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As We Speak: How to Make Your Point and Have It Stick Paperback – August 14, 2012
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"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
"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, Nestle USA
"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
"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
"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
"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
"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 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"
"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
About the Author
Peter Meyers is the founder of Stand & Deliver Consulting Group. An award-winning actor, he currently teaches performance and leadership skills at Stanford University, Esalen Institute, and IMD-International Institute for Management Development, Lausanne Switzerland.
Shann Nix is an award-winning journalist, novelist, playwright, and radio talk show host.
Top customer reviews
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. The audience could be a single person or members of a governing board or several thousand people. The same principles apply: outstanding content + compelling delivery = high impact. As Warren Beatty suggests, "They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel."
After explaining in the first chapter how to ensure that a speech is outcome-focused, relevant, and on point, Meyers and Nix note that when taking the next step, "you can't just start slapping bricks together. First, you need to know where they go. You need a design. So now it's time to put together the architecture of ideas."
The architecture consists of three parts: Ramp (the beginning), Discovery (the middle), and Dessert (the end).
Meyers and Nix suggest three "Master Tips":
o Get the I/You ratio right: Use ten "You's" for every "I."'
o You have only seven seconds at the beginning in which the audience decides whether or not they're going to pay attention.'
o Don't bury the lead. If you don't hook them right up front, you've lost them forever. There are no second chances.
Here are the opening strategies they recommend:
1. Open with the word "You"'
2. Use a powerful statistic (i.e. a "sexy number")'
3. Ask an intriguing question.'
4. Shock them.'
5. Make a confession.'
6. Use the word "imagine" to serve as an invitation.
7. Tell an historical anecdote that is relevant to your key point.'
8. Tell a story: setting, characters, conflicts, tension, key developments, resolution, etc.
This book is a "must read" for those who want to develop the mindset and the skills to communicate with high impact, whatever the circumstances may be. That assumes, of course, that the content is of a very high quality and appropriate for the given audience. Hence the importance of rigorous preparation. I agree with Peter Meyers and Shann Nix: Ultimately, "It's not about you. It's all about them."
I think this book combined with tons of practice in front of people will help many people out. Also, read the HBR article by Chris Anderson and Nancy Duarte called "How to give a killer presentation". http://bit.ly/11V37Ym
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.
Most recent customer reviews
The authors were able to offer very concrete information
simultaneously, speaking in a very human and thoughtful...Read more