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. Our coaches create a friendly, fun setting to put participants at ease. This relaxed, low-pressure approach that emphasizes small groups and individualized instruction yields amazing results.

PRACTICAL COACHING – Our staff of industry-leading communication coaches all have practical business backgrounds. This allows them to understand and adapt to the specific needs of each client rather than boxing them into a one-size-fits-all solution.

IMMEDIATE IMPACT – Through the use of digital video, we enable participants to instantly see themselves the same way their audiences see them. Combined with instant feedback and a focus on a few key areas for improvement, the knowledge can be applied right away.

Our Video

The Team

Joey Asher, JD

“Righty tighty, lefty loosey!”

– 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
Office Manager/Training Coordinator

“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 paddleboarding and traveling. I have a soft spot for animals and really enjoy spending time with my two English Bulldogs.

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.

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!

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!

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.

JD Clockadale, MBA

I like to think of sales as the ability to gracefully persuade, not manipulate, a person into a win-win situation.

Bo Bennett

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.

Marc Dorfman, MBA

“That’s the trouble with the world today. No one takes the time to do a really sinister interrogation anymore. It’s a lost art.”

– Bond. James Bond.

I enjoy helping my clients promote their ideas, sell their products, make presentations, and ultimately achieve great outcomes! Prior to joining Speechworks, I spent time teaching at UCLA, Columbia Business School, and NYU Stern. I also spent 10 years as a Hollywood film producer. People often ask what feature films and business presentations have in common. Easy: they both have scripts, actors, and an audience. The biggest difference is that in a business presentation, the audience gets to ask the actors questions! Helping speakers prepare for and master those moments is one reason I love what I do!

Kene Iloenyosi

“You are how you are because of why you are.”

– 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.

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!


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.