Who We Are

Speechworks is a communication and selling skills coaching firm. We teach professionals how to craft and deliver complex messages in a simple, persuasive manner. Since 1986, through workshops and one-on-one instruction, we have helped countless individuals become better presenters and communicators.

The Speechworks Difference

SUPPORTIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT – Speaking in front of a group can be stressful. So, we limit our workshops to small groups of 5 or 6 participants per coach. We create a friendly, fun setting which helps put people at ease. A relaxed, low-pressure approach creates a learning environment that yields rapid results.

PRACTICAL COACHING – Our Speechworks coaches will make your experience outstanding. Having worked with business people in many industry areas, our coaches quickly understand and adapt to the needs of your business situation. Our clients are not boxed into a one-size-fits-all solution.

IMMEDIATE IMPACT – We video record each participant multiple times in each workshop. You will see yourself the way your audience sees you!  By reviewing your own performance, receiving feedback and focusing on a few key improvement areas, you will return to work with new skills you can use immediately.

Our Video

The Team

Joey Asher, JD

“No one ever complained that a presentation was too short”

– A very smart person

I’m always amazed by how much a diverse background can add to your skills as a communication coach, and that’s why we intentionally employ coaches with diverse educations and experiences. For example, my years as a newspaper reporter honed my ability to recognize and tell great stories. Being a lawyer prepared me to deal with pushback and overcome objections. Being a father of three definitely taught me patience! There’s no question that what makes Speechworks different is the quality of our coaching, and that’s a direct result of the unique and varied skillsets that each of our coaches brings.

Johanna Asher, MBA
Chief Operating Officer

“If it makes you happy, it can’t be that bad.”

– Sheryl Crow

Although I typically operate behind the scenes, I often feel like I have the best seat in the house! I get to watch participants in our communication skills workshops experience breakthrough moments in their personal and professional lives. I love to hear the excitement in our coaches’ voices when they’ve wrapped another successful training program. I enjoy planning ways that Speechworks can reach even more people and help them improve their sales and communication skills. This is exciting stuff! Although I never imagined that my studies at Cornell and Columbia would lead me here, I’m thrilled that they did!

Amanda Mataski
Director of Operations

“Hey Amanda!”

– Everyone at Speechworks

It’s my job to keep our office and our team of Speechworks coaches operating as seamlessly as possible, and I love the challenge! From managing our training calendar to booking travel to resolving schedule conflicts, the Speechworks team relies on me to tell them where to be, when to be there, and how to get there! In my spare time, I like to switch gears and do lots of standup paddle boarding, hiking, and traveling. I have a soft spot for animals and really enjoy spending time with my husband and two English Bulldogs.

JD Clockadale, MBA
Chief Development Officer

“A wealth of information creates a poverty in attention

– Herbert Simon 

My path to becoming a Speechworks coach was varied to say the least! I earned my MBA, worked as a commissioned sales rep, launched and operated a restaurant franchise, led the leadership development at a large privately held company, served as a sales trainer, and authored a book on time management skills for sales professionals. But it’s those varied experiences that have fostered my passion for helping people and organizations achieve their goals. Among my proudest accomplishments are completing three Ironman Triathlons, and most importantly, raising three wonderful daughters with my wife, Beth.

Jan McKenzie

“Good communication is as stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard to sleep after.”

– Anne Morrow Lindbergh

People always want to know how I became a Speechworks coach. Well, I spent 19 years at The Weather Channel, the last 10 as Director of the award-winning Learning and Development Department. Along the way I wrote a couple of books that were endorsed by leadership experts Stephen M. R. Covey and Dr. Ken Blanchard. And then one day I had lunch with Joey Asher. I fell in love with Speechworks and hired them to help The Weather Channel grow. Next thing you know, I was working with the Speechworks crew to help professionals become great communicators!

Hugh Asher

“Life is too short for a long story.” 

– Mary Wortley Montagu

Speechworks was the roots of my professional career. I originally taught the workshops in the early 1990’s. As the saying goes, “Practice what you preach!” So, I decided to apply my Speechworks training to building a 24-year career in financial services. Like many industries, the financial services industry is data driven. Having sat through hundreds of financial presentations with tiny graphs and numbers, it was obvious to me that those who connected with relatable stories won the business. In 2018, I returned to my roots at Speechworks and am loving helping people deliver more effective, data-driven presentations!

Kene Iloenyosi

“A candle loses nothing by lighting another. You make the world a brighter place when you use what you have to help others grow and shine. “ 

– Myself

I love to figure out what makes people unique, and being a Speechworks coach allows me plenty of opportunity to do that! I was born in Nigeria and got to live in Zambia for three years. I really enjoy immersing myself in different cultures, and have found that I can make small talk in a number of languages! I’ve had the honor of serving as the District Governor for Toastmasters in the State of Georgia, as well as on a number of non-profit boards. I have also owned a few small businesses and am a professional speaker and author.

Lizzie Crawford

“You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere.”

– Lee Iacocca

In my tenure as a communication coach at Speechworks, I’ve witnessed the world around us become more technical, while people’s ability to clearly convey their complex ideas seems to have diminished. More than ever, simple, persuasive communication can be a key differentiator for business professionals! My passion lies in helping my clients articulate their ideas and communicate clear messages, no matter how complex the subject matter! My background as both a banker and research analyst has given me first-hand understanding of the communication challenges my clients face, as well as the experience to help them overcome those challenges.

Nancy Vason, MBA, MSEd

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”

– John Quincy Adams

I’ve spent more than a decade at Speechworks helping to develop leaders who are confident, persuasive communicators! My years as an account executive, sales trainer, and speechwriter for executives taught me that relationships win the business, and relationships are about connection. So when I coach my clients, I help them share their most engaging personality traits with their listeners: whether it’s a great sense of humor, a winning smile, or a captivating voice. Then I find fun ways to challenge them to be better – to add pauses, to hold eye contact longer, or to show more passion!

Marilyn Ringo, MA

“This above all, to thine own self be true….”

– Polonius from “Hamlet” (in which I played Ophelia, his daughter, when a college thespian!)

People often ask me to give speeches about my experiences. They want to know what it was like being a CNN news anchor and journalist (exciting and underpaid!), how to win Emmy Awards (tell a great story!), what it was like to go from Woodstock (muddy and “far out”!) to 30 Rock (an education in TV at NBC!). I never felt completely confident giving those speeches. And then I found Speechworks. I honed my presentation and communications skills and now, with confidence, enjoy passing those lessons and experiences on to others.

Kim Cunningham

“I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.” 

-Charles Swindoll

From the first time I watched “The Wizard of Oz” at age 5, my path in life was set. Something about that tornado just drew me in! Since then, I’ve enjoyed a weather-related career that’s spanned more than 30 years: from serving as a military forecaster providing weather briefings to Air Force fighter pilots, to my dream job as an on-air meteorologist at The Weather Channel. Throughout my journey, one thing has remained constant: in order to be successful, I’ve had to build trust and confidence from my audience by employing great communication skills. That’s why Speechworks is such a natural fit for me. I get the chance to help other professionals build that same level of trust and create a connection with their listeners, and achieve their own success as a result!


Julie Lindsay
Director of Coaching and Content

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”

– Davinici

Julie Lindsay draws on a long career in television news to help clients speak in a way that is simple and persuasive. She began her journalism career with the BBC in London, reporting on everything from terrorist attacks and natural disasters, to war zones and revolutions. Next, came a move to the U.S. as anchor and editor on CNN International.

She also served as Chief Managing Editor with WebMD in the U.K. and then programming editor of Global Health Frontline News, making documentaries about kids fighting curable diseases around the world.

Our Clients

Bank of America
Cisco Systems, Inc.
Duke Energy
Genuine Parts Company
Jabil Circuit, Inc.
Kimberly-Clark Corporation
Newell Rubbermaid
The Coca-Cola Company
The Home Depot
Brasfield & Gorrie
Gresham, Smith and Partners
Heery International
Hoar Construction
J.E. Dunn Construction Group
Robins & Morton
Big Ten Network
Cox Communications
FOX Sports
Turner Broadcasting
USA Today
Recall Corporation
Verizon Wireless
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Kaiser Permanente
Kurt Salmon
The Scheller College of Business at the Georgia Institute of Technology
Yamaha Motor Company

Our Philosophy

It’s About Connection, Not Perfection.

Our goal is to help our clients connect with their audiences. We achieve this by teaching them to create and deliver simple, persuasive messages in a style that builds relationships and inspires confidence. We employ timeless storytelling techniques, impactful exercises to improve vocal and physical presence, and digital video to demonstrate improvement. Combined with specific, actionable feedback from the best communication coaches in the country, we help each participant achieve authentic, lasting results.