Season 1, Episode 13
Simon Sinek, inspirational speaker, and best-selling author of Start With Why
Simon Sinek is one of the greatest speakers and business authors of our time. In this episode of the Pitch Masters podcast, he talks me through his own pitch to get Start With Why published, the genesis of the golden circle, how he comes up with ideas, why plans don’t work, how he deals with nerves, and how he approaches a pitch deck. He has anecdotes, tips, advice, and wisdom, and I just hope that you get as much out of listening to it as I did making it.
Sometimes I have to remind myself that not everyone has heard of Simon Sinek. The reason I started the Pitch Masters podcast was to share the knowledge and learning that I’ve gained from others, especially with those who are in the earlier stages of their career. If you aren’t familiar with Simon’s work, then it is my honour to be the one to introduce you to it. If you are, I think you’ll thoroughly enjoy our conversation.
Simon’s books on business and leadership have sold millions of copies, and his debut, Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, is a staple in any non-fiction collection. His core concept in the book is the ‘golden circle’, a simple diagram that illustrates how successful businesses achieve greatness – for example when revolutionary portable MP3 players first went to market, they were touted as technological breakthroughs with “robust 5GB hard drives”. When Apple released their version, the iPod, they told consumers that they could have 1,000 songs in their pocket. The difference is that Apple starts with WHY. There is a now-famous Ted Talk with Simon talking this through that everyone should watch, and you can find it here.
Since then, Simon has written more books, and Leaders Eat Last is another title that I constantly recommend and has dramatically impacted my career (read it!).
However, this is a show about PITCHING. Beyond Simon Sinek’s theories, talks, books, and videos, I wanted to get inside his mind – a behind-the-scenes look at how he pitches his ideas. And so, in this episode, we take a journey together through the pitch process: ideation, structures, pitch decks, presenting, nerves, and all of those other stages that we have to go through for a compelling (and WINNING) pitch. Along the way, he tells me about his greatest-ever pitch – the one that got Start With Why published and launched his career. He tells me his views on incentivising salespeople, the best way to approach cold calling, a brilliant trick for better communicating, the genesis of the golden circle, and how having ADHD makes it hard for him to read a book, at least all of the way through anyway.
I hope you get as much out of listening to it as I did making it. If you do enjoy it, tell a friend, pass on the knowledge, and share your newfound wisdom!
Find the full episode by searching for ‘Pitch Masters’ on your favourite podcast app or by clicking one of the links above, and don’t forget to sign up for the Pitch Masters newsletter for future episodes and news. You’ll also find video clips of Simon and me on Instagram, Tiktok, and YouTube.
Here’s a short clip of Simon explaining how HE starts a pitch, including a topic very close to my heart – DON’T MAKE IT ABOUT THE DECK!
As always, I’d love to know what you think.
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