Jim Cathcart
Founding Faculty

Jim Cathcart was born in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1946. He began his work-life as a trainer and salesperson of motivational materials and made the transition to speaking professionally full-time in June, 1977. In the last 23 years, Jim has given over 2,000 presentations throughout the world and in every major industry. IN the process he attained almost every mark of achievement in professional speaking. He became a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) in 1981 and received the National Speakers Association's CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame Award in 1985, and the Cavett Award in 1993.

As of 1998, Jim Cathcart had written 12 books, 20 audio albums, and over 80 video programs. His best-known works have been "Relationship Strategies" (audio), Relationship Selling (book) and The Acorn Principle (book and audio).

Jim is the co-Founder of the Professional Speaking Institute in Greensboro, North Carolina. He joined the National Speakers Association in 1976 and served as President from 1988 to 1989. His Presidential theme for the year was "Share The Vision," as he sought to expand the way members viewed NSA and its future. He has chaired almost all of the NSA's national committees and served on its Board of Directors for 10 consecutive years. His proudest personal accomplishment within NSA has been the development of the "Eight Professional Competencies" around which all of NSA's educational offerings and meetings are built.

Jim's belief was that our profession would grow most fully and naturally by structuring all of the meetings, publications, training, and activities of NSA around a fundamental set of skills and knowledge needed by all speakers. Then each year NSA's leadership could focus on varying themes without departing from the main educational structure.

As a speaker, Jim is best known for his smooth delivery and personable demeanor. His presentations are thought-provoking, inspiring, and thoroughly-researched. His delivery style is playful and interactive. He spends many hours studying each client company so that even his ad-libs are relevant.

In 1987, Jim was invited to join the Speakers Roundtable, a consortium of 20 veteran speakers that included the NSA's Founder Cavett Robert and its first President Bill Gove. Together they co-authored a series of books and recorded programs. Jim's participation in the Speakers Roundtable contributed greatly to his personal and career advancement.

In 1979 Jim met Tony Alessandra, a university professor, speaker, and author in San Diego, California. This meeting led to a partnership called Cathcart, Alessandra & Associates, which operated from 1981 to 1985. During this time, Jim and Tony produced a 28 part video series for the University of Southern California. They also produced a top-selling audio album for Nightingale-Conant, wrote a trade book and a college textbook for Prentice Hall, and delivered over 1,000 presentations. In 1985, Jim and Tony dissolved their corporation and resumed individual operations, but continued to collaborate on and co-author a number of works.

From 1988 to 1991, Jim was co-owner of a psychological research firm and employed a team of researchers in the exploration of multiple aspects of human personality. This led to the development of his comprehensive work on self-awareness, first published as The Acorn Principle.

Jim's mission is to help people live more fully. He says that each of us has much to give and the world needs what we can bring. Furthermore, if we don't live fully, we deny the rest of the world the gifts we were given. The Acorn Principle, as Jim states it, is: "Know your nature, explore your nature, and nurture your nature."

Jim Cathcart is a motivator, a visionary, and a pioneer in the speaking profession.