Public Speaking Tip from John Wooden

By Joey Asher

Category: Tips from Celebrities

“If there’s anything you could point out where I was a little different, it was the fact that I never mentioned ‘winning’.”

As this year’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament winds down, we’d be remiss not to remember the famed head coach of the UCLA Bruins, John Wooden. Wooden is considered to be the greatest men’s collegiate basketball coach of all time. He led the Bruins to 10 national championships – including a string of 7 in a row – during his 27-year tenure.

Even more important than his basketball accomplishments, though, Wooden was seen as a great leader of young men. His coaching philosophy didn’t focus on winning. In fact, he never mentioned it. Rather, his goal was to help each of his players achieve their full potential. Winning was the result.

In the same spirit, as a public speaker your goal shouldn’t be to make audiences think, “Ooh, so-and-so is such a fabulous orator!” Rather, your focus should be on connecting with your listeners and helping them achieve their goals. By doing so, you’ll be regarded as a great communicator…and a great coach.

At Speechworks, our communication skills workshops aim to help our clients achieve their goals. We focus on:

  • How to organize a message that is simple and focused on listener needs. Speechworks teaches a simple Formula for focusing on listener needs. We believe that if you have strong content, you will be more confident when you get up to speak.
  • How to deliver the message in a style that connects with the listeners. We focus on eye contact and energy from your face, voice and body. Our coaches will give you private feedback on areas you can improve.
  • How to answer questions in a way that inspires confidence. We teach you to embrace the Q&A portion of any presentation, prepare for the questions ahead of time, and when it coms to your answers, be brief.

Consider attending an upcoming workshop. Our world-class communication coaches will teach you how to connect with and help your audiences. When you do that, everyone wins!

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. You can reach us at 404.266.0888, or on the web at


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