Thor Holt – Founder of Thor Holt Ltd.

[quote style=”boxed”]I get up early and try stuff. Fail a lot… and keep on trying.[/quote]

A child of 1960s Hippy dropouts who’d relocated to the remote Shetland Island of Papa Stour in 1973, Thor Holt thrives on bringing freedom of speech to a much maligned and oppressed section of western society – the capitalist businessman!

Thor specialises in turning around nervous business presenters, bringing out the fearless speaker and relational leader in them.  He works with leaders in cutting edge Oil & Gas businesses and also with entrepreneurs pitching for investment.

The key to Thor’s effectiveness, is that he cares enough to continue to challenge and believe in the individual’s potential, in the cause of their business ambitions.

After graduating from Stirling University in 1996, Thor set up and successfully ran one of Scotland’s earliest Personal Training businesses. In his late 20s Thor trained as an Actor in London and then Acted professionally for a number of years.

An early experience of extreme nerves – he actually fantasized about crashing his car on the way to a speaking venue, such was his terror – when presenting for his personal training business, led Thor to go on a personal journey to discover how the most confident, effective business presenters did it. Thor has written articles for the Scottish Institute For Enterprise and been quoted for pitching expertise in Scotland On Sunday’s Business Columns.

As Thor Holt presented and spoke in public, for the charity who he is an ambassador for, and for his business, the confidence and effectiveness of his delivery led people to ask him if he would share his skill. These requests, along with a lifelong passion for coaching the best out of people, led to Thor setting up Present & Personal Ltd in the summer of 2011.

What are you working on right now?

I’m working on the One Day Bullet-Proof Business Presenting Master-class which I’ve been invited to deliver in Houston Texas in November.

Where did the idea for ‘Bullet-Proof Business Presenting’ come from?

I was working with a senior sales leader from a US technology company, delivering one of my 90 Minute Business Presenter Reviews (Aiming to double the effectiveness of his current presentation content and delivery style) , he said, “Thor I don’t just want to be more confident, I want you to BULLET-PROOF me!” I loved the expression as it encompasses just what my work is about, enabling confidence and effectiveness for business speakers.

What does your typical day look like?

0500 Up and read books on my Kindle for 30 Minutes while enjoying a coffee
0615 First Coaching sessions of the day – via Skype or face to face
1200 A three-mile run in the beautiful woods near Banchory on Royal Deeside where I live.
1400 Run a small group presenting master-class within a business or preparation & rehearsal for a future event.
1900 Dinner with my incredible patient Wife Kat
2100 Reading or watching Spooks with Kat
2200 Bed!

How do you bring ideas to life?

As my good friend and marketing genius James Lavers said about me, “Thor, you’re a firecracker dude!”…you never know when I might GO OFF! So I bring ideas to life by, trying them, straight away… no delay tolerated 🙂

3 trends that excite you?

  1.  Everything being available on my phone – I can see a day coming, and soon, when I just have a smart phone,the cloud, and no need for even a laptop to slow me up!
  2. Formal qualifications being out-paced and out-earned by entrepreneurial action – I know that in Scotland and many western    countries, young newly graduated Lawyers are finding that they don’t have guaranteed high paying jobs anymore. Gone are the days when being academically smart meant an easy life. I feel this levels the playing field. My values around fairness and freedom are delighted.
  3. The end of the mainstream media stranglehold over news, current affairs and advertising, with the counterbalancing democratisation of content — who should be able to decide what you or I read and hear about anyway?

What is the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?

I worked as a clothing store sales assistant while saving for a Personal Training course – while chasing a Heroin addicted shop-lifter down the street from the store, I learned that sometimes you just gotta know which battles are worth fighting. I learned this as he turned and threatened to stab me if I didn’t let him get away with the coat he had stolen.

If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

I would have started a business while in high school, left at 16 and started buying investment rental real-estate, something I didn’t start till my late 20s.

What is the one thing you did/do as an entrepreneur that you would do over and over again and recommend everybody else do?

I get up early and try stuff. Fail a lot… and keep on trying.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Set up a cleaning business that actually cleans and gives great service – I’ve never met a business or individual who’s happy with their cleaning company!

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read, and why?

I could get all cool and recommend a 37Signals book, but instead I’m going to suggest “Man’s Search For Meaning” by Viktor Frankl. Why? Because as a business owner you are going to suffer some, but read about Viktor’s suffering in the Nazi death camps and it all comes into perspective real quick!

If you weren’t working on Bullet-Proof Masterclasses bringing Freedom Of Speech For Business, what would you be doing?

I’d be skiing in Switzerland with my incredible family… Oh you mean a business, then I guess I’d spend more time on property investing, because I love the serving people with nice homes, combined with the buzz of a deal.

Three people we should follow on Twitter, and why?

@Garyvee because he’s the one who GETS it – its two way communication, like a telephone, not a broadcast channel like a TV!
@JohnnyBTruant because his blog makes me think and he makes me laugh.
@KattyMcfattyPT because she’s my amazing Wife!

When is the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it.

Saturday night when Johnathon Ross @wossy was challenged to take his shirt off on National UK TV by Lady Gaga @Gaga

Who would you love to see interviewed on IdeaMensch?

Margaret Thatcher or Vladimir Putin

What’s the most important attribute to be an effective and confident business presenter?

Caring about your audience – because that can lead you to do everything else right: research and listen to them, prepare a core message to answer their challenges, prepare like a professional and so on…

What is most valuable to you in business or life?

Freedom – and I mean in every sense. Freedom to speak my mind. Freedom for women and gay people to be treated as equals. Freedom from tyranny, from torture and from religious rules. Human existence – It’s all about freedom, what do you think?


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