prius? Pickup
  • Country or city? ‘burbs
  • 52:23 – How to reach Rich: Facebook, Twitter, email, google

Key Points:

  1. When you speak, there’s a reason why people are investing time in you; act accordingly and with purpose and intention.
  2. Don’t sell the ambulance, sell the accident; make it about their problem, not your solution.
  3. When you’re talking you’re selling, when they’re asking they’re buying.

Resources Mentioned: