The Power of Speaking without Notes

By Joey Asher Category: Practice Former UN Ambassador and Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young once told me a story about how he learned the importance of speaking without notes. As a minister in his early 20s, he always preached from a prepared text.  But as he was getting ready to preach to a church in Beachton [...]

Lessons in Persuasion from a Fishing Guide

By Joey Asher Category: Content, Practice I drove to the Great Smokey Mountains near Townsend, TN recently to fly fish for trout. And I caught more than my fair share – 14 gorgeous rainbows. But who’s counting? Spending time with my guide -- a terrific, pony-tailed fisherman and author named Ian Rutter, of R&R Fly [...]

How Does the 80-20 Rule Apply to Presentations?

By Joey Asher Category: Content, Practice In the late 1800s, Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto observed that 20 percent of the peapods in his garden yielded 80 percent of the peas. He also noted that 80 percent of the land in Italy was owned by 20 percent of the population. So was born the “Pareto Principle,” [...]

How to Speak Like an Introvert

By Joey Asher Category: Content, Practice There’s an interesting book out called “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking.” In the book, author Susan Cain explains how today’s world overvalues extroverts and undervalues introverts. And certainly extroverts get lots of credit for being natural speakers. But in my experience, introverts [...]

How to Present to a Tyrant

By Joey Asher Category: Practice And you think you have a tough boss? Consider the poor Amazon engineer that gave a presentation to CEO Jeff Bezos only to have him say, “Why are you wasting my life?” Bezos is notoriously difficult in meetings, according to “The Everything Store, Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon,” [...]

To Deal with Your Fear of Public Speaking, Focus on Helping the Audience

By Joey Asher Category: Nerves There are many good tactics for beating the fear of public speaking. Extensive rehearsal helps the most. Physical exertion can reduce the adrenaline-driven jitters. Comedian Billy Crystal once said that he did push-ups to deal with stage-fright. Schmoozing with the audience before the presentation helps you relax. I’ve used all these tactics. [...]

Lies We Tell Ourselves that Hold Us Back as Public Speakers

By Joey Asher Category: Content Are you a lousy speaker? It might be because you believe one of the following lies. Lie # 1: My topic is dull. When I was a newspaper reporter, we had a saying: “There are no bad stories. Only bad reporters.” The same idea applies to public speaking topics. I worked [...]

The Key to Greatness: Rehearsal

By Joey Asher Category: Practice  “If you could give me only one sentence on how to be a great speaker, what would it be?” That was the question I received once from a magazine writer who was doing a story about how to be a better speaker. “I don’t need an entire sentence,” I [...]

How Can a New College Grad be Successful? Rehearse Your Presentations

Category: Content, Practice Let’s say that you’re a recent college grad. And you could ask Warren Buffet, the billionaire business guru, what is the single most important skill for business success. Here’s what he’d say: communication skills. And let’s say that you were to ask us here at Speechworks what is the single thing [...]

Number One Crime Against Audiences: Speaking Too Long!

Category: Practice In the Speechworks Code of Crimes Against Audiences, speaking beyond your time limit during a presentation is a crime punishable by hanging, being shot, electrocuted, drawn and quartered, and lethal injection. At the very least, someone should give you a wedgie. If you have 20 minutes to speak, don't ever, under any [...]

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