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Today we’d like to introduce you to Joey Asher.
Joey, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Speechworks began 31 years ago as a partnership between my mother Spring Asher and her good friend Wicke Chambers. They actually started as a media training company, leveraging their experience as local television producers. Over the years, we evolved into a company that focuses on helping executives give great presentations.
My wife Johanna and I purchased the company from my mother 18 years ago. Johanna had worked as a management consultant and with the Atlanta Olympics. I had worked as an attorney and newspaper reporter.
We have tried to maintain the family atmosphere that was fostered by the “founding mothers.” We have also focused the business considerably, systematizing our training approach and grooming the best group of coaches in our industry.
Our clients include some of the best and largest companies in the country including The Home Depot, The Coca-Cola Company, Bank of America and many others. We also teach all the MBA students at Georgia Tech. I have written five books on communication skills, most recently Riveting Data: How to Make Any Presentation Exciting Using Hollywood Storytelling Techniques.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Our business has grown considerably. But we have certainly had obstacles. Of course, one of the biggest challenges with any business is ensuring consistency in the service that you deliver. We have worked hard to ensure that all of our coaches are capable of our programs with the high quality that we want. We’ve done that by instituting clear standards and having lots of training sessions.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Speechworks – what should we know?
Speechworks is a communication skills coaching firm. We deliver one and two day workshops as well as executive coaching. We are most proud of the way we are able to blend great learning programs with a fun environment. Public speaking can be intimidating. And many of our clients are nervous when they arrive at our programs. But our coaches create a fun learning environment. So we get great results and it’s a fun experience.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
My mother Spring Asher and her partner Wicke Chambers — we call them the “founding mothers” — deserve a great deal of credit for creating a fun, family culture. Johanna and I have strived to maintain that culture.
Joey Asher has worked with thousands of business people helping them learn how to communicate in a way that connects with clients. His new book 15 Minutes Including Q&A: a Plan to Save the World from Lousy Presentations” is available now. He is also the author three previous books including “How to Win a Pitch: The Five Fundamentals That Will Distinguish You from the Competition”, “Selling and Communication Skills for Lawyers” and “Even A Geek Can Speak.”