Through her acclaimed book Performance Breakthrough: A Radical Approach to Success at Work and as CEO of Performance of a Lifetime, an Inc. 5000 Fastest-Growing Company, Cathy Salit has helped teams, organizations, and thousands of individuals achieve breakthroughs in their performances in the workplace. As a speaker, she introduces audiences to The Becoming Principle® — a revolutionary approach to learning and change that blends theater, improvisation, and the new science of performative psychology. In all of her work, Cathy relates to people as performers, and organizations and companies as the stages on which they perform. By introducing audiences to this approach — that they are both who they are and who they are becoming — Cathy’s entertaining and interactive presentations address some of the crucial issues facing leaders and organizations today.

Cathy’s Talks


Make no mistake — leadership is a performance. Salit leverages her two decades of experience as a CEO and as coach-advisor to executives at Fortune 500 companies and innovative upstarts alike, to help her audiences tap into their inner performer to grow into more effective, creative and successful leaders.


It’s all about relationships — with colleagues, the boss, employees, and clients or customers. Cathy draws on the core skills of improvisation and theater to help people at all levels learn how to listen and communicate artfully; to enhance and create strong connections with others; to handle unexpected (and challenging) situations; and to build relationships that grow and last.


Creativity, Cathy says, is not just for “creatives.” And constant change — a reality for our times — affects us all in big and small ways. Cathy explores how to approach change as a creative opportunity, a creative project, a creative endeavor — and reap the benefits of the innovation and competitive edge that follows.

Cathy customizes her presentations to the unique needs of your audience and forum with areas of focus including:

  • Managing through change
  • Innovation and creativity
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Executive presence
  • Collaboration
  • Building high-performing teams
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Leadership
  • Storytelling
  • Sales and networking
  • Coaching and mentoring
  • Creating with “crap”
  • Women’s leadership
  • The power of play at work



  • Cathy Salit is a master — a sales-whisperer whose theater and improv-inspired organizational development methodologies have transformed the work and communication habits of thousands of individuals over the past two decades.”

    Daniel H. Pink

    Best-selling author of To Sell Is Human and Drive

    Cathy Salit is a creative, engaging, highly interactive speaker. With humor and intelligence, she helps audiences to see and act on new possibilities in their work and in their lives. She harnesses both artistic and scientific drivers for how human beings change and grow. Best of all, Cathy leaves audience members with practical tools for stepping into new ways to lead with authenticity and grace.”

    Sheila Heen

    Best-selling co-author of Difficult Conversations and Thanks for the Feedback

    I want sales people to focus on who they are, what makes them different, and how they add value as a person, just as much as they do on their product and company. Cathy’s presentation at The Art Of did exactly that — she moved them out of their comfort zone and beyond what they do now, helped them find their "personality A-Game," and made that hour fly by!"

    Tiffani Bova

    Growth & Innovation Evangelist, Salesforce

    Cathy’s presentation illustrated the unique storylines that entrepreneurs and other professionals share. The interactive exercises helped cement how to connect and engage with others, and the audience had a hands on opportunity to learn and walk away with key and applicable skills in both their professional and personal lives. Cathy was a delight to work with — thank you for imparting wisdom to our volunteer leaders!”

    Julianna Chaparro

    Project Coordinator, Million Dollar Round Table

  • Cathy was a pleasure to work with as a thought leader/presenter. Participants really enjoyed her session as evidenced by their feedback: ‘You are a gem! Thank you for sharing your wisdom’... ‘Amazing and heart-opening session and input! Yes, we all need to be more playful in our lives :-)’... ‘Stellar presentation — a captivating learning experience. Thanks for the fundamentals and ways to use the exercises. Eager to use each for myself and with clients…’”

    Beth Schofield

    Online Event Coordinator, World Business and Executive Coach Summit (WBECS)

    Inspiring... Spellbinding... Impressive... the best yet... These are just a few words people used to describe Cathy’s presentation at our annual conference. As seen by the standing ovation she received, her presentation was the perfect ending to the day. People left energized and encouraged to take on the challenges they face in a productive and fun-loving way. Her book has been a big hit for our audience too. Thanks for being a catalyst for positive change in people's lives!”

    Kathy Fleming

    Executive Director, Fairytale Town

    Cathy Salit is masterful. With her energy, expertise, humor, empathy and understanding of human interaction, she introduced us to new ways of being with our clients, while giving lots of space and support to what they were ‘becoming.’ Her improv exercises were both fun, and at times, humbling. She made making a mistake a game that encouraged the spirit of play, vulnerability and giving ourselves permission to be less than perfect. We experienced ways to enhance coach presence and relating, heighten listening and attentiveness, and harness the power of ‘yes, and …’ in relationship building. She is one of a kind and an experience to treasure!”

    Margaret McLean Walsh

    Executive Coach and Past President, International Coach Federation (New York City chapter)

    Cathy's keynote for our sales award event was a great success! I really appreciated her preparation to truly understand our business. She addressed a major challenge our salespeople face with getting the attention of busy physicians with new approaches/ideas they were eager to try out, and share with their colleagues. Her energy and enthusiasm were contagious — people's initial panic ('Oh no, it's 9 am and I have to participate, not just listen?') quickly turned into enjoyment and full engagement. We're eager to bring this approach to our broader salesforce."

    Stephanie Tang

    Senior Director, Sales Training, Sales Operations & Marketing Operations, Ironwood Pharmaceuticals

  • We experienced the power of performative psychology in an interactive workshop with the very dynamic and charismatic Cathy Salit. Cathy taught the group that it is so energizing when we play and improvise, and created a joyful and energetic environment. New learning about how we can make more impact was profound."

    Gerri Bostick

    Chair, Financial Women’s Association (FWA) Pacesetters

    Cathy Salit engages the audience with a unique style that combines entertainment and learning. Using song and theater, Cathy illuminates how truly listening in the present moment can enrich our lives and our work.”

    Terry Reilly, Chief nursing officer

    Abington Hospital

    Cathy Salit has revitalized the traditional keynote! I wanted her to energize and motivate our members, and she gave us an immersive, performance-based experience that delivered all of that and much more.”

    Margaret M. Lioi, CEO

    Chamber Music America

    Cathy has a rare ability to completely shift people’s view of themselves and their teams, with a masterful touch and a twinkle in her eye. Her work is transformative… teaching us to explore our human potential by seeing through the lens of a director on the ‘stage of life.'”

    Tom Andrews, President


  • Cathy Salit is a presenter that I recommend to everyone... and as a client, I can attest to the effectiveness of the principles that Cathy outlines in her presentation. She uses language that sparkles with energy, persuasion and intelligence as she brings her theater and coaching experiences to life."

    Sharon Krumm, PhD., RN, Director of Nursing/Administrator

    The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at The Johns Hopkins Hospital

    The audience raved about Cathy's keynote at the Midwinter Conference for the Society of Consulting Psychologists—practical, innovative, and transformative ideas for their work and their own personal learning and development. Her talk was the best thing at the conference!"

    Randall P. White, PhD.

    Council Leadership Team, American Psychological Association

    Cathy's interactive keynote at our company retreat was outstanding. It was an invaluable contribution and such a meaningful experience for our entire staff — the perfect start to our day, setting us up for a very successful retreat. Those 90 minutes have already shifted the way people are listening and responding to each other and to our clients. Cathy's wisdom, humor, storytelling and compassion gave people new ideas and practices to put to use right away. We're a pretty diverse group; Cathy connected with them strongly, and I was blown away by the ease with which people got up and participated, partners, senior leadership and staff alike.

    Peter Francis

    Director of Finance, Ferguson & Shamamian Architects, LLP


Speaking engagements

About Cathy Salit

Cathy Rose Salit, our CEO and co-founder, has been shaking things up since she was 13. That’s when she began her career as an upstart and risk-taker by dropping out of eighth grade and starting an alternative school in an abandoned storefront in New York City. This unusual endeavor put Cathy on an uncharted life path, and she has dedicated her life to creating educational environments that challenge the status quo and offer innovative, high-impact learning and development experiences.

She co-founded Performance of a Lifetime (POAL), a consulting firm that helps leaders, teams, and organizations to grow their business by focusing on the human side of strategy. Using the art and science of performance, POAL helps leaders close the gap between the current reality and their desired future. POAL’s team of coaches and human development experts leverage their proprietary method, The Becoming Principle®, to engage leaders and companies in creating and acting on new and uncharted possibilities. As CEO, Cathy works with leaders and teams at companies such as American Express, Nike, Coca Cola, Rolls Royce, The Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Cathy is the author of Performance Breakthrough: A Radical Approach to Success at Work (Hachette Books), in which she presents her revolutionary approach to learning and growing. Cathy’s work has been featured in the Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Fast Company, The Wall Street Journal, CEO World Magazine, and in a column for She is also an artistic associate at the award-winning Castillo Theatre in New York City, and sings jazz and R&B on any stage she can find . . . or create.