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As We Speak: How to Make Your Point and Have It Stick Hardcover – July 26, 2011

28 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“Whether you are a seasoned speaker or a novice, the advice here will carry you to the next level, helping you make authentic audience connections, deliver relevant messages, and become a better communicator overall. This book truly helps one master the moment in all kinds of speaking situations.”

—Governor Jack A. Markell

“This book is a how-to guide for creating a connection with one person or a thousand. Peter and Shann helped shift my interactions from talking to communicating. Their advice can help you transform your message so it will be received and appreciated.”

—Mike Latham, Global Head of iShares

“This career-changing book will enable you to overcome your fears and limitations, making you a far more effective speaker and inspiring leader of your team, your company, or your country. Their high-impact strategies have been transformational for me. Simply put, it’s the single best guide to public speaking you’ll ever read.”

—Jon Cowan, president, Third Way, and former chief of staff of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

“The key to being a good coach is good communication. For coaches, leaders, teachers, or parents—this book will help motivate people to be the best they can be.”

—Ronnie Lott, NFL Hall of Famer and sports announcer

“Effective communication is critical to success in virtually everything we do. As We Speak provides a fresh look and unique perspective that will prove valuable to anyone who needs to improve their communications skills, which is to say, basically . . . all of us!”

—Thomas Rowe, CEO, California State Fund Insurance

“This is a must-read book for every leader who wants to communicate with deep impact. It can be used as a guide for self-coaching in all situations where leaders need to stand and deliver.”

—George A. Kohlrieser, professor of Leadership and Organizational Behavior, IMD Business School, and author of Hostage at the Table: How Leaders Can Overcome Conflict, Influence Others, and Raise Performance

“This book engages the reader not only with the written word, but also with suggested exercises, master tips, feedback forms, and many other tools. Anyone seeking the power to engage need look no further.”

—Magnus Bocker, chief executive officer, Singapore Exchange

“Drawing from hundreds of years of cumulative knowledge, ranging from great Russian acting teachers to Fortune 500 CEOs and radio show personalities, As We Speak is as strikingly modern as it is practical and insightful. There’s not a person I know who wouldn’t benefit from a close study of Peter and Shann’s profound ideas.”

—Jack Conte, composer

“I wish I’d had this book twenty years ago when I was first starting out. It is an important work, not just about communication, but about the most effective ways to bring people together. This book has inspired me to become a better leader.”

—Doreen Ida, VP, Marketing, NestlÉ USA

“In the new global world, your success is defined by your ability to work across multiple cultures, time zones, and boundaries. This book gives you one crystal- clear universal strategy to do the most important thing of all—create trust.”

—Yvon LeRoux, vice president, Cisco Systems --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Peter Meyers is the founder of Stand & Deliver Consulting Group. An acclaimed actor and theater director, he currently teaches performance and leadership skills at Stanford University, Esalen Institute, and IMD-International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland. He is based in San Francisco.

Shann Nix is an award-winning journalist, novelist, playwright, and radio talk show host. She lives in Wales.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books (July 26, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439153051
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439153055
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #295,889 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By rlweaverii on August 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Book review by Richard L. Weaver II, Ph.D.

This is a good book! The authors have even changed the traditional speech parts from introduction, body, and conclusion to "Ramp," "Road map" (forecasting what is to come), "Three PoDs" (points of discovery), Q&A, and Dessert. Instead of organization and outlining, the authors use the word architecture. I was pleased to see that these were the only major changes in vocabulary. The changes work fine, but, being a traditionalist, I'm not certain they add a great deal to learning how to communicate effectively.

The biggest disappointment I have with this book is the lack of an index. For example, I was looking for information on transitions, but could not find it. I thought it might be covered under the topic "architecture," but once having read about "architecture," early in the book, it was nearly impossible to get back to that section without an index to guide me.

What is especially outstanding is the large number of examples included throughout the book. The book, Public Speaking Rules: All You Need for a Great Speech, for example, offers a straightforward approach to the same topic, and like the book, The Elements of Style (which is a straightforward approach to the use of grammar and language) the book Public Speaking Rules provides the essential nuts and bolts of effective public speaking without the heavy use of examples. These two books (in this paragraph) get to the point directly and effectively. The question comes down to, how much information you need to get you to where you want to be -- an effective speaker/communicator?

Incidentally, there are a large number of examples that can only come from an author's personal experience. Meyers has a wonderful, broad, and useful background.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In Chapter 3, Peter Meyers and Shann Nix acknowledge their appreciation of Chip and Dan Heath and especially of what the Heaths share in their masterwork, Made to Stick. I share their high regard for this book and its co-authors. That book and As We Speak complement each other almost seamlessly. For example, the Heaths provide a brilliant explanation of the "what" and "why" of stickiness whereas Meyers and Vann provide an equally brilliant explanation of the "how" as well as why what they recommend is so effective.

Here in a single volume is just about all you need to know about high-impact communication, especially after checking out the Heaths' book and reviewing the Six Principles that all sticky ideas demonstrate. (Please see Pages 16-18.) They are Simplicity, Unexpectedness, Concreteness, Credibility, Emotions, and Stories. Meyers and Nix have decades of experience helping people whose ability to think exceeds their ability to express themselves. "We develop the language and content, put them on their feet, rehearse them, and give them the tools they need to rise to the occasion." However, and it is impossible for me to exaggerate the importance of one point: this book offers more - FAR MORE - than "how to do it" advice for public speaking.

They carefully organize their material within five Parts: Content, Delivery, State (i.e. presence), High-Stakes Situations, and Finding Your [own] Voice and Making It Heard. They are determined to help each reader's thinking gets the expression it deserves, "that the quality of the ideas is matched by the vitality of the [reader's] presence. The potential applications of what Meyers and Nix hare are almost unlimited because there are so many opportunities to achieve high-impact communication.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Katherine Trimble on July 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover
We all have to speak in front of people at some point in our lives. Whether it be an integral and important aspect of our work or a toast at our child's wedding, the power of the spoken word to move people is a lost art. As We Speak outlines a clear method to overcome the obstacles that hamper communication. Peter Meyers' intriguing background in theater and sports gives him a fascinating take on the whole thing. I love the idea that your content and delivery are important, sure, but the state you are in when you speak is the ultimate tool for high level communication. This book has definitely changed the way I make my point!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By L. Marriner on August 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an unusual book. It doesn't just give good examples around platitudes you have heard before, but delves into what holds each of us back from being truly ourselves and conveying that to others. This book does not give you 10 bullet points and promise if you do them you'll be successful. It's much more thought-provoking in helping each of us understand how to get where we want to be while still being ourselves. While being very practical at the same time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By DC reader on August 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a speech coach, this book is invaluable. It is clear, concise, and immensely practical. I have read many books on the topic, and it is rare to find such a helpful resource. In particular, I love the way it is divided into three sections - state, content, and delivery. This clear structure offers a concrete method for approaching each and every speaking opportunity.

As We Speak gives readers a simple yet powerful way to understand the secrets to great communication. I know I will turn to this book again and again when I work with my clients - and I will recommend it to each of them.
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