Former White House Official Jim Rosebush shares his 10-point strategy on how to win your audience.


Jim Rosebush is a former White House official under the Reagan Administration, a multi-time author and a heralded communicator. He coaches executives from startup founders to billionaires on better communication and Winning Your Audience, the title of his latest book.

Public speaking is a skill everyone needs, especially in the startup world. According to Jim, “We see every day a litter of people that have destroyed either their companies or lost equity value for their companies or lost opportunities to raise money for a startup – leave it on the plate because they don’t have the skill to actually convey an important message that would really trigger a response.” 

In early April, we had the pleasure to hear Jim speak to the OC4 community and share his 10-point strategy on how to win over any audience:




Tell a story – it can be about yourself or another person – that illustrates the business you’re supporting, the deal you’re trying to sell, the investment you’re trying to get from an investor, etc. Your story should relate to the theme you are talking about and be purposeful.


Knowing your content shows strength. Put yourself in a vulnerable position to practice in front of someone who will provide critical feedback. Make sure your content is rock solid, tested, and proven.

Personal Authenticity

You have 13 seconds from the point of stepping out in front of your audience to gain their confidence. Communicate your personal authenticity nonverbally by demonstrating confidence through your posture, your grooming, and your tone of voice.

Defeating Fear

75% of the world suffers from the fear of public speaking. Fear is not just about being afraid, it’s an inhibitor that keeps you from connecting with your audience. As was the case for Ronald Reagan, the less you care about what your audience thinks of you, the less likey you will be afraid. Find a way that works for you to defeat fear and bond with your audience.

What People Hear Vs. What You Think You're Saying

Your message has to relate to your audience. When you rehearse your message, think about who you're audience is, what's important to them, and how they will receive it.

Building A Bridge to Your Audience

Tear down the “fourth wall”, the invisible wall of resistance between the speaker and the audience, by building confidence. Show empathy with your audience and appreciate their suffering.

Crossing the Bridge

Once you've built a bridge, use it to bond with your audience by showing vulnerability and gratitude. Be human, not robotic.

Changing People's Lives

Every time you make an effort to communicate, it should be because you want to improve the lives of the people who are listening to you. By enlightening someone, you can create a change in their own thinking.

All Speaking Is Selling

Whether you're trying to close a deal, get an investment, or secure a new business partner, all speaking is selling. A great technique is to refer to people who are better known and smarter than you are that help validate your point. Use other people's messages to make your speech glisten.


Any speech or presentation you make should have an architecture to it. Reagan stuck to the following components for each speech: Thank your host & state what you're there to do. Tell a story right away. Explain your new ideas/what you are trying to achieve. Explain the takeaway of the effect of the new idea on your audience. Support your idea by bringing other people's ideas into it. Issue a call to action.

The content for this blog post were taken from Jim’s event with OC4 on April 8, 2020. Watch the video below to see the full event recording:

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