It's Not What You Say, It's How You Say It: Ready-to-Use Advice for Presentations, Speeches, and Other Speaking Occasions, Large and Small


Why do some speakers succeed while many bore their audiences and lose their listeners? Speaking coach Joan Detz has worked with top clients for more than 15 years and has the answers. In this useful and lively book she presents strategies and tips for speeches, sales presentations, brief remarks, job ...

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It's Not What You Say, It's How You Say It: Ready-to-Use Advice for Presentations, Speeches, and Other Speaking Occasions, Large and Small

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Why do some speakers succeed while many bore their audiences and lose their listeners? Speaking coach Joan Detz has worked with top clients for more than 15 years and has the answers. In this useful and lively book she presents strategies and tips for speeches, sales presentations, brief remarks, job interviews, Q&A sessions, panels, and more -- every situation that requires something to say.

Topics include: organizing your message
• finding terrific research
• using storytelling techniques
• preparing the room
• handling technical glitches
• working with other speakers
• measuring your effectiveness
• making the most of your voice
• mastering humor
• using body language
• conquering nervousness
• building audience rapport
• tapping the power of persuasion.

Filled with checklists, tip sheets, self-evaluations, and practical advice on every page, this thorough and invaluable guide takes the mystery out of our most dreaded experience. This book will help you say it better-whether you're talking to one or one thousand.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
For many people, speech giving is a nerve-wracking but necessary task, and this book provides proven tips, suggestions, and guidance to make the experience successful and to help readers develop confidence and skill for any public-speaking occasion. Detz focuses on preparation, organization, and delivery skills, also discussing the uses of technology, public speaking in unusual settings, dealing with interruptions, health and physical challenges, and evaluation. An appendix gives a useful bibliography of speakers' resources, mostly sources of quotations, professional public-speaking organizations, and web sites. Detz has authored four books on public speaking, most recently How To Write and Give a Speech, maintains a web site at, and works as a professional speech coach and motivational speaker. This book is recommended for public libraries and corporate libraries, but those owning another book by Detz or any solid book on public speaking can pass.--Denise S. Sticha, Seton Hill Coll., Greensburg, PA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312243050
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 10/12/2000
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 1,096,818
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.54 (d)

Meet the Author

Joan Detz is the author of How to Write & Give a Speech and Can You Say a Few Words?. A professional speech coach, she advises prominent executives across the country and conducts communications seminars for major corporations. She lives in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

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Read an Excerpt

It's Not What You Say, It's How You Say It (Chapter 1)

THE TITLE OF THIS BOOK reads It's Not What You Say, It's How You Say It. But I have a confession: That might be a slight exaggeration. Because "what you say" does just doesn't tell the whole story.

Let me explain.

Maybe you have to run a community fund-raiser, or meet face-to-face with a sales prospect, or handle a tough job interview. Maybe you have to give a short presentation to a few colleagues at a department meeting, or give a big speech at a professional conference.

Whether you're talking to one person or a thousand, you certainly need a message. And that message must be targeted to your listeners' needs.

Before you decide "what to say," ask yourself these important questions:

(1) What do they want to hear from me?

(2) What do they need to hear from me?
(Pamela Harriman, former U.S. ambassador to France, once defined leadership as "the ability to tell people not what they want to hear, but what they need to know.")

(3) What do they already know about this topic--and where did they get their information?

(4) What misconceptions do they have?

(5) What problems do they face--and how did those problems develop?

(6) What solutions have they already tried?

(7) What message would be most comfortable?

(8) What message would be most troubling?

(9) What information could save them money?

(10) What information could save them time?

(11) What changes would I suggest they make?

(12) What recommendations could they put into practice most easily?

(13) What advice would be welcome?

(14) What advice would be resented?

(15) What perspective can I bring to their unique situation?

(16) And, perhaps the most important question: What can I say to them that no one else could say as effectively?

Once you ask yourself these basic questions, you should have a pretty good idea of what to say. And that's important, because you certainly need a message.

But good presentations demand more than a message. And that's why this chapter--the "content" chapter--is the shortest in the whole book. As you will soon see, good communication isn't just "what you say," it's how you say it.

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Table of Contents

SECTION ONE What You Say 1
SECTION TWO How You Say It 5
Choose Your Best Communication Option 7
How Long Should You Talk? 10
How to Organize Your Message 14
How to Do Terrific Research 20
How to Use Storytelling Techniques 29
How to Improve Your Speechwriting Skills 31
How to Improve Your Delivery Skills 36
• Applause
• Audiovisual Support
• Body Language
• Clothing
• Coughing
• Emotions
• Eye Contact
• Forgetting Lines
• Handouts
• Hecklers
• Interruptions
• Microphones
• Misspeaking
• Notes and Manuscripts
• Nervousness
• Pauses
• Proofreading
• Props
• Rehearsals
• Voice
Using Humor 101
SECTION THREE When You Say It 105
Timing Is Everything 107
Impromptu Speaking 116
AwkwardTiming 117
Frequency 117
When You Must Deal with Resistance 118
When It's Better to Wait 118
When You Have to Say "No" 119
When You Have to Say "I'm Sorry" 121
Procrastination 123
SECTION FOUR Where You Say It 125
Choosing the Best Location 127
The Hometown Advantage 128
Make the Most of Your Location 129
Bad Locations 131
Technical Glitches 132
Speaking Outdoors 134
Out-of-Town Problems 135
SECTION FIVE Who Says It, and Who Is Listening? 139
The Right Speaker for the Right Message 141
Who Says It? 141
Who Is Listening? 144
Interpreting the Agenda 153
SECTION SIX Who Else Could Say It for You? 157
Substitute Speakers 159
Choosing the Right Person to Introduce You 162
Working with Other Speakers 163
Panels 163
SECTION SEVEN Was Your Speech a Success? 167
"I Could Have Been a Better Communicator if Only
" 169
Identify Your Speaking Personality 170
Assess Your Speaking Style 171
What Are You Doing to Become a Better Speaker? 173
Manage Negative Emotions 174
Identify Your Own Strengths 175
Build on Your Strengths 179
Identify People Who Can Help You Improve as a Speaker 180
Measure Your Effectiveness 181
Get an Audience Evaluation 182
Learning from Other Speakers 185
Learning from a Professional Coach 186
SECTION EIGHT Appendix—Useful Books, Websites, and
Professional Organizations 191
Useful Books 193
Useful Professional Organizations 215
Useful Websites for Speakers 215
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 12, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great examples, easy to read

    I assumed this book would be a rather dull read. How much can one really say about public speaking in an exciting manner? Well, Joan Detz does an awesome job giving real life scenarios while making her point. I have referred to her examples several times and am looking forward to the next time I speak in public.

    I think this may be geared towards larger speaking engagements, but I found many items useful in day to day interactions.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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